Todd Heap almost saw a touchdown get taken away from him - again.
Six days after an official's ruling robbed the Ravens tight end of a potential game-tying touchdown in Monday night's season-opening loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Heap nearly endured a similar fate yesterday.
But Heap got his first touchdown of the season, helping the Ravens to a 20-13 victory over the New York Jets at M&T; Bank Stadium.
"They tried to take that one away from me," Heap said with a laugh. "It was close."
Heap, who is second on the team to wide receiver Derrick Mason in total receptions (11 to Mason's 15) and receiving yards (105 to 130) might have thought his streak of seven consecutive games without a touchdown would never end, after what unfolded in the second quarter.
Working their two-minute offense in the waning moments of the second quarter, the Ravens got to third down-and-goal from the Jets' 4-yard line with 10 seconds left.
Lining up to the far left of quarterback Kyle Boller, Heap spun away from the safety covering him and was open in the back left corner of the end zone. Boller's pass drew Heap toward the sideline, and the nearby official initially ruled that Heap did not get both feet in before tumbling out of bounds.
But replays showed that Heap dragged both feet across the turf before falling out of bounds, and an official review overturned the initial ruling, giving the Ravens a 17-3 lead before halftime.
"I tried to get my feet in as best I could," Heap said. "I didn't know. I couldn't see, [but] I thought I was in. But as soon as I saw the replay up on the screen, that was when it was pretty definite. I'm glad we were able to get that one overturned."
So was coach Brian Billick, who leaped twice in exuberance after the favorable ruling.
"It was nice," he said before adding a pinch of sarcasm to his post-game comments. "I love replay. It's my favorite thing. Can I have my money back now?"
Boller, who has thrown 12 of his 38 career touchdown passes to Heap, was happy to re-establish his connection with the two-time Pro Bowl tight end.
"That catch today was unbelievable," Boller said. "He just makes plays, and if I get the ball anywhere near him, he's going to come down with it."
Willis McGahee might not have produced the same kind of numbers that his predecessor, Jamal Lewis, did for the Cleveland Browns yesterday (215 yards on 28 carries in a win over Cincinnati), but the Ravens' new featured back was certainly more visible than he had been during the preseason and against the Bengals last Monday.
McGahee rushed 26 times for 97 yards. The most interesting stat was that McGahee made his first career touchdown catch. It came on a 2-yard swing pass from Kyle Boller and helped give the Ravens a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
"I was like, 'Whatever you do, Willis, do not drop the ball, you will not get another chance like this,'" McGahee said later.
"I was like, I've got to make the best of this," he said. "I'm starting to touch the ball a whole lot more in the passing game. That shows I have a lot of versatility out there. I can do whatever they want me to do when my number's called."
Ivy's busy week
Corey Ivy had one of his team's four sacks on Jets quarterback Kellen Clemens, but the veteran cornerback should have had two. In the first quarter, Ivy ran into Clemens, but pulled away because he thought Clemens had already thrown the ball. "That's one of those that's where I guess I've got to finish, I don't want to drive him into the ground and get a penalty on the quarterback," Ivy said of a play that resulted in an incompletion. "I've just got to go until I hear the whistle and the referee. That was totally my fault. I'll learn from my mistake."
Ivy later sacked Clemens for a 7-yard loss.
Ivy had a momentous week long before yesterday's game. He and his wife, Emilia, celebrated the birth of their first child, daughter Blaise, on Friday morning.
"I'm going to go home and love on them," he said.
Ravens defensive end Trevor Pryce was the team's most serious injury concern after fracturing his left wrist in the third quarter of yesterday's game. It is unclear whether Pryce, who did not return, will miss next week's home contest against the Arizona Cardinals. Wide receiver Demetrius Williams suffered a bruised arm, but he said afterward that the arm was fine and that he intended to practice this week. Tight end Quinn Sypniewski had a sore neck.
Rookie kick returner Yamon Figurs didn't take long to show his potential. On his first career kick return, Figurs broke off a 61-yard run and thought for awhile he was going for a touchdown.
"Just learning right now," said Figurs, who later had a 16-yard punt return. "Building my confidence.
Fassel on the air
Former offensive coordinator Jim Fassel returned to M&T; Bank Stadium yesterday for the first time since being fired six games into last season. Fassel was there as part of his new duties as a color analyst on the national radio broadcast.
"It's kind of a double-edged sword: there's no question I miss coaching, the strategy on game day, the interaction with players, the competitiveness of it, I really do miss it," said Fassel, who is currently living in Scottsdale, Ariz. "I don't miss what takes your life away from you for six, seven months a year when I don't have a life, and I'm enjoying it."
Fassel said he asked not to do any Ravens games because his son, John, is a Ravens special teams assistant and the former Giants coach didn't think he would be able to get any inside information from teams playing Baltimore.
The Ravens deactivated running backs Mike Anderson and Cory Ross, offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden (hyperextended toe), tight end Daniel Wilcox (sprained ankle), cornerback David Pittman, linebacker Edgar Jones and kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd. Rookie Troy Smith was designated as the third (emergency) quarterback. ... A moment of silence was observed for the late Ben Eaton, who coached Dunbar's football program for nine seasons. ... Matt Stover's streak of 11 consecutive field goals in the regular season (going back to last season) ended when he pushed a 46-yard attempt wide right late in the second quarter.