With Injuries Galore, the Ravens and Jets Matchup Could Get Ugly

With Injuries Galore, the Ravens and Jets Matchup Could Get Ugly

The rest of Week 15’s game previews will be published on Friday.

Jets at Ravens, 8:20 p.m. Eastern time, Fox and NFL Network

Line: Ravens -15.5 | Total: 44.5

Thursday games are rarely pretty, but this one could be particularly hard to watch. To start, it’s a comical mismatch of the Ravens (11-2), who have been arguably the best team in the N.F.L. this season, against the Jets (5-8), a try-hard team that tends to fail. Add in the fact that the game is in Baltimore and you start to see why oddsmakers would make the Ravens an overwhelming favorite.

But digging into the details of the injury report for both team paints a picture of a game that could be far different from what people are expecting.

Lamar Jackson, currently the favorite for the Most Valuable Player Award, is questionable with a quadriceps injury. While he is fully expected to play — and can break Michael Vick’s single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback by running for just 23 yards — Baltimore may exercise a great deal of caution with how long he stays on the field, especially with the Ravens’ star left tackle, Ronnie Stanley, expected to be out with a concussion.

The Jets have had even worse luck in terms of injuries. Their defense, which has been considerably better than an average fan may realize, will be without its best player (safety Jamal Adams), one of its best defensive lineman (Quinnen Williams) and both of the team’s starting cornerbacks (Arthur Maulet and Brian Poole.)

With the way Jackson has dominated this season, he will probably have a few highlight reel plays, but it would not be surprising at all for his backup, Robert Griffin III, to be under center for huge chunks of the game, if not the entire second half. Baltimore should still win, and probably by a lot, but the uncertainty makes a point spread of more than two touchdowns too large. Pick: Jets +15.5

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