Football is back! The Ravens travel to MetLife Stadium to open their season against the Jets, and they might see a friendly face on the other side. Joe Flacco, who led the Ravens to a Super Bowl win nearly a decade ago, is likely to start for the Jets against Lamar Jackson, though New York left the door open for Zach Wilson to play as he recovers from a knee injury.
Let’s make predictions, dive into the depth charts, and examine the odds ahead of Sunday’s opener.
Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Jets Betting Odds
The Ravens are 6.5-point road favorites, with the over/under set at 44.5 points. Baltimore is -290 on the moneyline.
The line has shifted a bit in the direction of the Ravens, potentially the result of Wilson’s injury. Flacco facing his former team would be a nice storyline, but he’s past the point that he’s a viable starting option in the NFL. Lamar Jackson is healthy, and just as importantly, the Ravens’ defense is finally healthy. Only one Week 1 game has a larger spread than this one: Colts vs. Texans.
Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Jets Prediction
Prediction: Ravens -6.5 (-118 on FanDuel)
I’m trying not to overthink this one. Joe Douglas has built a Jets roster that finally has professionals at every position, and New York has pulled off some stunning wins over great teams these last two years, but quarterback uncertainty and a lack of star talent will probably allow the Ravens to cruise in Week 1.
This could be a low-scoring affair – the Jets are still incorporating new pieces into the offense and face a much healthier, upgraded Ravens defense. Baltimore has a better offensive outlook, but this is probably going to be a defense-first Ravens team until more weapons are added to the offense.
The under hit in each of the Jets’ three September games last season. It’s possible everyone will be more comfortable in Mike LaFleur’s offense early this season, but the quarterback uncertainty this summer won’t help matters.
John Harbaugh has had success against the Jets, as the Ravens are 4-1 against the spread (and 4-1 overall) in Harbaugh’s five meetings with New York.
Albeit against an Adam Gase-led Jets team, Lamar Jackson torched New York for 5 touchdown passes on only 15 completions during his MVP season in 2019.
Baltimore Ravens Injuries: Left tackle Ronnie Stanley is questionable for Week 1 after returning to practice this week. Stanley has played only 7 games over the last two seasons due to ankle injuries. Cornerback Marcus Peters is close to a return from last year’s torn ACL but isn’t sure if he’ll be ready for Week 1. Running back J.K. Dobbins is listed as doubtful as he works his way back from a knee injury. Running back Gus Edwards and edge rusher Tyus Bowser will both open the season on the PUP list.
New York Jets Injuries: No starters have been formally ruled out by the Jets, but Zach Wilson isn’t likely to make his season debut until Week 2. Cornerback D.J. Reed, the projected starter opposite Sauce Gardner, is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury.
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Ravens vs. Jets below.
Jets Passing Game vs. Ravens Secondary
Whether it’s Flacco or Wilson, the Jets’ passing game is in for a serious challenge against a revamped Ravens secondary.
Don’t be scared off by the liability that was the Ravens’ pass defense in 2021. Marlon Humphrey had a down year marred by injury but is now healthy and ready to go. Marcus Peters, who missed all of 2021, has an outside chance to play as well. Free-agent addition Marcus Williams is joined by dynamic rookie Kyle Hamilton to form a shiny new safety duo.
While Flacco hasn’t been a turnover machine even in his worst years, it’s not a coincidence he’s 0-6 in his last six starts. Taking advantage of this unit won’t be easy.
Lamar Jackson vs. Jets Run Defense
Lamar Jackson can do plenty as a passer, but his receiving options outside of Mark Andrews and Rashod Bateman are limited. With J.K. Dobbins not likely to play Week 1, Jackson will have to do some work on the ground to move the Ravens’ offense.
The Jets’ run defense wasn’t great last season, finishing 29th in yards allowed while surrendering 4.5 yards/carry. New York’s pass-rush attack and secondary both upgraded in the offseason, but the run defense could continue to be a trouble spot.
Jackson should be able to take advantage of it, and there’s pressure on him to do exactly that with Dobbins and Gus Edwards still working their way back.