In the end, Matt Stover’s 42-yard field goal in overtime Sunday gave the Baltimore Ravens the 20-17 victory over the New York Jets.
But one play much earlier helped the Ravens turn the game in their favor.
The Jets (6-3) had a 14-0 lead and were driving for another score late in the second quarter. Quincy Carter, making his first start in place of the injured Chad Pennington, looked sharp, having completed all seven of his passes to that point. On first and 10 from the Ravens’ 17-yard line, offensive coordinator Paul Hackett, criticized so many times for being too conservative, called a halfback option pass.
Carter pitched to backup running back LaMont Jordan, who was immediately swarmed by the defense. Instead of allowing himself to be tackled or throwing the ball away, Jordan lofted the ball into the end zone. Ed Reed was there waiting, and he made the interception.
Reed returned it 104 yards for a score, but the touchdown was called back because of a holding call. That hardly mattered. Baltimore quarterback Kyle Boller converted a fourth-and-eight play, then threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Clarence Moore with 53 seconds left before halftime.
The Ravens (6-3) trailed, 14-7, at the break. Although they did not have the lead, they had the momentum.
“We ran the play, thought it might work, and thought we maybe would get up 21 on them,” Coach Herman Edwards said. “The worst thing that could have happened, happened -- we threw an interception.”
Jordan said he was trying to throw the ball out of the end zone.
“I automatically said that this game is on my shoulders,” Jordan said. “That play definitely was the turning point.”
Although Reed said he was not surprised to see a trick play, he could not believe Jordan threw the ball.
“I didn’t expect it because they were all bunched up, and I didn’t see anyone open,” Reed said. “It was a chance they took.”