Both of the Jets' first two opponents, the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens, operate defensively out of a base 3-4 front. But that's where the similarities end as the Jets prepare for an all-out blitz in Baltimore.
"They are not like New England where they game-plan you," right guard Brandon Moore said today about the Ravens. "They are going to come after you, they are not going to stay off you because for some reason they don't want to blitz you. They feel like if they get you in third-and-long with the crowd noise and where you won't be able to communicate, they'll be able to make plays."
The last time the Jets played in Baltimore? It was Week 4 of the 2005 season. Coincidentally, the Green & White had a quarterback making his first NFL start calling the signals that day. The results for Brooks Bollinger and the visitors weren't good as the Jets were kept of the end zone, mustering only three points and 152 yards in the 13-3 loss.
"I haven't seen them since '05 when we played them. They were good then," Moore said. "They are scary on defense when you look at the film. They are all over the place, they have guys who can get to the quarterback and get off blocks well and make a lot of big plays."
Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan has talented personnel at his disposal, but he keeps offenses off-balance with different looks.
"They bring multiple formations, multiple blitzes," said center Nick Mangold. "That's one thing they do really well is the amount of pressure they bring and the amount of different looks they give you. It's going to be a challenge for us to make sure we're all on the same page for whatever we see."
Baltimore lost its season opener in Cincinnati, but you can blame the Ravens' offensive generosity for the defeat — the Ravens turned the ball over six times, wasting another great effort from the defense. The Bengals' high-powered attack was limited to 236 total yards, including a paltry 55 yards on 23 rushes.
"They do so many things on defense and create so much confusion," said QB Carson Palmer following the Bengals' win. "They did a great job. You've got to tip your hat to them because not only do they play great, they disguise things. They have some key guys on running backs and pass protection stuff, and they actually came out with a couple of things they've never done before to kind of set us off."
Familiarity with a division foe might have gone out the window for the Bengals when Ryan inserted DT Haloti Ngata at linebacker. Jets head coach Eric Mangini likes innovative approaches and he knows his offense will have to do something to counter.
"We have to prepare for multiple looks and we have to be able to execute the things that you're doing at a high speed, at a very efficient level, whether it's shifts or motions," he said at his morning news conference. "Being able to play fast negates their ability to zero in on things. That's something we always focus on with the no-huddle, the shifts and the motions."
Eight-time Pro Bowler Ray Lewis still leads the Ravens from his familiar MLB perch. The 12-year vet does have an arm injury and did not participate in his team's practices either Wednesday or today.
"He gets to the ball pretty fast," Moore said. "He is one of the fastest guys running sideline to sideline and is good at slipping blocks and getting off blocks and not letting guys get to him. So it's going to be a big challenge being able to keep up with him and chasing him around. His instincts give him an advantage over a lot of guys, so it will be tough."
And then Ed Reed is probably the best safety in football on the league's most dominant unit. The Ravens' numbers were somewhat astonishing last season: No. 1 defense (264.1 yards per game), No. 1 inside the 20 (33.3 percent TDs allowed), No. 1 in sack rate and No. 2 in sacks (60), No. 1 in interceptions (28), and the list goes on. Plus M&T Bank Stadium isn't an easy place to play.
"It's pretty loud. It's going to come down to communication with the offensive line and being able to get everybody on the same page," Moore said. "It's very loud there from what I remember from '05. As long as guys are on the same page and communicate, we work off that so we'll be OK."
"It's a work in progress — it always is no matter how many years you've been together," Mangold said of line play. "It's just one of those things where you keep working. I don't think there is an exact barometer for it."
If the Jets have a good day offensively, the line will have come up big in B-More.