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Mark Zinno: Ravens Reactive – Week 12 Prediction

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(Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

(Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

KEY MATCHUP: The Ravens offensive line against the Jets “Sons of Rex” … Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison and Sheldon Richardson. Those three can bring the heat and the pain like no other front three in the game. The Ravens offensive line is porous and soft. If the Jets only have to rush three or four and can get consistent pressure, Joe Flacco will have an awful day.

THE RAVENS WIN IF: The force at least two turnovers from Geno Smith. The rookie quarterback has a league-high 20 turnovers, including seven fumbles. The Jets offense isn’t good enough to overcome a large deficit. Smith can put the Jets there by giving the ball away like he did last week. The Ravens haven’t been taking the ball away much, but this is a great opportunity for them.

THE RAVENS LOSE IF: They can’t convert third downs. The Jets can run the ball and the Ravens can’t. If the Jets have the ball, they can eat clock. The Ravens have to counteract that with staying on the field for longer drives. Also with the weather, throwing the football won’t be easy. They have got to keep their defense fresh for the fourth quarter.

FANTASY TIP: Torrey Smith is a solid start. The Jets corners are suspect. He’s Joe Flacco’s only reliable target and he should be open all afternoon. It really is a question if Flacco will have enough time to get him the ball. If he does, the Ravens will take shots deep with Smith.

WHAT’S AT STAKE: The Ravens season. The Jets have a little more flexibility being one-game better, but the Ravens are fighting for their playoff lives. This game starts a stretch of three straight at home. The Ravens must will all three to have a real chance to go back to the post-season.

Follow Zinno on Twitter @MarkZinno

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