Ravens - Jets: 5 Reasons for the outcome

1. Within the Baltimore Ravens' dramatic 20-17 overtime victory over the New York Jets on Sunday, youthful quarterback Kyle Boller demonstrated improved maturity and poise. The second-year starter engineered four scoring drives, including a pair of touchdown passes that led up to him setting up veteran kicker Matt Stover for the game-winning 42-yard field goal.

Boller completed 19 of 33 passes for 213 yards, two scoring tosses to imposing rookie wideout Clarence Moore and no interceptions for a 97.2 passer rating. Boller also acted as the holder for Stover because punter Dave Zastudil was out with a separated shoulder.

As for Stover, he's made this a habit. He kicked two game-winning field goals in overtime last season for the defending AFC North champions, who remain two games behind the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was the Ravens' first road win over a team with a winning mark since a 13-10 win over the Steelers on Nov. 4, 2001.

2. The defense sacked Jets quarterback Quincy Carter five times, and safety Ed Reed capitalized on a numbskull decision by New York offensive coordinator Paul Hackett. Leading 14-0 in the second quarter, New York opted for a halfback option pass by former University of Maryland running back Lamont Jordan. Reed easily intercepted it in the end zone and returned it 78 yards. It would have been a 104-yard return if not for Will Demps' holding penalty. A week ago, Reed set a NFL record with his 106-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns to seal a win.

3. Moore, Travis Taylor and Kevin Johnson registered key receptions to keep Baltimore moving. Boller completed passes to eight different receivers.

4. The Ravens managed to win despite allowing Curtis Martin to rush for 119 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries. Linebacker Ray Lewis was blocked adeptly by fullback Jerald Sowell, but Lewis and Co. did a better job on Jordan in the second half.

5. Backup quarterback Kordell Stewart, who hadn't punted since high school, was forced into duty and responded with five punts for a 35.4 average. The Ravens overcame B.J. Sams' fumbled punt in the first quarter to set up a Martin touchdown and a 40-yard Jordan return that set up the field goal that forced overtime.

Aaron Wilson writes for RavensInsider.com and the Carroll County Times.


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