NFL Week 4: New York Jets @ Baltimore Ravens

New York Jets @ Baltimore Ravens Sun. Oct. 2, 2011 8:20 p.m. EST

The New York Jets and the Baltimore Ravens are two teams in the NFL that have been able to thrive with lockdown defenses and the tutelage of defensive genius Rex Ryan. Even though the offense of these two franchises has struggled to improve over the past decade or so, this season things have changed with the Ravens emerging as a potent offense and Mark Sanchez coming into his own under center for the Jets.

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There is no doubt that the Jets and the Ravens are two teams on the rise in the NFL with a good mix of veterans and young players leading the way, but in Week 4 these two teams will go head-to-head with Baltimore coming off a huge 37-7 victory over the St. Louis Rams and the Jets looking to bounce back after a devastating loss to the Oakland Raiders (34-24).

Baltimore Ravens logo

Baltimore Ravens

With the New York Jets coming off such a disappointing loss, Rex Ryan will be adamant about needing a big win in Week 4. Not only do the Jets need to bounce back, but it is somewhat ironic that it will have to be against Ryan’s former team in the Ravens.

At this point in time, the Jets and the Ravens are both playoff teams with Super Bowl aspirations, but it would be hard to argue that Baltimore isn’t the better of the two teams heading into Week 4. The defenses of these two teams are top notch and amongst the league’s elite, but the offenses are a different story altogether with Baltimore stepping up offensively and New York still trying to acclimate to some new faces like wide receiver Plaxico Burress.

New York Jets

New York Jets

Even though both the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Jets will be coming into Week 4 with identical 2-1 records, the Ravens are going to be tough to beat, especially on their home field. Quarterback Joe Flacco seems to improve with every passing game as he is quickly turning into one of the best gunslingers in this league. Flacco and the Ravens still depend on their ground game to get their offense going with running back Ray Rice leading the way, but the passing game in Baltimore is vastly improved and could be a problem for the Jets in Week 4.

As of right now, the Baltimore Ravens have been given the edge in this matchup with a -4 point spread in their favor. This spread wouldn’t fly earlier in the season in my opinion, but with the New York Jets coming off a loss to the Oakland Raiders where they couldn’t play consistently well this spread sounds just about right.

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The New York Jets are still a very good football team and could very well be playoff bound at season’s end, but I believe the Baltimore Ravens are the better all-around team heading into Week 4 and should come out with the win while covering the spread.

Take the Ravens at -4.

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