Rex Ryan, Jets Have Super Bowl Plans on Hold After Sloppy Season Opener

Rex Ryan, Jets Have Super Bowl Plans on Hold After Sloppy Season Opener Rex Ryan thinks his team is great. He thinks they're good enough to win the Super Bowl. He loves their swagger, loves their talent and loves telling them to "play like a [curse word] Jet!"

That message, however, is going to have to change a bit after a truly poor showing in their season opener Monday night. The defense made countless mistakes, the offense was all but useless and the team could not once find the end zone in a 10-9 loss to the Ravens.

Though it's just one game, those loudmouth Jets are going to have to tone it down a bit.

"This is a long season, and this was one game," Ryan said after the game. "I will say this: I've got confidence in every man in our locker room, no question. We weren't at our best today. That's a credit to the Ravens. But I know we can get better. That's the challenge to us. We have to get better. And I believe we will."

"Getting better" will have to start with discipline. The Jets were flagged for 14 penalties for 125 yards. The Ravens were given five first downs on those penalties, two of which came on the Ravens' lone touchdown-scoring drive of the game. The first was by Braylon Edwards, who ran into the kicker on a field goal attempt. The second was on a pass interference call in the end zone on rookie Kyle Wilson. Willis McGahee punched it in from the 1-yard line just six seconds before halftime, scoring the only touchdown of the game for either side.

Edwards didn't limit his penalties to special teams, either. Earlier in the second quarter, Mark Sanchez completed his longest pass of the night, a 33-yard strike to Dustin Keller that should have set the Jets up at the 4-yard line. Instead, they'd be facing a first-and-15 from the 42 because Edwards wasn't set before the snap.

The Jets ended up punting, but even then, Wayne Hunter was flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Even without the mistakes, it's hard to think the Jets' offense will be powerful enough to win many games. Sanchez was an impossibly bad 10-for-21 for just 74 yards. When the Jets needed a long drive to win the game in the fourth, Sanchez looked to only be able to throw dink and dunk routes for five yards. No Jets receiver had more than two catches, and running backs and tight ends accounted for 70 percent of his completions.

Still, the defense, as expected, played fairly well, forcing three turnovers on the night — two via fumble, one on an Antonio Cromartie interception. They couldn't, however, slow down Anquan Boldin, who hauled in seven catches for 110 yards, and they couldn't for the life of them stop the Ravens on third down. Baltimore was 11-for-19 on third down while New York was an abysmal 1-for-11.

"That stat alone gets you beat, let alone 14 penalties," Ryan said.

The loss isn't the end of the world for the Jets. If they can regroup, get Darrelle Revis up to speed and build a better offensive game plan, they can beat the Patriots next week and get the season going in the right direction.

Doing so won't be easy though. It will start with an attention to the little things, but remember, this is the same team that brought McDonald's hamburgers to a scrimmage. It's the same team that turned the ball over four times in one preseason game (they had one turnover on Monday). It's the same team that boldly stated that this year's goal was "Super Bowl or bust."

It's time now to adjust those expectations. The Super Bowl can't be won in the first four weeks of the season, but it can certainly be lost. Another mistake-filled performance against the Patriots — on a short week, no less — could have Ryan and his Jets in a place they never imagined.

All summer long, it's been Super Bowl this, championship that. On Monday, the Jets finally had a chance to put their money where their mouth is and they couldn't back it up.

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