Todd Bowles
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

What should the New York Jets expect in Week 1 of the NFL season? Head coach Todd Bowles says, “Expect the unexpected.”

The journey into the unknown begins for the New York Jets in the lovely suburbs of Detroit Rock City on Monday Night Football.

The Lions are trying to get a playoff and division monkey off their back. Detroit hasn’t won the division since I was born (1993) and hasn’t won a playoff game since 1991.

For context, the No. 1 song in America was “Everything I do, I do it for you,” by Bryan Adams. The No. 1 movie was “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” Long story short, it’s been a long time coming and Matthew Stafford is trying to bring excitement back to a fanbase that hasn’t seen it since Barry Sanders, coincidentally also in the 1990s.


Meanwhile, the Jets have also been somewhat living in the past.

Whether that’s ‘Broadway’ Joe Namath guaranteeing a Super Bowl victory half a century ago or the team living off the back-to-back AFC Championship game appearances in 2009-10, that nostalgic feeling remains. (That was the last time the Jets were even in the playoffs.)

Past accomplishments aside, the time is now. Jets fans are starting to embrace that with rookie quarterback Sam Darnold at the helm, who is a complete mystery heading into Monday Night Football.

New York Jets

Speaking of the unknown, there’s a lot of it in this Week 1 matchup:

  • Sam Darnold
    • He has lit up the preseason and offseason. If there was an award given out for that, Darnold would’ve received it. But now it’s time for real football and it all goes down in prime time. In the preseason, we saw a lot of vanilla schemes both offensively and defensively, so it’ll be interesting to see what Jeremy Bates cooks up for the great unknown otherwise known as his rookie debut.
  • Matt Patricia
    • Speaking of making debuts, Detroit has a brand new head coach in the building with Matt Patricia taking over. Will he run New England concepts? Will he adapt his strategy to the talent on the Lions? So many questions, yet so few answers. Patricia historically has had the Jets number in the offense vs. defense category, but the Jets have a new wrinkle with Darnold (with no existent pro tape available).
  • Jets pass rush
    • I’m not sure if this is really a mystery, but I’ll label it as such until we see the Jets actually struggle in this department with real football being played. The Jets use a lot of 3-4 schematics, which means the defensive ends are eating double teams and rarely can do much in the edge rushing department. But Leonard Williams is a special talent and rookie Nathan Shepherd is starting opposite of him, can they generate anything?

When head coach Todd Bowles was asked about the mystery of Week 1 against the Detroit Lions he had this to say:

“It’s not a guessing game from a coaching standpoint. It’s a guessing game from, it’s the first game and you don’t have much film from a preparation standpoint. So, you really have to read your keys and expect the unexpected.”

Expect the unexpected.

New York Jets

Please SUBSCRIBE to ESNY's Daily Newsletter, ESNY City Stream. Every piece of content included yet CUSTOMIZED to your New York Sports-team allegiance:

ESNY City Stream

NYY

NYM

NYG

NYJ

NYK

BKN

NYR

NYI

NJD

SJU