If the New York Jets were playing the Baltimore Ravens one year ago this game would be a completely different story. The Ravens were in the midst of a story book season that ended with a Super Bowl.
Instead, this season’s Ravens have looked sluggish and anything but spectacular. They’ve been hit by the Super Bowl hangover.
The Jets will try to take advantage of this when they head to M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday.
Baltimore’s offense has been struggling lately. Running back Ray Rice has a total of 420 yards on the ground and the team is ranked 27th in rushing, while New York’s defense is number one in stopping the run.
The Jets’ defensive backs will have to do a good job of locking down the Ravens’ quick receivers. New York’s secondary will have the services of safety Ed Reed as he returns to his old home. It’s sure to be an emotional game for the veteran and you can bet he wants to play well in front of the Baltimore fans. The Jets, who rank dead last in takeaways, could use a couple of big plays from the ball hawk.
In fact, the Jets don’t only have the least amount of takeaways, they have the worst turnover ratio in the entire NFL at minus-14. That number was given a boost last week with Geno Smith’s four turnovers.
New York is still fighting for a playoff spot, but it’s at the point where they have to decide if Smith is the guy who gives them the best chance to win right now. Rex Ryan made the mistake earlier this week of saying Matt Simms will take some of the first team reps in practice. If they were to start Simms it wouldn’t be saying Smith isn’t their future quarterback, it would be sending the message that the rookie needs to continue to develop.
Smith has looked great at times, but in certain situations he has looked completely lost. If Ryan and the Jets feel the best way for him to continue learning is by throwing him into the fire then by all means stick with him as the starter. Just make up your mind.
Final Score: New York 17 Baltimore 13
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Written by Matt Brody