After all the additions and roster building the Jets did in the offseason, they opened the season believing things would be very different.
This looked, felt and sounded very familiar. The MetLife Stadium crowd booed Robert Saleh’s team loudly in the third quarter, chanted for Mike White to replace Joe Flacco and then headed for the exits early.
The Jets made too many mistakes to keep it competitive in their first game of 2022. They were throttled by the Ravens, 24-9, on a rainy afternoon. The loss extended the Jets’ September losing streak to 13 games. Their last win in the season’s first month was the 2018 opener.
“I know everybody’s going to think, ‘Oh, it’s the same old [expletive],’ ” said tight end Tyler Conklin, who made his Jets debut. “It’s not the same [expletive]. We got a good team.”
The Jets entered Week 1 with confidence, believing they had enough all-around talent to compete. They played well in stretches, but the game eventually became non-competitive.
The defense got off to a good start and looked stout before eventually breaking down against Lamar Jackson, who threw three touchdown passes.
The offense looked mostly inept with Flacco at quarterback. The Jets didn’t score a touchdown until there were 60 seconds left in the game. Flacco’s 59th pass attempt went to Conklin for a 3-yard score.
Flacco, starting for Zach Wilson as he sits for at least two more games with a knee injury, completed 37 of 59 passes for 307 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He wasn’t very sharp but he also got little help.
The Jets actually outgained Baltimore 378-274. Two turnovers cost them, along with some head-scratching plays that the franchise just can’t seem to escape.
“It’s obviously a punch in the face to come out and lose a football game,” Flacco said.
Rookie Breece Hall fumbled in the red zone. Conklin fumbled on what would have been a first-down play. The ball bounced backward and Garrett Wilson recovered it, but the loss of yardage made it fourth down. The Jets had to settle for a 45-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein that cut their deficit to 10-3 late in the first half.
With the Jets trailing 24-3 late in the fourth quarter, Michael Carter dropped a sure-fire touchdown pass. There were other bad drops, including one by Corey Davis that halted an early drive. After the Jets’ only TD, Zuerlein missed the extra point.
A frustrated Saleh said afterward, “We’re not going to win football games; it’s impossible to win against a veteran team when you move the ball and you come up empty-handed time and time again like we did today. You’re not going to beat a veteran team when you’re not capitalizing on the momentum that you’re getting. From dropped passes to being loose with the football, missed kicks, this is a game we absolutely lost.”
Carter had a solid game, finishing with 100 scrimmage yards (10 carries for 60 yards and seven catches for 40 yards). Davis had six grabs for 77 yards.
Jackson never really broke free from the pocket to pick up big yardage with his legs. He was held to 17 yards rushing but beat the Jets with his arm, connecting on 17 of 30 passes for 213 yards and three touchdowns.
Jackson hit Devin Duvernay for a 17-yard score to make it a two-TD game and later hit Rashod Bateman for a 55-yarder that put the Ravens ahead 24-3. Duvernay also caught a 25-yard touchdown pass.
“We had a really good plan,” Saleh said. “I thought our guys played with a lot of juice and energy. We gave up three explosive plays. Two on third down resulted in touchdowns.”
Flacco’s interception came on the Jets’ third series, and Marcus Williams returned it to the Jets’ 13. Receiver Lawrence Cager fell, but Flacco never should have thrown the football. The defense kept Baltimore out of the end zone, though, as Quinnen Williams batted down Jackson’s pass on third down. The Ravens went ahead 3-0 on Justin Tucker’s 24-yard field goal.
The Jets put together a decent drive on the next possession. Flacco completed his first four passes on the drive, but it stalled at the Ravens’ 27. The Jets came away with no points when Zuerlein missed a 45-yard field-goal attempt wide left.
The Ravens took a 10-0 lead on the following series, which started with a pass interference on safety LaMarcus Joyner. On third down, Jackson threw a 25-yard TD pass to Duvernay with Bryce Hall in coverage.
Zuerlein’s field goal made it 10-3 on the next series, but the game turned quickly in the third quarter.
A 20-yard punt by Braden Mann gave the Ravens great field position at the Jets’ 44. On third-and-10 from the 17, Jackson hit a wide-open Duvernay for a 17-yard touchdown.
The boos started on the Jets’ next drive after Flacco threw incomplete on third-and-2.
“I hate that it feels like we just lost the Super Bowl because it’s not that,” Carter said. “We’re 0-1 and we can go 1-1 next week . . . It is what it is, we’ll learn.”
The Jets have lost 13 straight games in September, tying the Saints (1994-1997) and Rams (2007-10) for longest August/September losing streak. They have not scored more than 17 points in any of those games.
Baltimore 24, Jets 9
Carolina 19, Jets 14
New England 25, Jets 6
Denver 26, Jets 0
Buffalo 27, Jets 17
San Francisco 31, Jets 13
Indianapolis 36, Jets 7
Buffalo 17, Jets 16
Cleveland 23, Jets 3
New England 30, Jets 14
Miami 20, Jets 12
Cleveland 21, Jets 17
Jacksonville 31, Jets 12