Super Bowl III will always link the Jets and Baltimore. The Baltimore Colts were 19 point favorites in the game many consider the most important in NFL history. The NFL had dominated the first two Super Bowls, the Jets win made the AFL legit and cemented the merger between the two leagues.
The Jets 16-7 win is still considered one of the biggest upsets in sports history. Joe Namath was the Super Bowl MVP and is the only quarterback to get that honor without throwing a TD pass in the game. Earl Morrall’s 3 first half interceptions had more to do with the Jets win than any Namath passes. Consider how the game has changed, Namath threw 17 interceptions to only 15 touchdowns and completed only 49% of his passes in the regular season and he was a top QB.
Those numbers are long forgotten, what’s remembered is Broadway Joe guaranteeing a win over heavily favored Baltimore and delivering. Hard to believe that was 1969 and the Jets haven’t been back to the Super Bowl since.
Enough ancient history, the Ravens-Jets history is one sided. The Jets won the opener in this series in overtime in 1997 and haven’t won since. The Ravens have won 7 straight, here are 3 of my favorites.
December 24, 2000 –The Ravens didn’t know they were on their way to a Super Bowl title with a killer defense. If I told you Trent Dilfer passed for 99 yards and 2 interceptions and Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde passed for 481 yards and 2 TD’s you’d probably guess the Jets won. Wrong!
The Jets knew they couldn’t run the ball against the Ravens so they said to hell with the run. Testaverde threw 69 passes and completed 36 for 481 yards. The Jets had a 14-0 lead but it didn’t last. Chris McCalister had a 98 yard pick 6 and Jermaine Lewis, shortly after the death of his infant son, returned not one but 2 punts for touchdowns in the second half. The Ravens 34-20 on a wild Christmas Eve win.
November 14,2004 — The Jets had a 14-0 lead in the final minute of the first half when things got crazy in the Meadowlands. The Jets were inside the Ravens 10 when they got greedy. Jets running back Lamont Jordan (former Terp) forced an option pass into the end zone that Ed Reed picked off and returned 104 yards. A block in the back reduced the Reed return, but the Ravens scored in the final seconds and stole the momentum. Instead of being down 21-0 or 17-0 the Ravens were back in it to win it. Jets head coach Herman Edwards was ripped for late clock management after Matt Stover kicked an overtime field goal to give the Ravens a 20-17 win.
October 2, 2011 — The last time they met. Jameel McClain set the tone on the first Jets play from scrimmage when he scooped up a fumble and ran it in for a touchdown. It was the first of 3 defensive TD’s for the Ravens. Jarrett Johnson scored on a 26 yard fumble return and Lardarius Webb had a 73 yard pick 6. Mark Sanchez welcome to Baltimore! This was a wild one, the Jets also had a pick 6 and a 107 yard kickoff return. The Ravens win 34-17 the 54 combined points the most in NFL History with only 1 offensive touchdown.