Who knew a raven could per chance well cruise faster than a jet?
The Week 15 version of Thursday Night time Soccer, airing are living on FOX, Amazon High and NFL Network at 8:20 p.m. ET, will characteristic a first-time battle between a pair of 2018 draft mates.
Contemporary York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold changed into as soon as selected 29 picks earlier to Baltimore Ravens signal-caller Lamar Jackson at closing heard his establish known as at the cease of the most critical round. Both still like lots to provide an explanation for but the ever-widening gap of their profession paths, to this level, is starting to resemble the one who separated them on draft evening nearly two years within the past.
After playing effectively within the season opener, Darnold had his 300 and sixty five days 2 rapid interrupted by an illness that sidelined him for three straight. He made a triumphant return in Week 6 and, while his crew’s success (and effectively being) has fluctuated, Darnold has proven proper improvement and consistency within the weeks since.
Jackson, on assorted hand, has performed every little thing after which some while one map or the other managing to quit even more en path to main Baltimore to a historic season and inserting himself at the front of the line of MVP candidates.
The hope of securing a playoff berth shall be a dream yet yet again deferred till 2020 for the Jets, but the Ravens, who are assured a seat at the playoff table, like an different to quit one thing by no technique earlier to performed in franchise historic previous could per chance also merely still they fetch Thursday evening. The AFC playoff implications, mixed with seeing what Darnold and Jackson will quit, make this a contest value tuning into.
Here are four issues to take into tale for when the Ravens put their nine-game fetch straggle on the line in opposition to the Jets on TNF:
What’s going to Sam Darnold be seeing in opposition to the Ravens?
If the Patriots had him seeing ghosts, what’s going to Sam Darnold be subjected to by distinction Ravens protection?
Jokes aside, when Darnold took on Contemporary England in Week 7, that changed into as soon as solely his second game abet from being sidelined, and his third game of the season. Let’s impartial correct sing the fellow Baltimore will face on “TNF” has had his eyes checked and it has resulted in higher results and fewer soundbites.
Within the weeks since Contemporary England, Darnold has achieved 63.6 p.c of his passes for 1,825 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions while main N.Y. to a 4-3 story. Darnold’s solely buds in that span were tight cease Ryan Griffin and receiver Robby Anderson, who accounted for 670 yards and 7 TDs. An encouraging signal that Darnold is seeing the self-discipline effectively and finding two of his top guys but, at the an identical, it’s a reminder of what they’ll miss with Griffin (ankle) dominated out this week.
The absence of Griffin could per chance well account for costly to the Jets’ game thought in opposition to a Ravens front-line that, equivalent to the Pats, loves to blitz. In step with Subsequent Gen Stats, Baltimore has blitzed QBs on a league-excessive 49.5-p.c of dropbacks, and compelled the bottom passer rating (61.1) and completion rate (49.8), to boot to the most INTs (8), while doing so.
Darnold is in overall in for a tough evening love many of signal-callers earlier to him, but his performance in opposition to the blitz in fresh weeks suggests that coach Adam Gase can breathe a chunk of less complicated when the Ravens send the home.
After struggling in Weeks 6-9, Darnold has reacted effectively to blitz applications in Weeks 10-14. He has upped his completion proportion (43.9 to 63.2), to boot to his yards per are attempting from 3.7 to 7.8 and passer rating (22.5 to 104.7). He has also thrown zero picks over the previous five games under tension after beforehand throwing six.
It shall be a quandary without being ready to verify down to Griffin or like him as a red-zone map, but Darnold’s fundamentals and improved imaginative and prescient could per chance also merely still at the very least provide some form of wait on in opposition to linebacker Matthew Judon and crew.
Ravens like placed immense belief in Designate Ingram
Lamar Jackson has snagged impartial correct about each doubtless headline associated to the Ravens’ remarkable offense, but Ingram is playing no doubt one of the critical solely years of his profession while simultaneously impartial correct playing lifestyles. Lest we forget, he signed the second-supreme operating abet contract closing free agent period, solely within the abet of this article’s third level.
