No shortage of storylines as we enter Jets Week

It's OK to admit it now: Last week was a little bland.

You can nod your head in agreement; I won't judge you. As the NFL goes, the circumstances surrounding last Sunday's Ravens-Rams game were about as unexciting as it gets.

The Ravens were playing a winless team from the NFC West with which they have no substantial history. The Rams essentially played without their top player (running back Steven Jackson was limited in practice by a quad injury and only got four carries on Sunday), their No. 1 receiver from 2010 - Danny Amendola - didn't suit up at all, and if those in St. Louis were more interested in watching the resurgent Cardinals try and earn a baseball playoff spot Sunday afternoon, I couldn't have blamed 'em.

You think this week will be just a little spicier?

The Ravens will welcome the Jets into town this weekend for a primetime, Sunday night battle between two of the AFC's powerhouse squads.

The quality of the on-field matchup will certainly be enough to hold our attention; one of these two teams have been a part of each of the last three AFC title games, and if Baltimore had been able to hold on and beat the Steelers in the divisional round of the playoffs last season (sorry to bring up a sore subject), the Ravens would have hosted the Jets in the conference championship.

John Harbaugh-Rex Ryan.jpgIf that wasn't enough, we should have plenty of chirping going on from both camps this week.

We all know Rex Ryan's game by now; the former Ravens defensive coordinator and now Jets head coach is as blustery and full of bravado as coaches come, and I'm sure he'll have some interesting things to say about his former squad.

Linebacker Bart Scott never shies away from a battle, and we can expect the former Raven to deliver a few verbal blows to his old teammates in the days leading up to Sunday's game.

And then there's wide receiver Derrick Mason, who will be returning to M&T Bank Stadium for the first time since being released by the Ravens back in July. Mason played six seasons in Baltimore and left as the franchise's all-time leader in receiving yards. If you think the outspoken wideout won't be ready for the cameras and microphones to come to his locker this week, you're insane.

As far as the significance of the actual game, this one will be huge for both teams. The Jets are coming off a rough road loss to the Raiders, and their vaunted defense has taken a bit of a beating through the season's first three games. They'll be fired up to bounce back on Sunday and prove that they still deserve to be mentioned among the NFL's elite.

From the Ravens' perspective, the question will be whether they can string together back-to-back strong efforts and avoid a sub-par outing like they had two weeks ago in Tennessee. Beating Ryan, Scott and Mason would be nice, but going into the bye week with a 3-1 record would be even better. The Ravens would love to finish the first quarter of the season on a high note and deliver another statement performance to a national television audience in the process.

Those of us around these parts love Steelers Week because of the intensity level and the constant trash talk in the days preceding the game. While Jets Week doesn't quite have the same luster, it's not all that far off.

This should be fun.

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