- Date: September 11th
- Time: 1:00 P.M.
- Where: MetLife Stadium
- Weather: 77 degrees, Wind 5 MPH, Sunny
- Odds: Jets +6.5 (FanDuel), O/U, 44.5 (FanDuel)
The start of the 2022 NFL season is upon us, and the New York Jets are at home to take on the Baltimore Ravens. Regarding season expectations, the Jets and the Ravens are on two ends of the spectrum. The Ravens are among the teams most experts believe can make the Super Bowl. New York is a young team trying to state its case as an up-and-coming playoff contender.
Ravens 2021 review
The 2021 Ravens were ravaged by injuries beginning way back in the preseason when they lost starting running backs Gus Edwards and Justice Hill on back-to-back days the week before the season began. These early injuries foreshadowed what was coming as Baltimore ranked first in adjusted games lost with 191.2, according to Football Outsiders. Despite all the injuries, the Ravens were still playing well, sitting at 8-3 and the number one seed in the AFC on December 1st.
Then in week 14, quarterback Lamar Jackson got hurt. The Ravens lost that game. Jackson would miss the rest of the season, and the Ravens would lose all their remaining games.
With all the injuries, the Ravens changed who they were last season. Known as a run-first team with Jackson at quarterback, ranking first in run rate in 2019 and second in 2020, they became the seventh most pass-heavy team last season. The Jets will have to figure out who the Ravens are in 2022 this Sunday.
Jets on offense
The Jets had a rough week in terms of injury news. Newly signed left tackle Duane Brown has missed practice all week dealing with a shoulder injury and seems likely trending towards not playing in the season’s first game. New York is already thin at tackle in terms of depth and may be forced to start rookie, fourth-round pick Max Mitchell at right tackle and slide starting right tackle George Fant to the left side.
The Second bit of troubling injury news the Jets learned this week was that quarterback Zach Wilson would likely miss the first three weeks of the year. While it was expected that Wilson would miss week one, head coach Robert Saleh hinted that the second-year signal caller had a chance to play week one, only to announce on Wednesday that Wilson would not play until week four at the earliest. Another silly and avoidable PR gaffe by Saleh and the Jets. Sometimes saying nothing can go a long way.
So, veteran Joe Flacco is set the lead the Jets’ young and potentially explosive offense for the first three weeks. During the offseason, the Ravens did not significantly upgrade the pass rush. Under defensive coordinator Wink Martindale last season, the Ravens blitzed 209 times, fourth-most. Despite this high blitz percentage, Baltimore was 21st in total pressures.
In Flacco’s lone start last season against the Miami Dolphins, he completed 24 0f 39 passes for 291 yards. Nine of Flacco’s 39 passing attempts went to wide receiver Elijah Moore. Moore enjoyed his best game of the season, hauling eight passes for 141 yards and one score.
The Jets want to be a run-first team, but running may be challenging against their guests from Charm City. Last season The Ravens allowed just 3.8 yards per rushing attempt, second best in the NFL. While some of that can be attributed to a defense that allowed a league-worst 4,742 passing yards, the Ravens were graded as the eighth overall rush defense, according to Pro Football Focus (PFF). Baltimore rebuilt their secondary by adding cornerback Kyle Fuller, safety Marcus Williams and drafting safety Kyle Hamilton. PFF recently ranked them as the best secondary in the NFL.
One of the main focuses for the Jets’ offseason was upgrading the tight end room. The Ravens allowed the third most receiving yards to tight ends last season. They added three players, two free agents, C.J. Uzomah, Tyler Conklin, and rookie Jeremy Ruckert. Look for the Jets and Flacco to often go to his tight ends in week one.
When the Ravens have the ball
In 2021 the Jets’ defense allowed opponents to score on 52.5% of drives, the worst in the league. They also allowed a touchdown on 32.2% of the opponent’s possessions, also a league-worst. So like the Ravens, the Jets rebuilt their secondary, adding D.J. Reed (9th overall graded cornerback per PFF), safety Jordan Whitehead, and drafted Sauce Gardner with the first overall pick in the 2022 draft. The Jets also added to their pass rush by drafting Jarmaine Johnson and Micheal Clemmons. The major difference maker the Jets hope will improve their defense in the return of Carl Lawson. Lawson, the Jets’ big free agent move last season, missed all of 2021 with a torn Achilles.
The Jets and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich need to be concerned with two things: stopping the run and trying to contain tight end Mark Andrews. Andrews led all tight ends with 107 catches for 1,361 yards. The Jets allowed the fourth most receiving yards to the tight ends last season. It will be interesting to see how the Jets attack Andrews. Some combination of Gardner, Whitehead, and linebacker Kwon Alexander being physical on Andrews could slow him down.
Look for the Ravens to return to their roots and try to run the ball more often. While starter J.K. Dobbins (knee) is questionable to play, they added Mike Davis and Kenyan Drake during the offseason. Oh yeah, and the Jackson guy can run too.
- The Jets are 5-12 against the spread (ATS) in their last 17 games.
- The Jets are 1-5 ATS in their last six games in Week 1.
- The Jets are 6-20-1 ATS in their last 27 games in September.
- The Ravens are 5-1 ATS in their last six games in Week 1.
- Under is 5-0 in the Ravens’ last five games as a favorite.
- Under is 4-0 in the Jets’ last four games in September.
Ravens 30, Jets 10