Sports

Preview, predictions, what to watch for

An inside have a look at Sunday’s Jets-Ravens Week 1 matchup at MetLife Stadium.

Marquee matchup

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson vs. Jets entrance seven

Jackson didn’t get the long-term contract he was in search of, so now he’ll start his push to make the Ravens change their minds within the offseason. Jackson presents many challenges together with his type of play. He is the one participant in NFL historical past with a number of career video games with not less than three landing passes and 100 yards dashing.

The power of the Jets is their line of defense, led by Quinnen Williams and Carl Lawson. They struggled in opposition to the run in 2021, ending twenty ninth within the NFL in dashing yards allowed and thirty second in dashing touchdowns allowed. The Jets really feel these stats had been misleading thanks to a couple of unhealthy days with large performs. We’ll discover out shortly if they’re higher this season.

“It’s a tremendous challenge,” defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich mentioned. “It’s just one of the most unique offenses and obviously, Lamar’s one of the most unique players in this league, so it is an absolute headache, but I really believe our guys are up for it and I’m excited about the challenge, although it is a tremendous one.”

Lamar Jackson and Carl Lawson
Getty Images; Bill Kostroun

Costello’s name

Week 1 is hard. You by no means know what to count on. The Ravens are the higher crew, however they’ve some damage points, and Lamar Jackson spent the preseason making an attempt to negotiate a brand new contract. The Jets are going to be flying round on an emotional day at MetLife Stadium. The Jets win a shocker each year. This time, it is available in Week 1.

Jets 27, Ravens 24

Four downs

Rookie debut: The Jets and basic supervisor Joe Douglas acquired rave opinions in April for their draft, and we’ve now talked about it for practically 4 ¹/₂ months. The group will lastly be on the sector, with Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall and Max Mitchell all anticipated to have large roles, and Jermaine Johnson, Micheal Clemons and Jeremy Ruckert additionally anticipated to contribute.

“You’re going to have your hair-pulling moments,” head coach Robert Saleh mentioned. “If I had hair, I’d pull them out, but you’re also going to have some ‘wow’ moments because they are explosive. They’re full of energy and they’ve got a lot of talent, but at the same time, the mental aspect, I’ve always said before, you play young guys with the hopes that they become veterans mentally while they still possess all their athleticism that they showed when they ran at the combine and their pro days.”

Tackle hassle: The Jets are fairly wholesome getting into this recreation, with some obtrusive exceptions. One is quarterback Zach Wilson, after all, however they now have one other large one to cope with after left deal with Duane Brown injured his shoulder in apply on Monday. Brown was signed in August when Mekhi Becton was lost for the season to a knee damage.

With Brown out, the Jets will transfer George Fant again to left deal with and begin rookie Max Mitchell at proper deal with. It is a scary proposition. They are excessive on Mitchell as a prospect, however there was by no means an expectation the fourth-round choose from Louisiana would have to play this early. Calais Campbell and the Ravens line of defense may have a giant day.

Tight squeeze: Though Lamar Jackson is the headliner on the Ravens’ offense, tight finish Mark Andrews is correct behind him. Andrews is Jackson’s favourite goal, and the Jets, between safeties Jordan Whitehead, Lamarcus Joyner, nickel cornerback Michael Carter II and their linebackers, are going to have to discover a means to sluggish him down. Andrews led the NFL in receiving yards (1,361) and receptions (107) amongst tight ends final year and was tied for the lead in receiving touchdowns (9) by a decent finish.

September blues: The month of September has not been sort to the Jets just lately. They have lost their previous 12 video games within the month, relationship to 2018. The final recreation they gained in September was the primary recreation of 2018, when Sam Darnold made his debut in Detroit. It has felt just like the Jets’ seasons have ended earlier than they even began, with 0-3 begins each year since. In order for the Jets to notice their objective of enjoying significant video games in December, they want to win some in September, or we’ll be speaking about draft position once more by Oct. 1.

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