EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens gave the New York Jets some hard knocks — real ones.
The Jets intrigued audiences in the preseason with their no-holds-barred, behind-the-scenes TV show, but it was the Ravens who grabbed the spotlight Monday night. They held New York to 176 yards, six first downs, allowed Mark Sanchez just 74 yards passing and kept Rex Ryan’s crew out of the end zone in posting a 10-9 victory.
For those urging the Jets to put up or shut up, well, it was Baltimore that produced most of the highlights in a sloppy opener of New York’s new home. The $1.6 billion New Meadowlands Stadium rocked with J-E-T-S chants, then the Ravens rocked Ryan’s defense with enough big plays to silence the crowd of 78,127 — if not the talkative coach and his players.
Billy Cundiff’s 25-yard field goal in the third quarter provided the winning points, with Anquan Boldin, Baltimore’s main offseason acquisition, gaining 65 yards on two passes against first-round draft pick Kyle Wilson. Boldin made the kind of impact the Ravens sought with seven receptions overall for 110 yards, at times toying with the Jets’ vaunted secondary.
So did tight end Todd Heap, who caught six passes from a cool Joe Flacco for 72 yards.
The beginning was fiery, as expected, with Ray Rice and Shaun Ellis woofing at each other before kickoff. But it turned into a slopfest, as many of the openers were this weekend, with the Jets looking particularly undisciplined by drawing 14 penalties for 125 yards. They also were 1 for 11 on third downs.