The Baltimore Ravens’ defense grabbed the spotlight from the New York Jets’ defense in a 10-9 victory on Monday night.
The Ravens held New York to 176 yards and six first downs, allowed Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez just 74 yards passing and kept Rex Ryan’s crew out of the end zone. It was a less than sparkling home opener for New York, in its first game in the US$1.6 billion New Meadowlands Stadium.
Billy Cundiff’s 25-yard field goal in the third quarter provided the winning points. Anquan Boldin, Baltimore’s main offseason acquisition, gained 65 yards on two passes in the drive. Boldin finished with seven receptions overall for 110 yards, at times toying with the Jets’ vaunted secondary.
Ravens tight end Todd Heap caught six passes from quarterback Joe Flacco for 72 yards.
The Jets drew 14 penalties for 125 yards and were just 1-for-11 on third downs.
Chiefs 21, Chargers 14
In Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City held San Diego on four downs inside the 6-yard line in the final minute, clinching a tight win.
Jamaal Charles’ 56-yard touchdown run and Dexter McCluster’s team-record 94-yard punt return had given Kansas City a two-touchdown lead, but the Chiefs had to cling on for victory.
San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers thoroughly outplayed Chiefs counterpart Matt Cassel and drove the Chargers to a first-and-goal from the 4. However, the pass on first down was incomplete, a run lost 2 yards, another pass sailed high and, with 39 seconds left, Rivers missed again.
Rivers was 22-for-39 for 298 yards and two touchdowns, several times victimizing a young Chiefs secondary for long gains. Cassel was 10-for-22 for 68 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown pass following a San Diego turnover.
McCluster returned a punt 94 yards to put the Chiefs on top 21-7 late in the half. The return broke Dante Hall’s team record by one yard.
The Chargers cut the gap to 21-14 when Legedu Naanee hauled in a 59-yard touchdown pass with 2 minutes, 23 seconds left.