Week 15: Jets at Ravens Preview, Prediction

Todd Karpovich

The Ravens have already clinched a spot in the postseason. Baltimore can now win the AFC North crown for the second consecutive season with a victory over the Jets in a Week 15 Thursday night game.

Week 15: New York Jets (5-8) at Baltimore Ravens (11-2) 

When

Dec. 12, 8:20 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium (71,008)

Spread

Ravens -14.5

AFC North Standings

1. Ravens (11-2)

2. Steelers (8-5)

3. Browns (6-7)

4. Bengals (1-12)

Series History

11th regular-season meeting. Baltimore leads the all-time series, 8-2. Under Coach Harbaugh, the Ravens are 3-1. The Ravens had won eight straight games in the series before the Jets earned a 24-16 victory in the last matchup in 2016.

By the Numbers

52 – Total touchdowns scored by Baltimore, marking an NFL high and a single-season franchise record. (Previous mark was 47 in 2009.) Baltimore has also scored a franchise-record 430 points.

Notable

Receiver Marquise Brown has caught six touchdown passes, which is tied with three players for the most among all NFL rookies.

Player Spotlight

Quarterback Lamar Jackson's 1,017 rushing yards are the second most-ever in a season by a quarterback. He is on pace to break Michael Vick’s single-season quarterback rushing record (1,039 in 2006) this week against the Jets. 

Ravens Game Plan

Offense

The Ravens and Jets are playing on a short week and both are dealing with several significant injuries. Jackson is hampered by a quad issue and left tackle Ronnie Stanley could be out with a concussion. If Stanley cannot play, James Hurst could get the start in his place. The Ravens will rely heavily on running backs Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards to carry the load. Baltimore leads the NFL with 200.9 yards rushing per game. but the Jets are stout against the run. Still, the Ravens do not want to take any chances with Jackson's injury so they will look to get off to a quick start and control the game on the ground. Jordan Jenkins (seven sacks) and Jamal Adams (6.5 sacks) lead the Jets rushing attack.

Defense

The Ravens coverage in the secondary has been stellar, which has allowed defensive coordinator Don Martindale to dial up the pressure on opposing quarterbacks.  Baltimore will attack Sam Darnold multiple ways just like it did against Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen, who was sacked six times last week. Darnold has thrown for 2,424 yards with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. New York could get running back Le’Veon Bell back in the lineup. Bell had some huge games against Baltimore when he was with the Steelers. Jets coach Adam Gase would be wise to give him the ball if he is fully healthy. In nine career games against the Ravens, Bell has run for 720 yards on 140 carries (4.5 ypc) with seven touchdowns. He has also caught 47 passes for 348 yards with three touchdowns. Overall, the Jets have the league's 31st-ranked offense. 

Prediction

The Ravens need to win two of their last three games to clinch the top seed in the AFC playoffs. They cannot afford to look past New York, which has won four of its last five games. The Ravens have not lost their focus this season and this game should not be any different. The injuries on both sides could be a factor. 

Ravens 27, Jets 10 

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