Inside the Ravens with Aaron Wilson

Monday, September 17, 2007


1. The Baltimore Ravens' 20-13 victory Sunday over the New York Jets could be defined as more of a survival than the team thriving against young New York quarterback Kellen Clemens. If not for two dropped potential touchdown catches by Jets wide receiver Justin McCareins with the final one caroming into the hands of Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis for a game-sealing interception, the Ravens at least have to go to overtime. Plus, safety Ed Reed's missed tackle on a 44-yard reception by Jerricho Cotchery set up an earlier touchdown pass to tight end Chris Baker.

2. Despite not having three-time Pro Bowl quarterback Steve McNair in the game due to a pulled groin, the offense was managed well by efficient, albeit unspectacular backup Kyle Boller. He completed 23 of 35 passes for 185 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 97.9 quarterback rating. His favorite targets were Derrick Mason and Todd Heap as they combined for 15 catches, 130 yards and a touchdown.

3. The Ravens overcame 11 penalties for 100 yards, including a nearly-costly defensive holding penalty on safety Gerome Sapp on 3rd-and-16 that gave the Jets an automatic first down with 1:55 remaining in the fourth quarter.

4. This time, Heap was the beneficiary of an official's call. One week after his touchdown catch was incorrectly nullified by a referee's offensive pass interference call in a loss to the Bengals, his 4-yard, tip-toeing touchdown catch put Baltimore ahead 17-3 at halftime after an instant-replay review reversed the initial call on the field.

5. Running back Willis McGahee continued his string of owning the Jets, rumbling for 97 yards on 26 carries and catching his first NFL touchdown on a 2-yard swing pass from Boller. The score also marks his inaugural touchdown with the Ravens.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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