Week 1: NY Jets vs. Baltimore Ravens - 1 pm ET
The good news is that the Jets are opening the season at home. The bad news is that they get Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens right out of the gate.
A year ago, many Jets fans wondered if the team would start their season at home on the weekend of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, especially considering the tie-in that Robert Saleh and his family have to that tragic moment in American history and how it changed Saleh's life.
The Jets and Robert Saleh will be home this year playing at MetLife Stadium in what should be an emotionally charged game.
The Ravens were decimated by injuries a year ago and missed the playoffs, but they will be back in contention with Lamar Jackson fully healthy. Former Raven C.J. Mosley and the Jets' new-look defense will be tested heavily in this matchup.
The Jets' front seven was dominated by run-first offenses like Baltimore a year ago. See last year's Thursday night whooping at the hands of Jonathan Taylor and the Colts.
Baltimore presents a different style of rushing attack. Nonetheless, this type of game will reveal a lot about Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich's defense.
This will also be a stiff challenge for Zach Wilson going up against the Ravens' vastly improved an elite secondary. Baltimore had top-notch players like Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, but have now added Marcus Williams and Kyle Hamilton. It's going to be baptism by fire for Zach Wilson.
Prediction: LOSS (0-1)
When the smoke clears, no one will be surprised to see the Ravens back in the playoffs as NFC North champions. On paper, this is not a good match-up for New York. While the Jets have improved their pass rush and secondary, there are still question marks about their rush defense.
Lamar Jackson could give Gang Green's front seven and linebackers fits. You have to take the Ravens in this game. It's not the way Jets fans wanted to begin their season, but an 0-1 start looks likely.