On Thursday night as the New York Jets prepare to take on one of the most exciting football teams we’ve seen in years, it’s hard to predict anything but a victory for the Baltimore Ravens.
Lamar Jackson is the MVP front-runner, he is backed by a strong backfield in Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards, plus a receiving core including Mark Andrews, Willy Snead, Nick Boyle and Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown. They may not be the most exciting pass-catchers, but he trusts them and with an 11-2 record, it’s worked.
Seven times this season, John Harbaugh has seen his side win by 15 points or more. Victims include the Rams, Browns and the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Making it easy to see where the 14.5 handicap comes from.
Last season, the Ravens scored 389 points in 17 games. They are already on 430. No one else in the league has reached the 400 mark, and so much of the credit has to go to their second-year quarterback.
Although Jackson is ranked 25th in the league for passing attempts, his completion % is higher than Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers.
No one has thrown more touchdowns and his six interceptions is better than Carson Wentz and Tom Brady. Impressive and we haven’t even talked about the ground game.
Rushing and passing offense pending MNF.
As usual, hello Ravens pic.twitter.com/0mI1zo75lI
— new-age analytical (@benbbaldwin) December 9, 2019
The Ravens QB is RB9 in terms of yards, but his average of 6.8 per attempt is better than any of the running backs above him.
Averaging 33.1 points per game, you wouldn’t bank on the Jets D having a repeat of their performance against the Raiders and keeping it tight. Baltimore will score and score often.
The Jets might pick up a touchdown, they could hit three or four Field Goals too. Conceding 23.2 points per game, scoring is not going to be an issue for the home side. They only debate is how much of the 46 points needed will the Jets add to the total.
Mark Andrews was missing for the majority of Sunday’s tight win over the Buffalo Bills, leaving space for Boyle to score a touchdown off two receptions and Hayden Hurst to go for 73 yards and a score.
The big Tight End, who has seven touchdowns in 13 games was back on the practice field on Tuesday, is Lamar’s go-to man when looking to score. Even if he is struggling to go long, when it gets to the Red Zone, Andrews is the man Jackson trusts.
It wouldn’t be Thursday Night Football featuring the Ravens if we didn’t back Lamar Jackson to have another special night. Although their defence hasn’t been terrible, the New York Jets aren’t enjoying a good season. They sit 5-8 and conceded 47 points in two games against the Dolphins, 22 in defeat to the Bengals and 27 against the Giants.
The last playoff team they faced was the Patriots and they lost 33-0.
They rank 14th in passing touchdowns allowed, 16th in air yards allowed and 25th in terms of interceptions they’ve forced. Amazingly, only Tampa Bay have conceded fewer yards across the ground.
Adam Gase hasn’t faced a QB like Lamar, but how do you stop someone who helped his team put up 37, 49, 41 and 45 points in the four games after their Week 8 bye. Four games and 13 passing touchdowns, you don’t even have to mention the running game.
In 347 attempts, Jackson has 28 touchdowns. Sam Darnold has the exact same amount of attempts, but with 13 fewer scoring passes, but five more interceptions.
This projects to be another Lamar masterclass, with the MVP leader scoring easily in both halves.