"They are a very good ball club." Clemens said of the Ravens defense. "I think they were ranked number one overall as a defense last year. They do a lot of good things; have a lot of good players, a lot of pro bowlers, so it should be a good challenge for us."
A very good ball club indeed; and hungry as well. The Ravens enter Sundays contest on the heels of a disappointing 27-20 loss to the Bengals; where despite a defensive effort that held the high-octane Cincinnati offense to just 50 second half yards. The Ravens offense committed six turnovers and ultimately cost them the game.
The health of linebacker Ray Lewis, who injured his tricep muscle against the Bengals, has been in question all week. Lewis has confirmed that he will in fact play, and his mere presence is often enough to change the complexion of a game.
"I don't know one person in this organization, as well as our city, that's thought about 0-2." Lewis said. "The bottom line is the Jets pulled a bad draw. It's just the way it comes down."
Clemens, who played terrifically in the preseason, will certainly have his hands full. Laverenues Coles has a difficult matchup with Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister, and he will need to rely on Jericho Cotchery who will most likely attract much of the single coverage.
Jets fans have vivid memories of a young Brooks Bollinger receiving his NFL indoctrination in Baltimore. The outcome wasn't pretty. Hand-cuffed by an overly conservative game-plan, Bollinger was crushed by this same Ravens defense.
Hopefully, head coach Eric Mangini, will show more confidence in his quarterback than Herman Edwards did. Perhaps allowing him to show off his strong arm, and implement the offense that's best suited to his strengths as a passer.