One move the Jets made which raised eyebrows over the offseason was the release of Alan Faneca. Faneca had slipped noticably in pass protection, but he was still a productive guard. There was also no proven replacement. The team has faith in Matt Slauson. Slauson will have a chance early to make the Jets thankful for their faith. His play will likely play a big role in determining the outcome of the game.
Like the Jets, the Ravens have an elite nose tackle they do not play on the nose. Haloti Ngata usually lines up at right end in the 3-4. That is the same side from where Terrell Suggs usually attacks on passing downs. When Suggs comes off the edge, D'Brickashaw Ferguson will need to slide over. That will likely mean times where Slauson will need to be able to handle Ngata on his own to keep the big defender out of Mark Sanchez's face.
It will also be important for Slauson to play well in an area where Faneca excelled, pulling to the right side. The Jets usually run it that way. That will not change particularly with Ngata on the other side. The Ravens have a very physical front with a lot of guys. Getting an extra blocker over to seal somebody will be a key to the Jets establishing the run game.
Slauson is going right into the fire. His play will play no small measure in deciding the contest.