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What they're saying about the Ravens

Here's a look at what other media are saying about the Ravens.

• Toni Monkovic of the New York Times' NFL blog writes about Ray Lewis' response to the New York Jets' Super Bowl hype.

It wouldn't seem to be a good idea to get Ray Lewis mad. But he has always done a fine job of firing himself up before games even without bulletin board material. Still, the question is out there: Will the Jets' brash talk, and their high profile after "Hard Knocks," give opponents a little extra edge in motivation this season?

• Hank Gola of the New York Daily News picks the Ravens to beat the Jets Monday.

We generally don't like overhyped teams, and the Jets are definitely overhyped. If anything, the Ravens, the team Rex Ryan left, are still a better version of the Jets with a defense that's just as chaotic and a running game just as formidable. If it's a "Hard Knocks" brawl the Jets want, the Ravens welcome it. The difference is at quarterback. Mark Sanchez, coddled in last year's game plan, hasn't made the necessary strides. The Ravens will stack the box, send blitzers and dare him to make the plays he hasn't made in the preseason. Joe Flacco has matured into a veteran presence and, this year, he is surrounded by better downfield options, including Anquan Boldin, with Ray Rice a dangerous outlet the Jets can't ignore. ...

• Nancy Sluder of the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times thinks the Jets will beat the Ravens Monday.

his could be a fairly low-scoring contest based on the two quality defenses that will take the field. However, the addition of Anquan Boldin to the Ravens' offense may shake things up a little bit on the scoreboard. Even with another weapon for Baltimore QB Joe Flacco, I still like the Jets at home to win and cover.

• Bob Matthews of the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle picks the Ravens to beat the New York Jets on Monday night, 27-24.

The 2.5-point favored Jets lead the NFL in hype, but the Ravens can give them all they can handle on the field. The Jets are 17-23 on Monday Night Football and the Ravens are 5-8.

• D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Falcons writer, says that two Ravens games are among the best this season.

Baltimore at Atlanta, Nov. 11: This is Joe Flacco vs. Matt Ryan. They were the top two quarterbacks selected in the 2008 draft, with Ryan going to the Falcons at No. 3 and Flacco going to the Ravens at No. 18. Both helped their teams to the playoffs as rookies and are surrounded by strong weapons. Pittsburgh at Baltimore, Dec. 5: This one could be for the lead in the [AFC] North. The Steelers will have Ben Roethlisberger back. Baltimore safety Ed Reed will be back, too. The Ravens have lost four of their past five to the division-rival Steelers. The Ravens will try to unleash their running-back combo of Ray Rice, Willis McGahee and Le'Ron McClain.

• James Walker, author of the AFC North blog on ESPN.com, writes that the Ravens' options for punt returner are good ones.

The two leading candidates are defensive backs Chris Carr and Tom Zbikowski. Both are decent options.

Compiled by Mike Catalini

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