The New York Jets will return home looking to right the ship in Week 7 against the Baltimore Ravens. After starting the season 1-1, Todd Bowles’ club has lost four games in a row and are coming off of a 28-3 drubbing at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football. A loss to the Ravens will make the Jets’ already slim playoff hopes nearly nonexistent.
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) October 18, 2016
There isn’t just one area to place the blame in New York. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was pulled during the loss to the Cardinals for backup Geno Smith who promptly threw an interception on his first drive of the season. Following the game, Bowles announced that Fitzpatrick would be the starter for Week 7 against the Ravens, but the Jets announced on Wednesday that Geno Smith would start, according to Pro Football Talk.
The Jets have made the switch at quarterback https://t.co/2pAOxOIuSm
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 19, 2016
Smith will be making his first start since December 28, 2014, when he completed 20-of-25 passes for 358 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins. The Jets drafted Geno with their second-round pick in 2013 when general manager John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan were still in charge. If Smith struggles, look for the Jets to give Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg a chance down the road.
Baltimore began the season with a 3-0 record and looked poised to return to the playoffs after a one-year hiatus. Things took a turn for the worse in Week 4 when the Oakland Raiders eeked out a 28-27 victory at M&T Bank Stadium. That loss was the start of the Ravens’ current three-game losing streak which was extended last week after Baltimore allowed Odell Beckham Jr. to score a 66-yard touchdown with less than two minutes remaining.
ODELL. BECKHAM. JR.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) October 16, 2016
The Ravens’ biggest issue has been scoring touchdowns on offense. Baltimore ranks 24th in the NFL with a 50 percent red zone touchdown percentage which has equated to the Ravens only scoring 19.5 points per game which is also 24th in the NFL. Without an improvement in this area, the Ravens are going to find wins hard to come by.
Will Geno Smith be able to lead the New York Jets to a much-needed victory and keep the team’s minute playoff hopes alive? Or will the Baltimore Ravens put an end to their three-game losing streak and go back above.500?
Find out with these bold predictions.
Geno Smith Plays Worse Than Ryan Fitzpatrick
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) October 18, 2016
That arm talent has always been there with Geno. He has a cannon and can make any throw on the field, but he struggles with decision-making as evidenced by his 27-to-36 career touchdown-to-interception ratio. Despite Beckham’s success last week, expect the Ravens’ defense to shut down Smith and the Jets’ passing offense which should include a couple of interceptions.
Matt Forte Held Under 50 Rushing Yards
Ideally, the Jets would be able to run the ball to protect Geno in his first start, but the offensive line has been terrible at run blocking this year. Expect the Ravens to stack the box and dare Smith to throw the ball.
Terrance West Will Rush For 100 Yards And 2 Touchdowns
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) October 19, 2016
West has been so good that the Ravens released incumbent starter Justin Forsett and rookie Kenneth Dixon has barely seen the field. After a great preseason, West has rushed 88 times for 414 yards and three touchdowns despite only being the starter for two weeks. The Jets’ defense just got torched by David Johnson, expect more of the same from Terrance West.
Mike Wallace Will Have 100 Yards Receiving
Before Monday night against the Cardinals, the Jets had struggled to stop the pass this season, especially against speedy receivers. Wallace is one of the fastest receivers in the NFL and he should have a shot at a couple of deep balls on Sunday.
Baltimore Ravens Put New York Jets Out Of Their Misery
If the Ravens are serious about competing for a playoff spot this season, this is a game that they must win. The Jets are reeling and can barely move the ball on offense. The Baltimore Ravens should dominate from the opening snap and walk out with a 31-13 victory.
[Featured Image by Al Bello/Getty Images]