(0-0, 0-0 ATS)
New York Jets
(0-0, 0-0 ATS)
Head Coach Rex Ryan meets his old team and the defense that he once built into the best in the league, as the New York Jets play the Baltimore Ravens in the first Monday Night Football betting affair of the year.
QB Joe Flacco has a bunch of new toys to play with this year, as TE Ed Dickson, TE Dennis Pitta, WR TJ Houshmanzadeh, and WR Derrick Mason are all brand new in the purple and black. Of course, old faces like RB Ray Rice, RB Willis McGahee, TE Todd Heap, and WR Derrick Mason are all back. Parlay all of those names with an offensive line that may be amongst the best in football, and the makings are there for the Ravens to have a fantastic season on offense. The problems might surprisingly be on defense. The Baltimore secondary has been decimated by injuries, most notably that of DB Dominique Foxworth, who will miss the entire season. LB Sergio Kindle, the team’s first draft pick, will also be out this week. However, just like on the offense, the defense has familiar faces like LB Ray Lewis, SS Ed Reed, LB Terrell Suggs, and DT Haloti Ngata who can make a big difference in screwing up an opposing offense.
It is going to be key to see whether QB Mark Sanchez can get anything going against this defense. If not, it is going to be quite the long day for RBs Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson. There is going to be a lot of pressure on LG Vladimir Ducasse this year as well, as he is replacing a future Hall of Famer, Alan Faneca. Still, anyone that knows anything about the Jets knows that they are going to do the best they can to take it to you with their defense. DB Darrelle Revis has finally decided to report to camp, and he is expected to start and play the entire game against the Ravens on Monday. Revis, DB Antonio Cromartie, and DB Kyle Wilson might make up the best secondary in football. The defensive line is going to get back DT Kris Jenkins after he missed the end of last season with a knee injury, but an ankle injury suffered by DE Calvin Pace in the preseason is going to keep him out for at least the first month of the season.
We tend to believe that the Ravens are good enough to pull off the upset here. Baltimore has the look of a very special team this season, and if it can figure out how to get all of its offensive ducks in a row, the defense should be talented enough to hold the Jets at bay for the entire game. This won’t be a pretty one to watch, but we think that there is just too much there for the Baltimore offense to ultimately fail.
Selection: Baltimore Ravens +2