EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - On the day when the Ravens' vaunted defense and special teams both flinched, Kyle Boller exuded the unflappable poise yesterday.
On the day when injuries rained chaos on the depth chart, their second-year quarterback assumed control of the team and perhaps its playoff fate.
New York Jets, as well as hope for a promising future.
Matt Stover's 42-yard field goal 7:25 into the extra period punctuated the Ravens' first road win over a winning team since 2001, kept the Ravens (6-3) within two games of the AFC North-leading Pittsburgh Steelers and stamped them as a team to watch in the second half of the season.
More importantly to the Ravens' offensive identity, the comeback at the Meadowlands - the Ravens trailed 14-0 with less than a minute left in the second quarter - transformed Boller from a beleaguered quarterback into a game-winning one for the first time in his 18-game career.
"You grow up watching John Elway and the other guys do it," said Boller, who had failed in three previous games to lead the decisive scoring drive. "It was an opportunity to do your thing. That's my job. That's why I am the quarterback on this team."
Trailing 14-10 midway through the fourth quarter, Boller shook off countless hits from the Jets' pass rush and began wreaking some damage himself.
The former first-round pick connected with rookie receiver Clarence Moore for their second touchdown of the game to give the Ravens their first lead with 4:13 left in the fourth quarter.
After the Ravens' defense surprisingly allowed New York to tie the game at 17 in the closing seconds of regulation, Boller continued his previously unforeseen clutch play in overtime. He converted a third-and-five at the Ravens' 49 with a 21-yard pass down the seam to Kevin Johnson, and then moved the Ravens into favorable field-goal position with a perfectly timed 10-yard throw to Travis Taylor on a hitch route.
Boller was 6-for-8 for 81 yards on his final three drives after going 13-for-25 for 132 yards on his first nine.
"No. 7 [Boller] has definitely grown up," Taylor said. "And we're going to lean on him."
Historically, the Ravens lean on defense and special teams, but both phases had uncharacteristically off days.
Punt returner B.J. Sams' fumble (his second of the first quarter) at the Ravens' 12-yard line all but handed New York a 7-0 lead.
The Ravens' defense then surrendered an 82-yard drive in the second quarter that was helped by an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on Ray Lewis and capped by Curtis Martin's 9-yard touchdown run.
That 14-0 margin could have ballooned further if not for a questionable play call by the Jets. At the Ravens' 17, New York decided to run a halfback Option, and LaMont Jordan's pass - which he intended to throw out of the end zone when no one was open - fell into the hands of Ed Reed.
The fifth interception for the Ravens' strong safety set up Boller's first touchdown pass to the leaping Moore, a 6-yard throw that cut the deficit to 14-7 with 40 seconds left before halftime.
"We had the momentum in the first half," coach Herman Edwards said of his 6-3 Jets, "and we let it get away."
The Ravens regained the momentum at a time when they were losing starters by the series.
They had to play the entire second half without Pro Bowl cornerback Chris McAlister (shoulder stinger), left guard Edwin Mulitalo (broken toe) and punter Dave Zastudil (separated shoulder).
Ravens 20, Jets 17, OT