Bring on the Jets


Who Would Provide The Most Favorable Playoff Matchup For The Ravens: The Dolphins, Jets Or Patriots?

December 23, 2008|By KEN MURRAY

This is a no-brainer. It also will sound like blasphemy.

Given the choice of facing Chad Pennington, Matt Cassel or Brett Favre, I'll take the NFL's all-time leading touchdown passer - and the New York Jets - for so many reasons.

First of all, the Ravens' defense would feast on Favre. He's a long-ball passer in a short-ball pass offense. The Jets really haven't figured out how to best use their aging icon. And Favre has given them few clues.

In the past four games - three of them losses, by the way - Favre has thrown six interceptions and one touchdown pass. The Jets' only win in that stretch was achieved by defense and destiny - yes, destiny, Bob Costas - not on Favre's heroics.

I'd really rather not face Bill Belichick and Cassel in frosty New England, where the tuck rule is always a threat, or Pennington and the rejuvenated Dolphins. Belichick is famous for eating up first-year quarterbacks, even those as precocious as Joe Flacco. Pennington has been a godsend in Miami, where the Dolphins haven't had a dependable quarterback since Dan Marino. Pennington's comfort level with his teammates and his short passing game are much better than they were in the Ravens' Week 7 victory.

Here's another reason: The Jets, with Favre, are so over-hyped by the New York media, there is no way they can live up to expectations. The Favre experiment could cost Eric Mangini his job. The pressure to win will swallow up the Jets, if it hasn't already. From all appearances, they've gone in the tank.

Finally, Baltimore still owes the Jets from Super Bowl III.

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