Jets vs. Ravens: 12 Pack Of Predictions

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A 12 pack of predictions for Monday night’s game from TOJ, along with other week one NFL predictions

1. Ray Rice is going to rack up a good amount of yards against the Jets defense. Their linebackers will struggle to stop him in space. However, I think we will see plenty of the Jets defense bending to allow yards but not breaking to allow touchdowns.

2. Anquan Boldin isn’t going to do much of anything against Darrelle Revis. I am more worried about Todd Heap and Derrick Mason in the middle of the field.

3. The Jets are going to take a shot down the field to Braylon Edwards very early in the game. It will soften up the defense and show they aren’t afraid to attack the Ravens weak cornerbacks.

4. LaDainian Tomlinson is going to play more reps than Shonn Greene, yet Greene will finish with more carries and more total touches.

5. Mark Sanchez is going to have at least one turnover but so is Joe Flacco, whichever quarterback does a better overall job of protecting the football is going to go a long way to deciding who wins this game.

6. Jamaal Westerman is going to make a strong case to take a good share of reps from Jason Taylor at outside linebacker

7.  Jerricho Cotchery is going to pull in at least 5 receptions and a few key third down conversions.

8. Kyle Wilson is going to impress both as a nickel back and a punt returner in his NFL debut.

9. Inactives – Kellen Clemens, Joe McKnight, Patrick Brown, Matthew Mulligan, Marcus Dixon, Drew Coleman, Calvin Pace, Brodney Pool

10. Eric Smith is going to make a strong case for more playing time with a solid performance filling in for Brodney Pool.

11. This game will be decided in the final four minutes. It is going to come down to which offense can break through with a timely big play or two, along with what defense can create a turnover that leads directly to points for their offense.

12. Ultimately, the Ravens will move the ball but the will Jets keep holding them to field goals and escape with a victory on a late (gulp) Nick Folk field goal, 17-16.

Other NFL Picks

  • Giants (-6) vs. Carolina
  • Miami (-4.5) vs. Buffalo
  • Atlanta (-2) vs. Pittsburgh
  • Detroit (+6.5) vs. Chicago
  • Cincinnati (+5.5) vs. New England
  • Cleveland (+3) vs. Tampa Bay
  • Jacksonville (-3) vs. Denver
  • Colts  (-3) vs. Houston
  • Oakland (+6.5) vs. Tennessee
  • Green Bay (-4) vs. Philadelphia
  • San Francisco (-4) vs. Seattle
  • Arizona (-3.5) vs. St. Louis
  • Dallas (-3.5) vs. Washington
  • San Diego (-5.5) vs. Kansas City

Jets vs. Ravens: Game Breakdown

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Offense: We all know the Jets want to run the football, yet if they want to move the ball against the Baltimore Ravens it is going to make sense to throw more than usual. The Ravens are beat up in the secondary in a big way. They won’t have Ed Reed taking people’s heads off and intercepting everything in sight and will be without Dominique Foxworth and Ladarius Webb at cornerback. The bottom line is they will have a very average collection of players in their secondary and the Jets must take advantage. I’m not saying to completely ignore the ground and pound, yet the best formation for the Jets offense this week might be Jerricho Cotchery, Braylon Edwards, Brad Smith and Dustin Keller split out with LaDainian Tomlinson in the single back or motioning out to the slot.

There isn’t a corner on Baltimore who could physically match up with Edwards, who is coming off a great off-season and will have the chance to show these first four weeks he is capable of being the Jets number one receiver. Cotchery should be able to be very effective in the slot and Keller will be a tough match-up for the Baltimore safeties, although Dawan Landry is a talented player who is athletic enough to battle with Keller.

PhotobucketObviously, left guard remains an area of concern. The Ravens will be attacking Matt Slauson and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Jets left the running back in to pass protect more frequently than usual. I am interested to see the division of reps between the halfbacks and fullbacks in week one. This will be Shonn Greene’s first career start, yet I wonder if he will get the chance to get around 20 carries. Tomlinson could get more reps than usual because of a more pass centric than usual game-plan and his pass protection abilities. I am sure we will see John Conner in short yardage packages but there should be plenty of Tony Richardson out there, again because of his experience in pass protection.

Defense: Ray Rice. Ray Rice. Ray Rice. Regardless of all their additions at the wide receiver position, Rice is the most dangerous player on the Ravens offense. He can kill you as a pass catcher out of the backfield and obviously has the ability to rip off huge runs at any moment. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a ton of Kyle Wilson shadowing him, if he motions out to the slot and when he is in the backfield, it will be on the linebackers and safety to contain him. Eric Smith will get the nod at safety in place of an injured Brodney Pool and will have his hands full right out of the gate. The Jets don’t have the fastest collection of linebackers, which could prove to be a problem when attempting to slow down Rice.

In the secondary, we should be seeing Revis Island matched up Anquan Boldin primarily, which leaves Antonio Cromartie to deal with Derrick Mason and Kyle Wilson to focus on Rice out of the backfield and TJ Houshmandzadeh. Todd Heap is also one of the better pass catching tight ends in the league. It will be interesting to see who the Jets match up on him. I would imagine the responsibility would fall mostly to Eric Smith, Jim Leonhard, and maybe Dwight Lowery. All in all, this will be a good test for the Jets secondary because the Ravens have a very legit five pass catching options in Boldin, Rice, Housh, Heap, and Rice.

As we saw in the playoffs last year, Joe Flacco can be pressured into making poor decisions. He does have a big arm and put together a pretty productive season in 2009, yet the Jets defense should be able to force him into a couple of turnovers. Jason Taylor has been invisible in the pre-seaosn but he will have the chance to show he can still get after the quarterback while filling in for Calvin Pace. Also don’t be surprised to see some Jamaal Westerman on certain pass rushing downs.

Special Teams: You can bet both team’s fanbases and coaching staffs will be cringing each time their kickers line up. Nick Folk and Billy Cundiff both still have to win over everybody’s confidence. Brad Smith will be the primary kick returner for the Jets, while punt return could be a combination of Jim Leonhard, Jerricho Cotchery, and Kyle Wilson. Chris Carr is a fairly explosive return man for the Ravens, but I don’t expect the Jets to do anything out of the ordinary to avoid kicking him the ball.

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