Will Joe Flacco Play? If So, Will He Be Protected?
The biggest question heading into Sunday's game is whether quarterback Joe Flacco will start under center after injuring his right shoulder last Sunday. He's never missed a start for an upper-body injury. Flacco returned to practice Friday and passed the eye test. But Flacco isn't taking any hits in practice. If Flacco suits up, it will be key to watch how effective he is throwing the ball, and whether the Ravens can protect him behind their banged-up offensive line. The Jets' defensive front, including defensive end Leonard Williams and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, can get after the quarterback. For the Ravens to keep Flacco in the game, they need to protect him better than they have.* *
Another Big-Time Wideout To Match Up Against
Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. went off with eight catches for 222 yards and two touchdowns last week. Now another top-flight wide receiver, the Jets' Brandon Marshall, is up next. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Marshall ranks 13th in the NFL in receiving yards (433). Baltimore may get cornerback Jimmy Smith (concussion) back, which would be a huge help. If not, the Ravens secondary will be shuffling cornerbacks once again, as Jerraud Powers is also questionable to play and Shareece Wright (thigh) is doubtful.* *
A Chance For Ravens' Turnover-Happy Secondary
With a struggling and turnover-prone passing offense so far this year, the Jets made the switch from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Geno Smith this week. Smith has his fair share of turnover issues. He fumbled once and threw an interception in his limited time replacing Fitzpatrick on Monday Night Football against the Arizona Cardinals, and has 36 career interceptions in 29 career starts. The Ravens are third in the league with eight interceptions so far through six games.* *
Jets Ground Attack vs. A Brick Wall
It wouldn't be surprising to see New York lean on its ground attack after the quarterback change. Veteran Matt Forte leads the Jets*offense, which is averaging 92.5 yards per game. Then again, it will be matching up against the Ravens' No. 1-ranked run defense, which is surrendering just 69.7 yards per game behind defensive tackles Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce and defensive ends Timmy Jernigan and Lawrence Guy. Baltimore will try to make the Jets one-dimensional and put the ball in Smith's hands as much as possible. *
Life Without Terrell Suggs … Again
The Ravens had to play nearly all last season without leader Terrell Suggs (Achilles), which sent a ripple effect across the entire defense. Now a biceps injury will seemingly force Suggs to the sideline for Sunday's game, as he is listed as doubtful to play. The Ravens will rely on a trio of young pass rushers in Za'Darius Smith and rookies Matthew Judon and Kamalei Correa. None of the three have registered a sack yet this season while Suggs leads the team with five. Baltimore has had good interior pass rush, but would like to get more from its outside linebackers.