Week 1 Tale Of The Tape: New York Jets At Buffalo Bills
- QuarterbackThis season is supposed to be the nadir for the Jets, but prognostications don’t necessarily have to be accurate. The quarterback situation is problematic because Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty just are not good enough. Veteran Josh McCown can make solid reads, throw the ball accurately and find open receivers, but he lacks the assets to be special.While the Jets have huge problems up and down the lineup, the Bills have made some curious moves and could go downhill. Tyrod Taylor is a decent quarterback, but the Bills’ management and coaching staff does not seem to have confidence in him. Taylor is a brilliant athlete with a strong arm, but the Bills want him to play it safe and avoid turnovers.
- OffenseMany believe the Jets appear to be playing for the right to draft first in the 2018 draft, and the evidence is found with the offense the team is going to field this year. Wideouts Brandon Marshall (New York Giants) and Eric Decker (Tennessee Titans) have departed, and Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse are the ordinary receivers. The Jets could trade RB Matt Forte shortly.The Bills made one of the most questionable training camp moves when they decided to trade explosive wideout Sammy Watkins to the Rams. His departure hurts Taylor and limits the Buffalo offense, and it leaves ex-Eagle Jordan Matthews (chest) as the team’s No. 1 receiver. LeSean McCoy is one of the best running backs in the league, but opposing defenses will key on him since Watkins is gone.
- DefenseThe Jets should be respectable on defense through the first half of the season, but this unit may get worn out because the offense seems so ineffectual. Trading Sheldon Richardson to the Seahawks is another questionable move, but Muhammad Wilkerson and Leonard Williams are solid up front. The departure of heady David Harris (New England Patriots) will cause problems.Head coach Sean McDermott is going to depend on his defense for steady play, but there are a number of question marks in this area. Can defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier bring stability to the run defense? This is a must-improve area since the Bills ranked 29th in this area last year. Shaq Lawson, Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus are capable of bringing the heat on the pass rush.
- Special TeamsThe Jets are likely to have huge problems on special teams since they were the worst team in the league last year in this area. They are hoping Frankie Hammond can upgrade the return game and that Chandler Catanzaro can do a consistent job on field goal attempts.The Bills had problems on special teams, but they should be significantly better than the Jets in this area. They have made a big upgrade by signing ex-Seahawk Steven Hauschka at the PK position, while Brandon Tate is a productive return man with excellent field vision.
The Bills suffered some key losses in the offseason, and that’s going to hurt them this year. Robert Woods and Watkins are gone, and the offense will be limited. Nevertheless, the Bills are much better than the Jets and should roll here.