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Ravens' defense played at an elite level against the Jets

As important as Lamar's performance against the Jets even with the contractual situation was the defensive performance of the Ravens, with a remodeled secondary and a new coordinator. Mike Macdonald is another who leaves a very positive initial impression, with his group making Joe Flacco's afternoon hell and leaving little room for the Jets' talented wide receivers to make an impact.

Marcus Williams deserves individual mention here. In addition to recording an interception in his first game for the franchise, he did a fantastic job covering the middle of the field, and it was clear how Flacco needed checkdowns because of that: of 59 pass attempts, the ball traveled more than 20 yards in just one

Another factor that took away the explosiveness of the opponent's attack was the effective pass rush even without the large amount of blitzes that were characteristic of Don Martindale, the former defensive coordinator. The Ravens constantly penetrated the backfield and hit the opposing quarterback, as well as breaking the rhythm of plays. It's clear: Flacco isn't any good passing the ball anymore and the Jets were without Zach Wilson, the position's starter. But positive signs are positive signs.

While you can't take anything for granted in Week 1, the Ravens have already sent the message that the AFC North has a lot to worry about in the healthy version of 2022. The team competed until the end for the playoffs in a year in which most of the best players were injured. Now complete, Baltimore deserves respect.