Can the Ravens take advantage of the Jets' pass defense?
Weather could play a role, like it did during the Ravens' loss to the Bears in Chicago last week. Winds are expected to be around 25 miles per hour in Baltimore today and the temperature is expected to be around just 35 degrees, according to a forecast from Weather.com Friday morning. But this is a matchup that the Ravens should be able to take advantage of if they are the caliber of passing offense that they still believe they are. The Jets are the NFL's best defense against the run, but they have had big-time problems stopping the pass in recent weeks and continue to give up big plays in the passing game. New York gave up two passing plays of 40 yards or more during last week's loss to the Bills. For the year, it has given up 10. Only three teams have given up more. Buffalo quarterback E.J. Manuel was 20 of 28 for 245 yards and two touchdowns without an interception vs. the Jets last week. Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw for 382 yards and two touchdowns in Week 9. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton had 325 yards and five touchdown passes the week before.
Will the Ravens be able to do anything on the ground?
It will be tough. The Ravens had finally had a productive day in the running game last week against the Bears, but the Jets' have a different caliber of front seven than Chicago does. The Bears were ranked 31st in run defense heading into that game last week. New York is first in the NFL vs. the run. Chicago was allowing almost five yards per carry in its previous six games. The Jets are allowing just 2.9 yards per carry for the year, the fewest in the league by a wide margin. The Patriots had some success in the running game against New York last month, averaging 4.5 yards per game during that game, but they are the only team this year to have even a remotely productive day running the ball against New York. Bills running back Fred Jackson had 72 yards on seven carries in Week 3, but 59 came on one run, and Buffalo's other running back, the dangerous C.J. Spiller, was held to nine yards on 10 carries during that game. Jackson's 72 yards are the most any running back has gained vs. New York, and he was held to 34 yards when Buffalo played the Jets again last week.
Will the Ravens' defense have success against a struggling Jets offense?
The Jets' offense is bad. They have two capable running backs who have both had success at different points this year, but rookie quarterback Geno Smith has struggled, and New York doesn't have much in terms of weapons at wide receiver or tight end. So even though the Jets are ranked eighth in the NFL in rushing offense, they are ranked just 20th in total offense and second-worst in the league in scoring offense. With Smith struggling like he has, New York has been held to 14 points or less in three of its last five games. Smith was actually pulled during the Jets' loss to the Bills last week after starting just 8 of 23 for 103 yards with no touchdowns, three interceptions and two fumbles, including one he lost. The Ravens' defense has had problems of its own, but this New York just isn't very good, especially if a defense can take away the Jets' running game. Also, to Baltimore's credit, it is allowing just 18.1 points per game since Week 1.