What will the Jets have to show for their short-week short trip to Crabcake City for tonight's game against the Baltimore Ravens? Some more bumps and bruises and a new loss? Or a victory that will rock the NFL?
The Green & White, despite their 22-6 blip at Cincinnati, have continued much hotter in the last month and a half than they did to open the 2019 season, having won four of their last five and coming off an exciting 22-21 comeback win at home over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Tonight they have to find a way to control perhaps the league's hottest team in the Ravens. The Birds have won nine straight and 11 of 13 overall by throwing their top-ranked offense — led by QB Lamar Jackson and RB Mark Ingram — their top-ranked defense —, led by a smothering secondary and big-sacking OLB Matt Judon — and their effective special teams — led by nearly perfect K Justin Tucker — at their foes.
In addition, the Jets have had their troubles with the Ravens, having lost eight of 10 games all-time, all five of their games in Baltimore, and both primetime affairs, at home in 2010 to officially open MetLife Stadium and the next year at M&T Bank Stadium, one of the gems of Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
But the Jets also have a hot QB in Sam Darnold, who's been the starting pitcher in those four recent wins and won his third career fourth-quarter comeback with K Sam Ficken's help over the Dolphins, the return of RB Le'Veon Bell from a week off due to the flu, one of the NFL's very best run defenses and the Next Man Up philosophy to keep their back seven together and keep tabs on opposing passers.
The Jets still have a long injury list to deal with as S Jamal Adams (ankle), WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring/knee), CB Brian Poole (concussion) and rookie first-round DL Quinnen Williams (neck) among the players deactivated for the game.
The IA list doesn't include TE Ryan Griffin, who, after injuring his ankle early against Miami, was placed on Injured Reserve today, the 17th Jet to go on IR this season. At least the Green & White got one player back from IR with the activation of veteran OL Brent Qvale.
On the Ravens' side, will Lamar Jackson be slowed by a quadriceps injury he sustained in Sunday's win at Buffalo? That would be a plus for the visitors but not something they can count on as Jackson has answered all doubters by rushing and passing his way into odds-on-favorite status as the NFL's regular-season MVP.
The Jets' seven-member inactive list tonight:
- WR Demaryius Thomas
- CB Arthur Maulet
- RB Bilal Powell
- S Jamal Adams
- CB Brian Poole
- T Chuma Edoga
- DL Quinnen Williams
And the Ravens' inactives:
- QB Trace McSorley
- WR Jaleel Scott
- CB Anthony Averett
- LB Chris Board
- DT Justin Ellis
- G Ben Powers
- G Ronnie Stanley
The Jets are wearing their white jerseys and green pants for the fourth game this season. They didn't fare well in white/green in Games 3-4, at New England and at Philadelphia, but they rebounded with a strong effort in the 34-17 win at Washington four weeks ago.
John Hussey is the referee for his fourth Jets game since 2015. His first two games were the 2015 victories at the Colts and the Giants, while he also presided at the 2017 opening-day loss at Buffalo.