Jets hoping to prove doubters wrong, Baltimore hoping to upset the Pats
Marcus Henry | 4/12/2011, 5:30 p.m.
The Jets have been talking all season. Win or lose the Jets are never at a loss for words.
Jets coach Rex Ryan kept things going during his new conference today. When asked what he thought about the Jets' odds being 50-1 to win the Super Bowl, the talkative coach replied: "We should be the favorites".
Interesting, when you consider the Jets had the benefit of facing a Colts team that pulled its starters in the third quarter and a Bengals squad that sat its leading rusher and didn't show much in their 37-0 loss on Sunday night.
But Ryan has every right to be pumped up for their meeting with Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon at 4:30. The Jets are in the playoffs and they deserve to be. The Dolphins dropped their last three games of the season. Jacksonville lost its final five games and the Steelers sat through a five-game losing streak.
The Jets may have caught a break from the Colts and the Bengals, but the rest of the AFC contenders were terrible the final month of the season.
As for the game, the Jets are going to try and pound the ball early. If the Bengals put eight men in the box, look for Mark Sanchez to go to the short passing game and get Dustin Keller involved. Defensively, the Jets won't change much. Look for Ryan to blitz Carson Palmer often.
It won't be easy, but the Jets win 23-17.
As for the second AFC game on Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens needed a win the last weekend to get in just like the Jets. But the Ravens have a stiffer test than the Jets as they travel to New England to battle the Patriots. The Ravens defense has been vulnerable against the pass, but New England's second receiver Wes Welker is done for the season after tearing his ACL and MCL on Sunday.
The first time these two met during the regular season, the Pats prevailed, 27-21.
Look for Ray Lewis and company to try and knock Tom Brady around. And Look for the Ravens to exploit the aging Pats defense with their three-pronged rushing attack in Ray Rice, Willis McGahee and Le'Ron McClain. The Patriots don't run the ball well, but they've never run the ball well under Bill Belichick.
Expect the Patriots to take exploit the Ravens' blitz packages with short passes to Welker's replacement Julian Edelman and to tight ends Ben Watson and Chris Baker. The Ravens will be game, but the Pats experience will prevail.