While the Ravens losses to the Redskins and Giants the last two weeks were certainly disappointing, there is a silver lining. Both these teams play in the NFC, meaning the Ravens only have one loss to AFC competition this season, a factor that could come into play if playoff tiebreakers become necessary. Even after three consecutive defeats, the Ravens are only one game behind the Steelers for the AFC North division lead, and one game behind the Bills and Broncos for a wild card slot.
In Week 7, Baltimore will have an opportunity to improve upon their conference record when they travel to MetLife stadium to face the New York Jets. The Jets have lost four in a row, are winless in two home games and have been outscored by 69 points this season. Even with Marshal Yanda and Terrell Suggs doubtful, a long list of starters questionable to play next Sunday and the Jets having the benefit of home field advantage, early odds show the game as an evenly matched contest.
The Jets are a mess right now. The suffered an embarrassing 28-3 loss to Arizona on Monday night in Week 6. Starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown eleven interceptions so far this season, and may be replaced by Geno Smith in the near future. Their offensive line is banged up and will be hard pressed to generate running room against the Ravens stout defensive front. Eric Decker is on injured reserve with a torn rotator cuff, allowing defense to focus on stopping Brandon Marshall, who has had issues with drops this season.
If C.J. Mosley and Jimmy Smith are healthy enough to play, the Ravens are highly capable of holding the Jets offense at or below their league worst average of 15.8 points per game.
The Jets defense is better than their offense, but not by much. The defensive line is the strength of their team, fortunately they can be schemed around. Staring backups at both offensive guard spots, the Cardinals gashed the Jets for 171 rushing yards, at 4.9 yards per carry. Terrance West should be able to run effectively enough to give the Ravens offense balance at a minimum, and could be in line for a big game if Jets starting inside linebacker David Harris misses another game with a hamstring injury.
The Jets have posted a dozen sacks this season, one more than the Ravens, but this total is less impressive when their large volume of blitzes are taken into account. Jets head coach Todd Bowles’ aggression has not been effective, they have a bottom five pass defense so far this season. Star corner Darrelle Revis has definitely lost a step, and the Ravens have several receivers with the speed to expose him downfield. The rest of the Jets secondary is made up of penalty magnets at corner and undisciplined safeties.
Yes, the Ravens schedule after the Week 8 bye increases in difficulty, but the Ravens have overcome tough situations before. If they can earn a victory against the Jets, the Ravens will still be in the thick of the AFC race and have momentum heading into their bye week. The Ravens need their franchise quarterback to step up, stop the bleeding and save the season in a completely winnable Week 7 matchup.