“IT’S A HARD-KNOCKED LIFE FOR US”
Week 1 – MNF – BAL @ NYJ
Yes there was a NFC showdown that kicked-off the 2010 NFL Season; but that’s not the biggest game of the week. The biggest game of the week that has more storylines and more new faces in new places is the Baltimore Ravens @ the New York Jets. You got the visiting team with new acquisitions of Anquan Boldin, recently acquired Josh Wilson and TJ Houshmanzadeh and how they’ll fit with their new team. On the home side of the field you got the Hard Knocks squad as newly acquired Cornerback Antonio Cromartie proclaimed themselves the “Miami Heat” of the NFL, really? Throw the additions of LT2, Jason Taylor, Santonio Holmes and Rex Ryan has a plate full; well for one we all know he could handle it anyway. Add in the Revis drama that occurred and I ask myself, is this team focused? How does a team place a bulls-eye on their back and they’re not even the Super Bowl winners. On paper vast majority of the media claimed them super bowl champs already; did we forget that if it wasn’t for some luck and a winning streak they wouldn’t have even made it to the AFC Championship game, better yet barely made the playoffs.
A few questions entering the game would be, can Mark Sanchez lead this offense? Is Revis going to be in game shape and dominate as usual? How are Flacco and Boldin going to look? Will TJ Houshmanzadeh play right away and make an impact? Those are a few questions being asked right now; and with that Mark Sanchez leading his offense, I don’t know, Jets fans what do you think? Talking about your “franchise” quarterback who recently attended a Justin Beiber concert, really? Can all these ego’s co-exist and focus on the prize? That’s to be seen and what better way then to showcase it against Baltimore, a hardnosed, hardhitting, run it down your throat team who now has offensive weapons as if Flacco opened a few Christmas presents a few months early. The biggest lost though in this game that might be not talked about is not the lost of Stallworth, nor Mark Clayton or Thomas Jones but the lost of FANECA will hurt the Jets in ways they probably won’t even notice.
The Ravens have their own questions but they’re focused and ready to take the AFC North by storm! Flacco has the weapons at his disposal now, failure is not an option and now offensive coordinator Cam can mix in more passing plays as he has threats at the WR1 WR2 and WR3, I don’t need to add in doubleR and Heap or Dickson and sure handed Pitta, or do I? The weakspot for the Ravens is their depleted secondary; Ed Reed on PUP List, Fabian Washington coming back from tearing his ACL last November and Webb battling knee injuries himself but this is the Ravens they’ll continue to get to the QB and make things work.
Throw all this together and it looks like a soap opera ready to take off. This Monday Night Football game will have a playoff-like atmosphere as some say this could be a preview of the AFC Championship game? I’d like to think otherwise, I just want to enjoy this game as we still have 16 more weeks to look forward too, just one last thing to say, look for Boldin to dominate Revis.
BALTIMORE RAVENS – 27 NEW YORK JETS – 17
– Joe Flacco – QB – tough match up, revis-talized Jets secondary and held opposing teams to 8 passing touchdowns total last year. Yes you probably drafted him as your starter but there are better options for you in week 1. Flacco can manage decent points with Boldin, Mason, Houshmanzadeh so you never know.
– Ray Rice – RB – confused on whether or not to start DoubleR? First glance take a look at what Benson did to NYJ in the playoffs, 21 car 169 yards. Passing game will be there and DoubleR will be involved in it. Start with confidence!
– Anquan Boldin – WR – Worried about Revis shutting down AB? Not me, Boldin is physical up the middle type of WR, he’ll rough up Revis and tire em out, Boldin will still be a nice WR2 PPR league start. Don’t let Revis scare you!
– Derrick Mason – WR – Mason still going, still Flacco’s go to guy when in trouble. Solid start at WR3 for PPR leagues, Mason is vastly underrated.
– TJ Houshmanzadeh – WR – just acquired, should fit perfectly and shouldn’t show any rust, borderline WR3 PPR start, more of a just wait and see what happens kinda guy.
– Todd Heap – TE – had a solid camp, looks healthy once again and looks to be Flacco’s other safety blanket. Sure you may have better options starting at TE, but in a 12-14-team league, start Heap with low expectations.
– RAVENS D/ST – with a injured plague secondary, I’d still start this group with confidence as Sanchez is known to turn the ball over and lets face it, all the Jets have is a run game
NEW YORK JETS
– Mark Sanchez – QB – unless you DESPERATELY need to start Sanchez, I advise leave him on your bench till further notice. Yes he’ll make strides this year but this is not the game for you to find out.
– Shonn Greene – RB – yes Jets have a great Oline, mediocre passing game, and should rely heavily on Greene BUT Ravens have a stout front 7 and will cause problems for Greene owners week 1. Just be cautious, that’s all.
– LaDainian Tomlinson – RB – opposite of Greene, with his pass catching ability and possible redzone/goal-line touches LT could be a nice flex play this week, he may not get the yards but he’ll get you 6+ with touchdowns!
– Braylon Edwards – WR – until Holmes gets back, Braylon will have to make ends meet but I don’t trust the guy, not sure if you should either. I’m sure you’d have better options on your team, Stay clear away from Braylon
– Jericho Cotchery – WR – arguably the most reliable WR Sanchez will have throwing to, great hands, great route runner, nothing sexy here but I’d put money on Cotchery being the Jets top WR this year. Nice WR3 play, because Sanchez has to throw to someone.
– Dustin Keller – TE – Rex Ryan said Keller is a sleeper and we all need to pick him up this year, should we believe him? We’ll see in this game, but I believe Keller can pan out and become a reliable TE, don’t start just keep an eye out for this kid.
– JETS D/ST – trendy #1 defense taken in all fantasy drafts this year, with Revis back and ready to go, this defense is still stout and should cause problems but will leave holes for Flacco and company. You drafted them to have them starting week in week out, don’t go against that now.