The NY Jets took on the Baltimore Ravens in the first game of the 2022 season. Jets fans had a lot to be excited about this offseason and were looking forward to this day for a long time. There was a new sense of optimism around the team and it felt like we were going to see signs of progress on Sunday.
Well, that didn't happen. Actually, quite the opposite happened.
The Jets unfortunately played like their old selves and just got beaten down badly by the Ravens. The game ended and the Jets got blown out at home by a final score of 24-9.
Fans knew this wouldn't be an easy game, but the blowout score and the lack of offensive production shown by the team were quite alarming. These are three players to blame for the loss.
3. Jordan Whitehead, S, NY Jets
With around seven minutes left in the third quarter, the Jets trailed the Ravens by a score of 10-3. This was hardly an insurmountable deficit. However, there was a rough play by the Jets' defense that led to a Baltimore touchdown.
From the 17-yard-line, Lamar Jackson threw the ball up and it was caught by wide receiver Devin Duvernay for a touchdown. The main issue here is that Jordan Whitehead was the man who was in coverage, and Whitehead was nowhere even close to him.
The Ravens were able to pick up the touchdown as a result of Whitehead's gaffe and essentially were able to put the game away right then and there. This was just a bad read by one of the better players on the team, and these kinds of things can't happen in the NFL.
2. Lamarcus Joyner, S, NY Jets
To make matters worse, later in the third quarter with around two minutes left, Lamar Jackson lobbed up a pass from around his 40-yard-line. This pass was caught with ease and brought in for around a 55-yard-touchdown by Rashad Bateman.
Lamarcus Joyner was the man who got beat this time by Bateman. When Jackson through the pass up, Bateman was already 10-20 feet ahead of both Joyner and Whitehead. Joyner didn't do well today at all, taking terrible angles, missing tackles, and just blowing his coverage.
These kinds of plays are unacceptable in the NFL and are a big reason why the Jets lost. The defense overall did a fairly good job on Sunday. Sauce Gardner and D.J. Reed played well for instance. However, Joyner and Whitehead definitely were the weak parts of the team, especially Joyner.
1. Joe Flacco, QB, NY Jets
Was this one obvious? Maybe you didn't hear the Mike White chants in the stadium. Yeah, this just wasn't Joe Flacco's best day. Flacco did manage to finish with 307 yards on nearly 60 pass attempts.
However, Flacco also only picked up one touchdown and an interception. The veteran quarterback just wasn't able to find his targets consistently. If he would have been able to control the ball more, we may have seen a different score on the board.
For what was supposed to be Joe Flacco's "revenge game," this was certainly a letdown. Flacco told reporters after the game that this loss felt like a "punch in the face" to him following the game in a press conference, and we can see why.
Overall, this wasn't a less-than-deal way to start the season. However, we did see some glimmers of hope from the young guys like Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, and Breece Hall.