Here’s how The Baltimore Sun sports staff views the outcome of Sunday afternoon’s Week 1 game between the Ravens and New York Jets at MetLife Stadium:
Jonas Shaffer, reporter
Ravens 23, Jets 13: Fortunately for the Jets, the drop-off from Zach Wilson to Joe Flacco isn’t too steep. Unfortunately for the Jets, they’re still left with a huge disadvantage at the game’s most important position. Even if injuries limit the Ravens’ offensive potential, Lamar Jackson’s return shouldn’t be too stressful. The Jets had the probably NFL’s worst defense last season, and their pass coverage this year is still iffy.
Mike Preston, columnist
Ravens 21, Jets 14: A key for the Ravens will be matching New York’s emotion on the field because of 9/11 events. Other than that, the Ravens should have too much talent for the Jets despite it being the opener for both teams. Former Raven Joe Flacco will start for the Jets at quarterback, and he will play hard, but the Ravens should prevail easily.
Childs Walker, reporter
Ravens 27, Jets 13: The matchup with Joe Flacco holds narrative allure, and we have little idea how sharp the Ravens will be after their starters took a pass on the preseason. But the Jets don’t have a talent advantage in any area, and they don’t have an offensive star to go shot for shot with Lamar Jackson. The Ravens will stifle New York’s offense and bank a road victory as they begin their quest to return to the playoffs.
Ryan McFadden, reporter
Ravens 28, Jets 17: There’s some uncertainty with the status of Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins and left tackle Ronnie Stanley. It’s also worth mentioning that the Ravens only have two healthy outside linebackers heading into New York. Still, the Ravens should be able to handle the Jets. Expecting a big game from Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews while Rashod Bateman will show why he is a suitable replacement for Hollywood Brown as the team’s top wide receiver. Meanwhile, Odafe Oweh will have a solid start to what’s expected to be a big second season.
C.J. Doon, editor
Ravens 30, Jets 17: Even before Zach Wilson’s injury, this was looking like a Ravens blowout win. Joe Flacco might still have enough left in the tank to keep it interesting in the first half, but the Ravens have talent advantages across the board. I expect Lamar Jackson and the offense to start fast and make an early statement.
Tim Schwartz, editor
Ravens 31, Jets 14: This is a matchup between one of the AFC’s best teams and one of the worst. Lamar Jackson might not be the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL by Sunday, but he is still one of the best in the league, and the Jets are an appetizing opponent to start the season against. I expect Joe Flacco to be sacked multiple times behind an offensive line that could be without its starting left tackle, Duane Brown, and for Jackson to shred New York’s defense for 300 yards passing and at least 50 yards rushing.