The only times in franchise history that the Jets overcame a lead of 14 points or more were in 1983 against the Saints (31-28 win after trailing, 28-14) and the aforementioned Monday Night Miracle.
And the Jets will need a Sunday Afternoon Sensation, now that Matt Stover has hit a 43-yard field goal to make it …
Ravens 20, Jets 3
Again the Jets are starting to move. Is it another mirage? Thomas Jones fumbles at the end of a 9-yard run but guard Adrien Clarke is there to fall on it. Then a swing to Laveranues Coles puts the Jets into the red zone, first-and-goal at the Baltimore 10.
Two more TJ runs make it third-and-goal at the 3. But then Kellen Clemens tries a fade to Coles that’s just too far and goes incomplete. Rather than go for, head coach Eric Mangini calls for a short Mike Nugent field goal, which he makes. But the Jets still have to find a way to score one touchdown, then another, in the game’s last 10:05.
Ravens 20, Jets 6
Willis McGahee has five straight games of 100-plus rushing yards vs. the Jets as a Buffalo Bill, and on his first two carries of the current drive he moves within 18 yards of doing it again.
The Jets stall the Ravens on an Eric Smith PD. If the Green & White have a comeback in them, it has to start now, with 6:47 left. (Obvious comment, no?)
Jerricho Cotchery has another fantastic catch-and-run, refusing to be brought down by Corey Ivy en route to a 44-yard pass play. But Kellen Clemens can’t engineer anything until fourth-and-7, when he hits Cotchery again and J-Co maneuvers to 23 yards to the 1. Then two more runs get nothing.
But then No. 86 rises up. Clemens, just beating the blitz, lofts a pass that TE Chris Baker snags by his fingertips as he’s heading out of bounds. This looks a lot like Baltimore No. 86 Todd Heap’s catch in the second quarter. With 3:12 to go, Ravens coach Brian Billick challenges the call. And unlike Heap’s grab, referee Scott Green does not reverse this one.
Ravens 20, Jets 13
Terrell Suggs is hit with a 15-yard personal foul on Mike Nugent’s PAT for "leveraging" trying to block the kick, which he didn’t. With 3:12 to go and all three timeouts left and Nugent kicking from his 45 instead of his 30, do the Jets try an onsides kick? Do they pooch? Drive it into the M&T stands? We’ll know in a second, after Baltimore’s timeout.
Nugent onsides it — and hits it almost perfectly. "Almost" because Brad Smith is in position to snatch it out of the air but his body is turned just too much that the ball bounces off his shoulder pad and the Ravens swat it out of bounds to retain possession.
The Jets then force a three-and-out as Shaun Ellis and friends chase Kyle Boller to the sideline, where he legally throws the ball away. Leon Washington lets Sam Koch’s punt go over his head for a touchback. And so with 2:38 to go and two timeouts plus the two-minute warning left, all Kellen Clemens has to do is move the Jets offense 80 yards for a tying touchdown.
Clemens steps to the right in the pocket and finds Cotchery over the middle, and then the WR gets away from Ed Reed and No. 89 is off the races again, with Laveranues Coles racing downfield to block. The play goes for 50 yards, giving Cotchery a career-high 165 yards for the game. At the two-minute warning, the Jets are at the Ravens 31. Wow.
On the first play after the warning, Justin McCareins is open at the 5 and Clemens sees him and throws it to him — and McCareins drops the potential game-tying TD. Now it’s third-and-11 — make that third-and-16 because the play clock has run out.
All of the two-minute drilling the Jets did all training camp has to kick in now. And the Jets get a boost to this latest leg of their comeback bid when Coles is taken down — defensive holding, 5 yards and a first down. Now there’s 1:49 left and it’s first-and-10 at the 31. And on the next play, Coles is open at the goal line but Clemens’ throw is slight underthrown and Coles can’t come up with it.
Also on that play, Cotchery tried to come up with a diving catch and appeared to jam something on his right arm. He leaves for a play and the Jets take a 10-second runoff, then he returns after one play.
Second down at the 31, and then third down as Clemens’ short out sails over Coles’ head. Third-and-10 at the 31, 1:23 left.
Then Coles matches Cotchery’s circus catch with a leaping catch over Samari Rolle and Dawan Landry to the Ravens 8. Scott Green reviews the call, but because Coles was forced out by Landry, the only thing Green can review is whether Coles made the catch. He did. First-and-goal at the 8.
But then disaster hits the Jets. Clemens’ high but catchable throw to McCareins glances off his hands — and into the hands of Ravens LB and defensive leader Ray Lewis. There’s 1:04 to go.
The defense stops three McGahee runs, then Kyle Boller takes a delay of game, then takes the snap and kneels down. The clock runs out. The Jets have run out of miracles for their too-little-too-late comeback. And they fall to 0-2.
Tags: Adrien Clarke, Mike Nugent, Monday Night Miracle, Thomas Jones
Posted in Randy Lange | 30 Comments »