Sunday, November 24, 2013

Week 12 picks: Jets at Ravens

Publisher Nick St. Denis, associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick the AFC bout between the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens.

Nick's take:
Both offenses will have a tough time in this one. Twenty-plus mile-per-hour winds will aid the Jets' subpar deep passing defense against an offense that likes to chuck it, while the Jets have struggled enough through the air as it is. New York's run defense will carry its weight, but the key will be Gang Green playing ball-control with their own running game, as Baltimore's defensive front will be rearing to go against a mistake-prone rooke quarterback in Geno Smith. The Jets have absolutely stunk on the road this season and haven't beaten the Ravens since 1997. Then again, they lost last week, so I'm not sure they're allowed to lose this week.
Prediction: Ravens 17, Jets 14

Dan's take:
Rex Ryan revisits a Baltimore defense that's been pretty solid this season; it's too bad the Ravens offense has been inconsistent, at best. Though the possibility of tight end Dennis Pitta's return was flirted out there for a second this week, Joe Flacco & Co. will have to continue to work with what's available, which means another strong performance from tailback Ray Rice will be crucial. That'll be tough against New York's No. 1 ranked rush defense, however, and Smith rebounds in typical Gang Green fashion this season and grabs another win following an embarrassing loss. Look for Santonio Holmes to have another solid performance after an impressive comeback last week.
Prediction: Jets 20, Ravens 13

Sean's take:
The return of some current Jets as opponents is filling the storylines ahead of this game, but the story on the field will be the Ravens offensive line facing New York's dominating defensive front. If Batlimore's front-five can keep Joe Flacco upright and spark the struggling Rice on the ground, Ryan, Ed Reed and the Jets will likely leave their old town with a sour taste in their mouth. Instead, that defensive line has a strong outing, while Smith orchestrates a balanced offensive performance and New York keeps pace in the AFC Wild Card picture.
Prediction: Jets 27, Ravens 20