TOJ Roundtable Week 4: Jets/Ravens Key Match-Up

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Joe Caporoso: I am putting this on the shoulders of our quarterback Mark Sanchez taking on a star studded Baltimore Ravens defense. Despite the big names of Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed, and Haloti Ngata the Ravens have been susceptible to the pass. Sanchez and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer need to find ways to attack Lardarius Webb, Chris Carr, and Cary Williams with Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, and Derrick Mason consistently. The pass protection has been questionable and we all know the Ravens will be coming, but the Jets need to roll out their best blitz beaters and scheme to get the ball in their hands of three veteran wide receivers in space. Sanchez needs to protect the football, while still being aggressive down the field and standing in the face of a stacked Ravens front seven.

Rob Celletti: Going with the obvious one this week: The Jets’ front-seven, which was absolutely miserable last week, vs. Ray Rice. Like Darren McFadden, Rice is an elite running back who can hurt you inside or outside of the tackles. Even more importantly than the issues that have been addressed this week such as “containment” and “setting the edge”, I want to see the Jets get back to solid fundamentals: good positioning and tackling.  Holding Rice in check is the first step towards getting back on track this Sunday.

TJ Rosenthal: The biggest matchup for the Jets will be their ability to protect Mark Sanchez and create holes for the running backs against the Ravens front seven. We expect the Jets to come out with intensity especially after the loss to Oakland where many including Broadway Joe Namath came out and questioned whether the Jets are treated with kid gloves by the coach, and too confident in themselves as well.

The Jets screen and run game worked until they went away from it last week. Maybe the Raiders forced them out of it, but this week, the protection must hold up longer in order to get the ball to key playmakers Dustin Keller, Plaxico Burres and Santonio Holmes. The jury is out as to whether they will be able to.

Chris Celletti: The most important matchup will be the Jets’ cuurently-maligned run defense against Ray Rice and the Ravens’ offensive line. Including last year’s AFC Championship game loss to the Steelers, Rex Ryan’s defense has been torn apart in three of their last four games. Two of those times, including last week’s horror show against the Raiders, the run defense has been carved up. The Jets need to bottle up Rice and make Joe Flacco beat them. If they can’t do that and allow the Ravens to control the clock, it could be a long night.