Jets Vs. Ravens: Sanchez Looks to Shine on MNF in Baltimore

Sergei MiledinAnalyst IAugust 24, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 14:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets waits for the snap against the St. Louis Rams during their preseason game at Giants Stadium on August 14, 2009  in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

On the night head coach Rex Ryan returns to the place he called home for the last decade, rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez looks to win out the starting job versus one of the NFL's best defenses.

Sanchez, who featured in one series in his NFL debut coming off the bench for Kellen Clemens, looks to take advantage of the aura around the Monday Night Football lights.

In his first appearance in a Jets uniform, Sanchez went 3-for-4, including a 48-yard bomb to David Clowney on his initial throw.

The $50 million man showed signs of promise in his limited play, which was enough to give him the nod against the Baltimore Ravens.

Ryan has stated that based on the performance of both Sanchez and Clemens tonight, he may decide who the team's opening day starter will be.

Clearly, Ryan sees this start for both QB's as a huge stepping stone that will show each one handles the defense that Ryan helped build from 1999-2009, when he was the Ravens' defensive coordinator and line coach.

He won't be alone in the homecoming, as linebacker Bart Scott, safety Jim Leonhard, and tackle Marques Douglas all return to face their old pals.

Ryan has to be thinking revenge against a team that passed him up when Brian Billick was fired in 2007.

Although he won't admit it, a win in Baltimore, despite being a meaningless preseason game, could do wonders for the already big-mouthed Ryan.

A successful showing by Sanchez can end all the speculation about whether he would beat out the veteran Clemens, despite being the highest paid Jet in team history.

The only problem is that Clemens will have a shot to show up his 22-year-old counterpart, before making way for Erik Ainge in the second half.

The Jets will have Nick Mangold, who missed the first preseason game against St. Louis, in the mix, while players like Alan Feneca, Darrelle Revis, Kris Jenkins, and Damien Woody are all nursing injuries.

Tonight's game will feature similar defenses, which could make the QB battle that much more exciting to watch.

As RB Leon Washington says, "It’s the Ravens against the Ravens."