Ian Schultz makes his pick:
The 11-2 Baltimore Ravens return home this Thursday night to take on the 5-8 New York Jets on Thursday night football. Baltimore will be looking to lock up their second consecutive AFC North championship with a win over the lowly Jets. The Ravens also sit two wins away from clinching home field advantage for the first time in franchise history.
Lamar Jackson missed some practice time this week with an injured quad he endured on a 61 yard touchdown pass to Hayden Hurst last week against the Bills. Jackson was limited in practice all week but has declared that he is going to play Thursday night. It remains to be seen how effective Jackson will be on Thursday night against the NFL’s second best rushing defense.
The Ravens will be without Ronnie Stanley who is still trying to pass through the league’s concussion protocol. James Hurst projects to start at left tackle looking to open up holes for Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards and to protect the Ravens MVP candidate QB. The Ravens will also have a banged Mark Andrews Thursday night as well.
It won’t matter. The Ravens will be effective moving the ball against a depleted Jets defense missing C.J. Mosley and Jamal Adams. On the defensive side of the ball, the Jets have allowed 47 sacks this season and the pass rush has been coming on strong. The Jets running game has been ineffective all season so the Ravens should be able to shut them down on that front and turn their defense loose.
The Ravens win this game 30-16 as Jackson leads the way with his arm tossing three touchdowns.