While the rest of the NFL got to kick things off yesterday, the Ravens had to watch from their hotel rooms in the New York/New Jersey area.
But the boys in the purple and black will be able to get their season underway soon enough, as they'll take on the Jets at 7 p.m. tonight in a much-anticipated Monday Night Football showdown.
Here's how the Ravens and Jets match up statistically (using 2009 numbers):
Ravens: 351.2 (13th)
Jets: 321.0 ypg (20th)
Ravens: 137.5 ypg (5th)
Jets: 172.3 ypg (1st)
Ravens: 213.7 ypg (18th)
Jets: 148.8 ypg (31st)
Ravens: 300.5 ypg (3rd)
Jets: 252.3 ypg (1st)
Ravens: 93.3 ypg (5th)
Jets: 98.6 ypg (8th)
Ravens: 207.3 ypg (t-8th)
Jets: 153.7 ypg (1st)
Ravens: +10 (4th)
Jets: +1 (t-16th)
It looks like a very even matchup on paper, and promises to be a great high-intensity, physical battle which might feature just a tiny bit of trash talk.
Let's get to the predictions. While both of these teams have great defenses and strong running games, I think the difference tonight will be the Flacco/Sanchez factor.
In Joe Flacco, the Ravens will trot out a third-year quarterback who has 37 games of starting experience in his two pro seasons and has a Tony Soprano war chest of weapons at his disposal. In Mark Sanchez, the Jets are relying on a talented but still somewhat unproven signal-caller who is without his top receiving weapon in Santonio Holmes.
The Jets will be fired up in their first game in the new Meadowlands, but I see the Ravens raining on their housewarming party. Put me down for a 20-17 Ravens win.
How do you see things shaking out? What do you think will be the difference tonight, either in the Ravens favor or something which will work against them?
Let's hear your thoughts before I make the trek up to the Meadowlands in a couple hours.