Ingram has ripped his technique to 1,088 yards from scrimmage and 12 full touchdowns. Being that the Ravens are a vitality plug-heavy offense, Ingram has smashed his technique to a league-excessive 280 speed yards, 17 rushing first downs and 10 compelled disregarded tackles on such schemes.
Both Ingram and Jackson like lined up and knocked down your full vaunting fronts the league has had to provide, they customarily’re going to acquire an different to dismantle yet any other in opposition to the Jets. Led by linebackers James Burgess and Neville Hewitt, Contemporary York has allowed 2.9 speed yards per are attempting on vitality runs, which could per chance well deprive Ingram of his most profitable scheme.
The Jets are also allowing the second-fewest speed YPG (78.8) and the 14th-fewest speed ratings (14). Facing Baltimore’s all-time speed a****k shall be no small potatoes, though, in particular with a few key D-linemen banged up. Ingram figures yet yet again to be a dominant power within the abet of a proper offensive line and his impact, in tandem with Jackson continuing his MVP-level play, shall be worthy wished.
What’s going to Jets acquire from post-flu Le’Veon Bell?
The 2019 offseason’s top-paid RB had an eventful dart of it closing week, none of which changed into as soon as associated to the football self-discipline.
After being dominated out of Week 14 with the flu on Saturday, Le’Veon Bell took his abilities to a Contemporary Jersey bowling alley the save he had, in his phrases, a “profession-excessive” afternoon. The response to Bell’s activities turned the controversy of the Jets press conference Tuesday, but now the level of hobby has shifted abet to how he’ll make contributions in his sport of different.
Bell has now no longer been producing at the clip we like now been mindful of seeing in his first 300 and sixty five days in N.Y. His numbers are down across the board, and he impartial correct hasn’t looked spirited for many of the season. In actuality, Bell’s 992 scrimmage yards and 4 TDs were outmatched by Jackson’s floor output — 1,017 yards, seven TDs — by myself, per NFL Compare. And that is the reason resplendent despicable for a operating abet.
Playing effectively in opposition to the Ravens could per chance well now no longer undo every little thing, but it will probably per chance well put Bell abet on map to being no doubt one of the critical upper regarded operating backs within the NFL love he changed into as soon as at some level of his Steelers years. We will obtain out about on Thursday if he can outperform his “flu game” from a chunk of now no longer up to every week within the past.
Uncommon, historic stakes on the line for Baltimore
Jackson telling journalists closing week he damage his quad on a 61-yard TD pass sounds love a fragile flex, but it in actuality speaks volumes to the style of 300 and sixty five days Baltimore has had.
For years, the Ravens were is known as a defensive-minded neighborhood, but 2019 has been the 300 and sixty five days it has all arrive collectively in a most critical technique with all three phases exhibiting out in concord. It be been impartial correct-seeking to take into tale and TNF will give Baltimore the different to cement its long-established-season legacy with a fetch.
As effectively as to Jackson being expected to pass Michael Vick (1,039) and divulge the brand new single-season story for most speed yards by a QB, the Ravens can characteristic themselves to stable their first-ever No. 1 seed within the AFC playoffs with a victory. They would impartial correct want the Patriots to lose to the Bengals and the Chiefs to either lose or tie in opposition to the Broncos this Sunday.
The Ravens could per chance clinch impartial correct a first-round bye with a fetch and a loss by either crew.
By strategy of the division, a victory would also give Baltimore the AFC North title, an that would convey that they set aside now no longer resolve on to wait to stare if the Steelers lose to or tie the Bills on Sunday Night time Soccer.
With the cease scoring offense and a top-5 scoring protection, Baltimore hopes to care for its momentum into the postseason and change into the fourth crew to make a Gigantic Bowl — ’96 Packers, ’99 Rams, ’07 Patriots — after ranking within the cease-5 in both courses. Toppling the Jets at home on Thursday evening would push them one step nearer to reaching that map.