It was a brand new day with a brand new feeling for the Jets as they began year two under the direction of head coach Robert Saleh. But on a dreary, drizzly day at MetLife Stadium, the Green & White couldn't parlay that vibe into a feelgood victory over the visiting Ravens.
The Jets kept good containment on Lamar Jackson, but Baltimore's dangerous multithreat QB, completed three touchdown passes, two to WR Devin Duvernay, in a span of 16:39 of clock time from late in the second quarter until late in the third quarter as the Ravens opened a 24-3 lead and eased through the final 15 minutes to the 24-9 triumph.
Jets QB Joe Flacco stepped in for the first of several starts for rehabbing Zach Wilson and struggled to get the Jets offense on track. He threw a first-quarter interception that led to the game's first three points, was sacked three times and hit three times that and he and his offense couldn't convert on any of their first eight third-down conversions.
Even when Flacco got the Jets motoring, those drives didn't always end well. In the first half, a 44-yard march into Baltimore territory produced a 45-yard missed field goal by K Greg Zuerlein. A 48-yard series stalled at the end of the first half and on that one Zuerlein converted, also from 45.
Then early in the fourth quarter, the Jets marched 75 yards to the Ravens 22. But a short Flacco pass over the middle to rookie RB Breece Hall started well but ended badly when S Chuck Clark punched the ball from Hall's grasp and CB Marlon Humphrey recovered, ending the threat.
See the best images from the opening game of the 2022 season at MetLife Stadium.
Flacco and the offense assembled a 16-play drive on which they finally converted a third down, plus two fourth downs, as they moved to the Ravens 6. But Michael Carter dropped Flacco's fourth-down pass at the goal line as the home team turned the ball over with 4:16 left.
With not enough time left to mount a comeback, the Jets still returned to the red zone following CB D.J. Reed's first interception wearing the green and white. They finally scored their first TD of '22 on Flacco's 3-yard laser to TE Tyler Conklin on the goal line. But Zuerlein missed the extra point so the Jets trailed 24-9 with 1:00 to play. And that's how the score ended.
Flacco completed 37 of 59 passes for 307 yards, one TD and one interception. Carter finished with exactly 100 yards from scrimmage, the fourth 100-yard game of his young career, and WR Corey Davis had six catches for 77 yards.
Jackson completed 17 of 30 passes for 213 yards, three TDs and one INT but the Jets contained him (six carries, 17 yards) and the Ravens (21 carries, 63 yards) in the running game.
The Ravens opened their biggest lead of the game at 17-3 with 7:14 left in the third quarter when Jackson connected with Duvernay for the duo's second TD pass-and-catch of the game. This one came with Duvernay crossing in the end zone, escaping the coverage of S Jordan Whitehead, and grabbing the 17-yard lob. And it came after Braden Mann mis-hit a 20-yard punt that went out of bounds at the Jets 44.
Then one play after the Ravens recovered their own fumble forced by rookie CB D.J. Reed at Baltimore 45, Bateman ran free through the middle of the defense and gathered in a 55-yard mortar shot from Jackson to open a 24-3 lead with 2:06 left in the third quarter.
The game began cautiously in the light rain as each team punted twice on its first two possessions. The Ravens cashed in Marcus Williams' interception of Flacco and return to the Jets 13 with Justin Tucker's 24-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead for the visitors with 3:16 left in the opening frame.
Flacco and the Jets showed their best offensive movement of the first half with a 44-yard drive to the Ravens 27 before stalling. But Zuerlein, on his first FG try as a Jets, missed wide left in the light rain.
Two series later, Baltimore struck for the only TD of the first half. Aided by a 32-yard pass interference call on S Lamarcus Joyner, Jackson struck with a pinpoint 25-yard pass to Duvernay, who came down with the ball on the side of the end zone despite coverage by Jets CB Bryce Hall. That gave Baltimore a 10-0 lead with 3:45 left in the half.
The Jets secured their first score of '22 after driving into Ravens territory. Zuerlein had another 45-yard field goal try, this time in slightly heavier rain, but this time he hooked his kick inside the left upright to cut the Green & White deficit to 10-3 with 24 seconds left.
The Jets defense had a strong first 30 minutes, holding Jackson and the Ravens to 92 yards and five first downs. The D got back-to-back short sacks of Jackson in the second quarter, by Quincy Williams and then a split sack by Jacob Martin and Jermaine Johnson, the first half sack of the rookie's Jets and NFL career. And first-round pick Sauce Gardner made a superb goal-line pass defense on top Baltimore TE Mark Andrews for an incompletion.