The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills square off in a Week One matchup and there are a number of things to look out for.
Finally, football season is amongst us. And even though much isn’t expected from the New York Jets this year, is just nice to see them back on the gridiron.
Gang Green travels to Buffalo to face the Bills in the opener. The Jets had success against their division foes last year, defeating them in both of their matchups. Also, they have fared well in season openers over the last five years with a record of 4-1. That should be 5-0 but they gave the game away to the Cincinnati Bengals last season.
That being said, let’s take look at the matchups to watch for during Sunday’s showdown.
Jets D vs. LeSean McCoy
The Jets rushing defense is the key to victory this week as they are facing an explosive back in LeSean McCoy.
McCoy can hurt you in multiple ways, whether it’s on the ground or in the passing game. He’s certainly Buffalo’s biggest weapon, and Bills head coach Sean McDermott knows it. “Don’t be surprised if McCoy is out there every play this season,” McDermott told ESPN’s Mike Rodak of his starting tailback.
The Jets defense will have their work cut out for them trying to contain McCoy. In three games against Gang Green as a member of the Bills, McCoy has accounted for 265 all-purpose yards. He barely played in last year’s season-finale, otherwise, he’d easily be over 300. They simply just can’t let him run wild on them or it will be a long day.
Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor has finally been cleared to play after suffering a concussion in their second preseason game. He is expected to start.
Missing a few weeks of the preseason like Taylor did could cause him to be rusty — which would mean they would have to rely more on McCoy to be their playmaker. If the Jets defense can contain McCoy and force Taylor to make the plays, the Bills would have to look towards the rest of their mediocre offense for help.
Jets Offensive Line vs. Buffalo’s Front Four
Being the Jets quarterback has been deemed by some as the worst job in the NFL due to the team’s awful offensive line.
If they can protect Josh McCown, he is capable of putting points on the board. But Kyle Williams, Shaq Lawson, Marcell Dareus and Jerry Hughes are all capable of getting to the quarterback—all but Lawson has at least one 10-plus sack season on their resume.
Unless the O-Line steps up, McCown could find himself on his back more often than not.
Yahoo Fantasy Sports’ Survival Football says 24 percent of players have picked the Bills to win. That is the second-most popular pick behind the Pittsburgh Steelers.
But I have a feeling that the players who took the Bills as their ride or die this week are going to be very disappointed. This is one of the rare games I have the Jets winning this season. Gang Green will win the opener by three points, as they edge the Bills 23-20.