Match-Up: NY Jets (2-1) @ Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
October 2nd, Sunday Night Primetime
The Ravens met the Jets in New York last season, a game that kicked off Monday Night Football. It was an ugly contest where defense ruled the night. The Ravens offense had three turnovers, but the Ravens defense bailed out the team with key red-zone stops. The Ravens held on to a 10 -9 victory in a tough fought battle.
Now the Jets are playing in Baltimore and look to return the favor. With Rex Ryan, Jets head coach and former Ravens defensive coordinator, comes an emotional game for both teams. Each team’s defense is aggressive and blitz often. It just might be another defensive battle.
Ravens Corners vs. Jets’s Receivers: Receivers Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes brings a true challenge for the Ravens secondary. The Jets will try to attack the young corners in Lardarius Webb and Cary Williams. The Ravens are familiar with the dynamic Santonio Holmes in his days with the Steelers. The key will be to limit yards after the catch.
Ravens LB’s vs. TE Dustin Keller. QB Mark Sanchez has connected with tightend Keller 16 times for 249 yards, 2 TD’s. The Ravens will rely on their linebackers at times to cover TE Keller. Don’t be surprised if the Ravens put a safety or corner on Keller.
NT Terrence Cody vs. C Nick Mangold: The Jets center was inactive last week with an ankle injury, but his replacement filled in well. He could be back in the line up this Sunday. Cody has been a pleasant surprise clogging up the middle while Haloti Ngata and co. wreak havoc.
Ravens front 7 vs. Jets RB’s. Though the Jets have been heavy with the air attack, they still want to get more out of the ground game with Shonn Greene. While opposing defenses have focused in on containing Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress it has opened things up in the passing game for the elusive veteran LaDainian Tomlinson (dump-offs and screens have been an effective weapon).
RB Ray Rice vs. Jet’s front 7: We probably won’t see the pass happy approach like we did against the Rams. The Jets send blitzes and have outstanding corners in one-on-one coverage. The Ravens will try to establish the running game against a Jets team who struggled to contain the run last week. Rice will need to be the catalyst to set up the play-action-pass. The Jets rank 31st against the run and last Sunday against the Raiders they allowed a total of 234 yards rushing.
WR’s Lee Evans/Torrey Smith vs. CB Darrell Revis: The Ravens speedy receivers have their hands full with the Jets lockdown corner. Opposite Revis is Antonio Cromartie, a streaky corner. He can look great at times and can have his bad moments too. Cromartie suffered a bruised rib and lung last week and his status is uncertain. Second year player Kyle Wilson could be inserted if Cromartie is unable to go. Don’t be surprised if Darrell Revis covers Anquan Boldin from time to time. Last year against the Jets Boldin had 7 receptions for 110 yards.
WHO MAKES THE HIGHLIGHT FILM:
Matt Jergensen: Terrell Suggs
“Sizzle” has come out strong this season and is among tops in the league in sacks. With the Jets O-line having issues Suggs is ready for another huge game on the national stage.”
(Last week’s pick: Ed Dickson)
Jonathan Scruggs: Haloti Ngata
With the injuries to the Ravens’ secondary mounting, the defensive line is going to absolutely have to mangle the Jets and get to Mark Sanchez. With center Nick Mangold questionable for the game, I’m counting on Haloti Ngata to get after it all game long and negate the powerful Jets passing attack.
(Last week’s pick: Joe Flacco)
Gene Winner: Haloti Ngata
These games are won in the trenches, you can bet Ngata will be a force on Sunday.
(Last week’s pick: Ray Lewis)