Previewing Ravens at Jets: Can a Win Turn the Season Around?
Can The Baltimore Ravens Season Turnaround With A Win? When They Play The New York Jets, they need to get back on track.
The 2016 season hasn’t been very kind to the Baltimore Ravens, at least not lately. They’ve lost three straight games, two at home and all within one score. However all is not lost, as the Ravens still only sit one game back of the Steelers, who play the Patriots this week (without Ben Roethlisberger). The AFC North is up for grabs.
The Bengals look like a lost team at 2-4 and the Browns are a paltry 0-6. The Ravens have an opportunity to take control of the division, but first things first, they need to take care of business in New York.
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The Ravens head back into MetLife Stadium to face the Jets, who look like an absolute aberration compared to their 10-6 squad from a year ago. They’re coming off four straight losses. The Cardinals just beat them 28-3 on Monday Night Football.
Eric Decker, one of the truly underrated weapons in the league, was placed on IR and starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has been benched after throwing 11 interceptions in six games. Even the future Hall of Famer corner Darrelle Revis looks lost in coverage. Receivers are taking a vacation on Revis Island.
Receiver Brandon Marshall is the Jets only consistently dangerous weapon, and he is a bonafide game wrecker. As long as Jimmy Smith can stay healthy, the Ravens have a good chance of keeping Marshall from taking over the game, as Odell Beckham Jr. did in Smith’s absence last week.
Quarterback Joe Flacco looks as though he will be able to go this week against a much maligned Jets’ secondary. The Jets get beat by a deep ball almost every week. In the run game, Terrance West looks to keep his hot streak going and Kenneth Dixon looks to get more carries. Buck Allen is a dependable receiver out of the backfield and a decent runner. The activation of Lorenzo Taliaferro off the PUP list is an underrated move. He’s probably the Ravens’ best short yardage back.
The run game has to get going early and often against the Jets, especially with Joe Flacco banged up. Taking the load off of Flacco will create more room for him to throw when necessary, similar to what they did during Flacco’s early seasons with the team.
This won’t be easy against a stout New York Jets’ front, with Pro-Bowlers Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Steve McLendon and Leonard Williams. They had seven sacks against Andy Dalton in Week One, it’s a formidable defensive line. If the Ravens can get the run game going, this will go a long way to opening up room for Joe Flacco to throw.
Geno Smith is now the Jets’ starting quarterback and like fellow quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, he has a tendency to turn the ball over. He fumbled and threw an interception last week in limited time against Arizona. The Ravens secondary much improved and is third in the league with eight interceptions. Baltimore is first in the league in rushing yards per game allowed. If the Ravens can make the Jets a one-dimensional team, they have a great chance to win.
If the Ravens do win, they should be in favorable position for the next few weeks. The Steelers will most likely lose this week against the Patriots. The Bengals face the Browns and will be either second or third in the division.
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The Ravens and Steelers both have a bye week before facing off against each other in Baltimore in week nine. The bye week will be big for two reasons. The Ravens will get most of their starters back from injury. Secondly, they can make major adjustments before their biggest game. It’s important to remember the Steelers will be without Roethlisberger. The Ravens next play the Browns on Thursday Night in Baltimore. That is an extremely favorable match up against rookie quarterback Cody Kessler.
I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up. However there is no reason why the Ravens shouldn’t end up at 6-3 before going into Dallas in week 10. Everything is lining up well for the Ravens. They have a serious opportunity to take control of the division, but they have to beat the Jets first.