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New York Jets: 4 bold predictions for Week 1 vs. Ravens

Jets Ravens, Jets Week 1 predictions

Even with Zach Wilson out of the lineup for the New York Jets Week 1 season opener, there is still much intrigue and optimism heading into their game against the Baltimore Ravens. Ahead of the Jets-Ravens game, we’ll be making our Jets Week 6 predictions.

That Wilson is out at least the first three weeks following knee surgery Aug. 16 is a downer. But it doesn’t temper the enthusiasm for the Jets Week 1 opener.

The Jets have upgraded the talent on their roster significantly and have been praised for a monster 2022 NFL Draft class that includes first-round picks Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Jermaine Johnson and second-rounder Breece Hall.

After winning six games the past two seasons, including four in coach Robert Saleh’s first season in 2021, the Jets appear ready to start turning the corner. But it’ll be a process, especially facing a tough Ravens team in the opener.

That said, let’s move on to our Jets Week 6 predictions.

New York Jets QB Joe Flacco will be forced into one critical mistake against his former team

Joe Flacco has been in typical “Joe Cool” mode this week, even though he’s starting against his former team, one for whom he played 11 seasons and helped lead to a Super Bowl championship. And the 37-year-old should carry that calm demeanor into Sunday, when the Jets can expect a solid performance out of him — think something like 250 yards passing and a touchdown.

But he’ll also take a bit of a beating playing behind an offensive line that’s still building cohesiveness. Remember, Flacco is a standing target, not exactly mobile like Zach Wilson.

And somewhere along the line in what should be a close game, Flacco will rush and make a critical mistake, likely an interception that leads to a Ravens score. And that’s going to what he remembers most about playing against his former ‘mates.

Carl Lawson will have at least one sack in his return to New York Jets lineup

Carl Lawson has not played in an NFL regular season game since Jan. 3, 2021, what was his final game with the Cincinnati Bengals, ironically against the Ravens. To say he’s hungry to get back at it is an understatement.

The 27-year-old edge rusher missed last season after tearing his Achilles tendon during training camp with the Jets. He’s in such tremendous shape this season that his teammates have referred to him as a “monster” and “action figure.”

Lawson is healthy, primed and motivated. He’s going to be a handful for the Ravens to keep off Lamar Jackson. As elusive as Jackson is, expect Lawson to get at least one sack in his return to action.

New York Jets will struggle to run the ball against Baltimore Ravens defense

The Jets running game will be much improved this season. But you won’t see that in Week 1.

It’s just a bad mix in the opener. The Ravens had the No. 1 run defense in the NFL last season. The Jets starting offensive line played together for 21 snaps in the preseason. And veteran left tackle Duane Brown, who’s been playing catch up since signing early in training camp after Mekhi Becton went down with a season-ending knee injury, is nursing a sore shoulder.

Running backs Michael Carter and Breece Hall are going to have good seasons. Just not a good start in the opener.

New York Jets will lose 2022 NFL season opener to the Baltimore Ravens

The Jets have not won a season opener since 2018. And the Jets Week 1 losing streak will continue when they fall to the Ravens on Sunday.

Baltimore’s rushing game will be the difference. Jackson will be a big part of that as the Jets will have no answers for how to contain the former NFL MVP. He will gash the Jets improved defense for a number of big plays; and look for tight end Mark Andrews to have a monster day. The Jets struggled to contain tight ends last season. That trend will continue in Week 1.

The Jets will keep it close most of the way but end up losing 24-13.