New York Jets @ Baltimore Ravens
Friday, 01:20 GMT
Live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event
Jackson can wrap up Most Valuable Player
So here we are, the final Thursday night game of the season and we get to watch the favourite to take home this season's MVP in action as Lamar Jackson's Ravens host the Jets.
Jackson is doing things that we have never seen before in the NFL. He became just the second quarterback to reach 1000 yards rushing in a season after Michael Vick. He should pass Vick's record this week as he needs just 20 yards on the ground to pass the current number set at 1039 yards back in 2006.
It isn't just on the ground where Jackson is doing the damage though. He sits fourth in passer rating and leads the league in passing touchdowns this season with 28. Teams may be able to game plan to stop him doing one thing, but it is close to impossible to stop him doing both. The Ravens are big favourites here and are likely to get up early. It could be a good chance for Jackson to rack up some numbers and cement his spot, if it isn't already, as the league's MVP.
Which Darnold will we get?
Sam Darnold has had a very up and down year. The early part was derailed as he missed multiple weeks with mono. He came back and led the Jets to a big upset win over the Cowboys but since then the team has either been on fire, or awful and very little in between. They scraped past the Dolphins on Sunday with a last second field goal, but that was on the back of an awful loss to the Bengals where the team did not even reach the red zone.
It is hard to predict what sort of offence will turn up here. Le'Veon Bell missed that win over the Dolphins with flu, but should return here. His back up Bilal Powell has now gone down with the same illness so there may be little competition for touches in the backfield. Bell has struggled to get going in a Jets uniform and it is hard to believe that this is the week he gets going. The Ravens are sixth in the league against the run. Bell was also spotted bowling on Saturday night after being ruled out of the game so there could be consequences there, despite the team saying there would be no punishment. It is easy to imagine Adam Gase, who already has a rocky relationship with the running back, holding him out of a series or two.
If New York are to come out of this with an upset, then it is likely to be on the back of Darnold. He has shown he is capable of doing it, but that has not been often enough.
Both teams heading for coaching changes
This could be the last few weeks Gase has as head coach of the Jets. Despite it being his first season in the job, there are plenty of rumours that he could be fired. He has a reputation as an offensive genius but that has been far from the case here. Other players have thrived once they have left teams coached by him or he has moved on. Kenyan Drake and Devante Parker are probably two of the most obvious examples of late. Darnold has had his struggles, but it is hard not to imagine him performing better with a better coach.
For the Ravens it could well be the last few games for their offensive coordinator Greg Roman. He is expected to be one of the most sought after coaches in the offseason following his superb work with Jackson. Perhaps he could be on the opposite sideline when these teams next meet?
It is hard to believe this one ends in anything but a Ravens win. The handicap however is another thing and 14.5 points is a big margin. Baltimore has shown that they are not afraid to run up the score on bad teams. I think they win, and win big here and am picking them to cover that spread.
It is a chance for Jackson, as well as others such as Mark Ingram to rack up some numbers. The only worry for those player props is that they get up so big that back ups come in. They could easily get those numbers in just a quarter though. Ingram's rushing number of over 55.5 yards is very tempting.
On the other side, the Jets could well be playing catch up. So Robby Anderson over 53.5 yards receiving looks nice. What it could also do is give the Ravens secondary plenty of chances to intercept Darnold who has had issues with turnovers throughout his time in college and the NFL. Back the Ravens D/ST to score a touchdown any time.