By Daniel Benjamin
In a strange scheduling quirk, the Baltimore Ravens will be playing in Metlife Stadium for a second consecutive week. This time the Ravens will be playing the facility’s other inhabitants: the New York Jets. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 23, and the game will be televised on CBS.
Baltimore (3-3) got off to a strong start against the New York Giants at Metlife Stadium on Sunday, taking an early 10-0 lead. However, the Ravens defense imploded in the second half as they fell to the Giants 27-23. The G-Men put up nearly 300 yards in total offensive yards and 20 points in the final 24 minutes of the game. The loss dropped the Ravens’ record to 1-1 overall at Metlife Stadium, which opened in 2010, and 4-3 overall in games played in New Jersey.
Baltimore has dominated its series against the Jets, holding a 8-1 overall record—which includes eight straight wins. The Ravens are 3-1 in road games against the Jets.
Jets Season Record: 1-5
New York is coming off a short week and will be traveling across country following their 28-3 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night. The Jets have now lost four straight, and have been outscored by 69 points—the highest total in the AFC. They have only played two games at home this season, posting an 0-2 record. The Jets are also 1-3 against AFC opponents, and 0-2 against teams from the AFC North.
“The reality is that we’re not a good team right now,” Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall said. “That’s the reality. You got to deal with reality.”
Jets on Offense
The Jets have been terrible on the offensive side of the football over the last four games. Granted, they have faced four of the top-12 defenses in all of football—but averaging 9.0 points and scoring two offensive touchdowns in that stretch is awful, to say the least. The biggest problem is quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick has been horrific this season, ranking last in three passing categories, including QB rating (63.4 ), interceptions (11) and completion percentage (57.0).
The Jets rank last in scoring (15.8), 21st in passing (239.0) and 21st in rushing (92.5). They have turned the ball over 15 times, the second most in the league.
Jets on Defense
As bad as the Jets offense has been, it is conceivable that their defense has been worse. New York has been giving up big plays at an alarming rate through the air, ranking second to last in average yards per pass (8.8), and are 28th in passing yards per game (290). In addition, they rank 25th in scoring defense, surrendering 27.2 points a contest.
The Jets had the top ranked rushing defense in the NFL before giving up 171 yards to Cardinals as running back David Johnson racked up 111 yards along with three touchdowns. New York is now allowing over 85 yards a game, which is the sixth fewest in the league. They do have several playmakers on defense, as evidenced by 24 tackles for loss and 12 sacks.
Players To Watch: WR Brandon Marshall and DE Leonard Williams
With the Ravens defense ailing, Brandon Marshall could have a huge day for the Jets. The 32-year-old got off to slow start this season, but has picked up the pace recently. Marshall has 15 receptions for 273 yards and two touchdowns over the past three games while being targeted 33 times. He is second on the team in catches with 27 and averages a team-high 16.0 yards per reception.
The Jets were expected to have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL this year with Muhammad Wilkerson, Steve McLendon and Leonard Williams. Williams is the only one of the three living up to expectations, producing 24 tackles along with 5.0 sacks and two forced fumbles. He has recorded at least half-a-sack in four of the the Jets six games.
Baltimore’s offensive line has given up 13 sacks, and has allowed quarterback Joe Flacco to get hit 42 times this season. Offensive penalties have also been a problem for the Ravens this season, as they were flagged seven times for 50 yards against the Giants. The Ravens were missing two starting offensive linemen (Pro Bowl G Marshal Yanda and LT Ronnie Stanley) due to injuries while a third G/T Rick Wagner didn’t start the game, though he did make an appearance.
Baltimore has a very good shot at getting back on track against New York. The Jets offense will likely struggle against one of the best defenses in the league, which has shown a nose for the ball as they have created 11 turnovers this season. There have also been rumors that New York is considering changing quarterbacks. It will be interesting to see Marty Mornhinweg’s game plan for the Ravens, as a lot will likely depend on the health of the offensive line.