Week 1: New York Jets Vs. Buffalo Bills
- QuarterbackIf you have two quarterbacks, it probably means you don’t have any legitimate signal caller. That’s probably the case with the Jets. While Mark Sanchez is a better alternative than Tim “Bounce Pass” Tebow, the Jets passing game is troubled at best.Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the perfect NFL quarterback, but he is at least a solid performer. He has great on-field intelligence and he knows how to move around the pocket. However, he does not have the strongest arm and he tends to struggle in the second half of the season.
- OffenseAlthough a power running game is not in vogue around the NFL, that’s probably the best option for the Jets because the passing game is so shaky. Shonn Greene did not have his best season in 2011, but he can punish tacklers with his power and strength. The offensive line does a better job of run blocking than it does pass blocking.The Bills have a chance to be consistent and productive on offense, thanks to versatile and explosive running backs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Stevie Johnson has many diva characteristics, but he can get open and he will hold on to the ball and make difficult catches. The Bills still need a No. 2 receiver to step up.
- DefenseThe Jets are one of the NFL’s hardest hitting and best defensive teams. That’s what you would expect from Rex Ryan, and the presence of Darelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie at the cornerback position cannot be overstated. Calvin Pace can be a devastating pass rusher.The Bills made one of the biggest moves of the offseason when they signed pass rusher Mario Williams to give them a major upgrade. As long as Williams stays healthy, the Bills are a much better defensive team. The rest of the Bills defense is ordinary.
- Special TeamsMike Westhoff is retiring after this season and it’s not likely the Jets will suffer a letdown in punt and kickoff coverage in his last season as special teams coach. The punting and placekicking is ordinary.The Bills are happy with Brian Moorman as their punter, but he no longer gets elite distance on his kicks. Leodis McKelvin is an explosive punt returner.
The Jets face incredible pressure. Not only do they have to keep up with the New England Patriots in the AFC East, but they have to contend with the defending Super Bowl champion Giants in the same stadium. Rex Ryan does not have a dependable quarterback. On the other hand, the Bills can play free-and-easy football and that gives them a great chance for an upset in the first week of the season.