Monday Night Football: Darrelle Revis, Joe Flacco Should Be Top Performers
With such a great start to the NFL regular season, how could the first weekend get any better?
The answer: A Monday Night Football Doubleheader.
Tonight, the New York Jets will line up with the Baltimore Ravens at 7 p.m EST. At 10:15, the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs square off in an AFC West showdown.
There will be plenty of new faces in different jerseys on your tube tonight, starting with LaDainian Tomlinson and Anquan Boldin.
Here are some predictions of what is going to happen tonight on 2010's first edition of Monday Night Football!
Top Quarterback: Joe Flacco
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Coming out of the offseason, Joe Flacco was a happy camper. Last season, he had a very respectable 3,613 passing yards.
His leading receiver was Derrick Mason. With Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh now with the Ravens, Flacco has more weapons in his arsenal.
Add in tight end Todd Heap and running back Ray Rice, and 4,000 yards is not out of the picture for Flacco in 2010.
Even with Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie starting at cornerback for the Jets, Flacco will throw for 300 yards and a couple of touchdowns.
Top Running Back: Jamaal Charles
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Jamaal Charles is the best running back that nobody knows.
Maybe you know him if you play fantasy football, but chances are the casual football fan has no idea who this kid is.
In the last eight games of 2009, he scored seven touchdowns. He also topped 100 yards in each of his final four contests, including a 259 yard effort Week 17 against the Denver Broncos.
The Charger defense is not going to be the same as previous years. With the losses of Antonio Cromartie and Jamal Williams, it will take some time for the defensive unit to mesh.
Expect Charles to break a big run and rush for about 100 yards and one score.
Top Wide Receiver: Vincent Jackson
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Coming off of a Pro Bowl season, Vincent Jackson is bound for an outstanding season with quarterback Philip Rivers.
Wait, he has been suspended for violating the league's substance-abuse policy? Big deal! He sits out for three games and comes back stronger than ever.
So now you are saying he has failed to report to work because the Chargers are not listening to his contract demands, and could be suspended for six weeks?
Take a good look at this picture, Charger fans. This is about as much of Action Jackson as you will be seeing this season.
Top Defender: Darrelle Revis
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Revis Island is going to be the place to be tonight in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Anquan Boldin will be Joe Flacco's favorite target, and will challenge the long-time Jet holdout.
So Revis did not practice with the Jets in the offseason, and instead went to UFL training camps. The guy is still the best cover cornerback in the league, and will most likely shut down every big-play receiver he faces this year.
Look for the Ravens to mix up their play-calling and run underneath routes to challenge the linebackers, instead of challenging Revis.
Top Announcer: Jon Gruden
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The first game of the doubleheader will be announced by the regular Monday Night Football staff of Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden.
The second game in Kansas City will be done by Brad Nessler and NFL studio analyst Trent Dilfer.
All five broadcasters know the sport inside and out, but nobody calls games with the flair and knowledge of the game like former head coach Jon Gruden.
Expect big things from Gruden. He didn't just spend the offseason golfing like most announcers do. He sat down with rookie quarterbacks in film sessions before the draft, and is becoming more and more crucial to the success of MNF every day.
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Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Jets
Revis takes an interception for a touchdown and shows why he is worth $46 million.
Revis' touchdown aside, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice run and throw over the Jets defense. They combine for four touchdowns, and the Ravens defense stops Greene on 4th and inches with under two minutes to play.
Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene lose to the Ravens in the season opener.
Ravens 31, Jets 24.
San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones team up for over 200 rushing yards, and Matt Cassel thrives under new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.
Ryan Matthews runs for 100 yards for the Chargers, but can't finish the game. Philip Rivers has a nice game, but a late interception costs them the game.
Chiefs 21, Chargers 17.