I’m well aware that this Saturday is a huge day for us football geeks. I’m sure you are also. Believe me, I’ve got an extra set of AAA batteries in the drawer just in case the batteries on the remote decide to kick the bucket. But this weekend also is the beginning of the NFL season (it actually kicked off with a fairly entertaining game last night), and boy I am excited. There are some good games on the docket on Sunday, but one game sticks out on Monday and I’m not referring to the Chargers and Chiefs late night (on the East) matchup in San Diego.
The Jets and Ravens do battle on Monday night at the New Meadowlands Stadium. These two teams are two of the favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl next February. And both teams, while not necessarily flashy on offense, definitely bring the heat on defense and off the field.
Much of the Jets off-season has been occupied by the hoopla surrounding Darrelle Revis, who finally returned from his lengthy holdout after signing a new deal. Jets head coach Rex Ryan has certainly fanned the flames by constantly hyping his team any time a camera was within eyesight. If you don’t believe that, then maybe you should catch an episode of Hard Knocks on HBO. Even behind all the off-the-field drama, the Jets fully believe it is possible to take a step further than last season’s team, which lost in the AFC championship game to the Colts. Critics, such as Bleacher Fan, have publicly expressed doubts about the Jets. This game could kick start the season for the J-E-T-S!
The Ravens, meanwhile, also believe a run to the AFC championship is possible. This is quarterback Joe Flacco’s third season as a professional, and Ravens’ management has surrounded him some offensive talent. In addition to the high profile acquisition of Pro Bowl wide receiver Anquan Boldin, the Ravens quickly signed T.J. Houshmandzadeh earlier this week. And of course, everyone knows about the Ravens defense. It’s a little older than the Ravens defense of yesteryear, but it was still third in the league last season in points allowed.
Things heated up for this game yesterday with a war of words between Ray Lewis and his former defensive coordinator, Rex Ryan. As if this game needed any more spice! Lewis basically called into question Mark Sanchez’s abilities as a quarterback, and you can bet that his comments caught the attention of some of the Jets players.
The game is going to be intense already because it takes place on Monday Night Football and it features some highly intense players. But recent events, like yesterday’s “trash talking,” have made the matchup between the Jets and Ravens the “must-see” game of the week.