This will be the first Monday night game at the New Meadowlands. The matchup features Rex Ryan's New York Jets against his old team the Baltimore Ravens (who passed him up for a head coaching job) against a team lead by arguably the most complete back in the NFL, local NJ native Ray Rice.
Ryan has left his imprint on both franchises, taking former Ravens Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard with him when he left Baltimore to join the Jets before last season. Baltimore's defense consistently ranked among the league's best with Ryan in charge, and the Jets defense was the best in the NFL in his first year.
The Ravens once again boast one of the league's best defenses and are eager to show off their new passing offense. In addition to throwing the ball to Derrick Mason and Ray Rice, Ravens QB Joe Flacco now has some new threats, veteran receivers Anquan Boldin and T. J. Houshmanzadeh to target.
The Jets seem willing to let second year Matinee Idol, Mark Sanchez, open up the passing game a bit more than last year, but and you can expect one of Woody Johnson's newest trophy's Ladainian Tomlinson to be the recipient of plenty of short throws. Expect Shonn Greene, the rushing leader in last year's NFL post season, to shoulder the load on the ground.
The Jets defense was number one in virtually every statistical category last year and they are once again expected to be one of the league top defenses. With the foot injury to Calvin Pace, 36 year old Jason Taylor is expected to see significantly more time than just on passing downs tonight and how he holds up late in the game may prove to be a key factor. Oh, and that Darelle Revis guy is back....
New York's Super Bowl hype gets an immediate test as the Ravens are one of the AFC's best teams this year and expect to show up in Dallas as the AFC participants in Super Bowl XLV as well. 7:10pm EST kickoff for one of the marquee games to open the season. - Mike Cardano
Mike is the founder of Around the Horn Baseball and Xtra Point Football.