Sam Darnold led two scoring drives in the Jets' 42-21 loss to the Ravens, but the offense should have put up more points. The Jets had 310 yards of offense and scored only two touchdowns. There were many missed opportunities. Darnold threw an interception at the Ravens’ 5-yard line late in the first half. The Jets also failed to convert a fourth-and-1 at the Baltimore 7 on the previous series. Darnold had some good moments, keeping a couple of drives alive with his feet. But he made a bad throw on an interception and he should have seen the blitz coming and thrown the ball away on a third down in the third quarter. Instead, he was sacked and fumbled. Rookie receiver Jeff Smith, in his NFL debut, cost the Jets points by slowing down on his route. If he had kept running, he could have caught a long touchdown pass.
It wasn’t Gregg Williams’ group’s finest hour. Everyone knows they’re banged up and missing some key pieces, including Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams, and the Ravens have the most explosive offense in the NFL. But Lamar Jackson and the Ravens faced very little resistance against the Jets' defense. Jackson threw five touchdown passes and engineered six TD drives. The Jets allowed a season-high 430 yards overall. The Ravens No. 1 run offense ran all over the No. 2 defense with 218 yards. The Jets gave up 100 yards just once in the previous six games, but the six touchdowns were the most they have let up and the 42 points were the most points. All the way around, it was the Jets’ worst defensive performance of the season.
They had some good returns that gave the offense good starting field position. Vyncint Smith returned a kickoff 37 yards and Ty Montgomery returned one 34 yards. Braxton Berrios had a 21-yard punt return that put the Jets in Ravens territory just before the half. That was the series that ended with Darnold’s interception. But Sam Ficken had his lone field-goal attempt blocked and he missed an extra point.
The Jets didn’t do enough on defense to slow Jackson and they didn’t do enough on offense to keep it out of his hands. They moved the ball on offense, but the offensive play call on fourth-and-1 from the Ravens’ 7 drew some raised eyebrows. Adam Gase chose to have Darnold throw in the end zone on a rollout instead of giving to Le’Veon Bell, who had run the ball well.