A decade ago, Joe Flacco won MVP honors while helping the Ravens to the franchise's second Super Bowl win. On Sunday, the 37-year-old quarterback will try to defeat his former team in the opening game of the 2022 season.
Flacco will start Sunday's game in relief of Zach Wilson, who will be out for at least three weeks after sustaining a knee injury during the preseason. Speaking of injuries, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson will make his first start on Sunday since suffering a season-ending injury 14 weeks into the 2021 season. Baltimore is looking to bounce back after missing the playoffs last year with an 8-9 record. The Jets are hoping to be more competitive this season after winning just four games during Robert Saleh's first season as head coach.
Here's a full breakdown of Sunday's AFC showdown from New Jersey, as well as information on how you can follow the game in real time.
How to watch
- When: Sunday, Sept. 11 | 1 p.m. ET
- Where: MetLife Stadium -- East Rutherford, New Jersey
- TV: CBS | Live stream: Paramount+ (click here)
- Follow: CBS Sports App
- Odds: Ravens -7, O/U 44.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
When the Ravens have the ball
All eyes will be on Jackson, the former league MVP who was named to his second Pro Bowl last season despite missing five games due to his injury. With Marquise Brown now in Arizona, it will be interesting to see who emerges as Jackson's second go-to target behind tight end Mark Andrews. Second-year receiver Rashod Bateman is hoping to be that player after finishing third on the team in receptions and receiving yards last season. Devin Duvernay, an All-Pro special teams performer last season, is also looking to have a bigger impact on Baltimore's offense in 2022.
Baltimore's offense has a tough task ahead. It will face a Jets defense that boasts several new faces including former Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead, rookie safety Sauce Gardner and linebacker Carl Lawson, who missed his entire first season in New York after tearing his Achilles during spring practice. New York's defense also includes former Ravens Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley, who tallied 168 tackles last season along with two sacks and a pair of forced fumbles.
When the Jets have the ball
Like their defense, the Jets' offense has several new players that include former 49ers offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson. While devoid of star power, the Jets have are relatively deep at the skill positions, particularly at receiver. The Jets' wideout room is led by starters Corey Davis and Elijah Moore along with Denzel Mims and rookie first-round pick Garrett Wilson. The Jets' offense also includes former Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah and running backs Michael Carter and rookie Breece Hall.
Flacco and his offensive teammates will have their hands full against a talented Ravens defense. Baltimore boasts one of the NFL's top secondaries, led by cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey. The Ravens added to this group this offseason with the free agent acquisition of free safety Marcus Williams and the selection of fellow safety Kyle Hamilton in the first round of April's draft. Baltimore also possesses a formidable front, led by veteran Calais Campbell, Justin Madubuike, Odafe Oweh and Patrick Queen. The unit will try to apply more pressure on opposing quarterbacks this year after netting just 34 sacks in 2021.
Key matchup: Odafe Owen vs. Conor McDermott
Saleh ruled out starting left tackle Duane Brown for Sunday's game as he continues to deal with a shoulder injury. It will now be up to McDermott, a six-year veteran with six-career starts under his belt, to hold his own against Owen, who had five sacks during his rookie season. The Jets will likely keep an extra blocking back in on obvious passing situations to help keep Owen away from Flacco.
Flacco and the Jets are good enough to keep things interesting for a while. But the Ravens, a more talented team from top to bottom, should be able to impose their will during the second half, especially if Baltimore can get its running game going while putting pressure on the statuesque Flacco.
Pick: Ravens 24, Jets 13