There is shocking and not so shocking.
The Green Bay Packers’ four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers being sacked four times and losing in Week 1 to the Minnesota Vikings is shocking. So is former Jet and current Seattle Seahawks QB Geno Smith having his name chanted by tens of thousands of football fans as he led his team to a 17-16 victory over the Denver Broncos on Monday night.
The New York Jets losing on opening day? Not so shocking.
The Jets’ 24-9 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium on Sunday was their fourth consecutive season opening loss. It is 0-2 for Jets head coach Robert Saleh since he was hired by the franchise. And they haven’t won a home opener since 2015.
With Jets second-year quarterback Zack Wilson recovering from meniscus surgery after suffering an injury to his knee in preseason, 37-year-old Joe Flacco, who led the Ravens to a win in Super Bowl XLVII to end the 2012 season, was his replacement. Wilson is expected to return by Week 4.
His absence highlighted one of the urgent areas of the Jets’ rebuilding plan. Wilson struggled last season in his rookie year and Flacco is near the end of his playing career. On the other hand, the Ravens’ 25-year-old QB Lamar Jackson is one of the best players in the NFL. The 2019 league MVP, who is seeking a new contract from the Ravens exceeding $200 million, passed for 213 yards and threw three touchdowns.
Flacco was 37-59 for 307 yards and threw one TD, a 3-yard pass to tight end Tyler Conklin with a minute left in the game. He averaged just 5.2 yards per attempt.
“From dropped passes to being loose with the football to missed kicks, this is a game, in my opinion, that we absolutely lost,” said Saleh.
“We just never turned the corner and got going off of some of those plays that we did have,” added Flacco.
The Jets went into halftime down just 10-3 as the defense was solid and the Ravens’ offense inconsistent over the first 30 minutes. But on the Jets’ first offensive drive of the second half they went three and out and never were able to threaten the Ravens. They only managed 83 yards on the ground on 17 carries in the game. Second-year back Micheal Carter had 60 yards and rookie Breece Hall 23 on six attempts.
The Jets will face the Cleveland Browns this Sunday on the road. The Browns are 1-1 after a 26-24 win over the Carolina Panthers.