Sunday, September 9th
Game Time: 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS
This game is going to be very telling for both teams. The Jets need a fast start after spending the last five months on the back pages of the New York Post for all the wrong reasons. If Sanchez struggles early, the calls for Tebow will be loud.
Meanwhile, the Bills have made a ton of additions in free agency, including the top defensive prize in Mario Williams. If Buffalo is going to finally get themselves out of the AFC East basement, now is the time to do it.
When the Jets have the ball:
I expect Rex Ryan and Tony Sparano to set the tone for the season by dishing out a heavy dose of Shonn Greene with some Joe McKnight sprinkled in. Not only will this take pressure off Sanchez, but it will slow down Mario Williams.
I also would anticipate a lot of Tebow's wildcat package. The Jets will want to know how effective it can be, and if it does work; it will plant a seed in the minds of future opponents.
The biggest concern for the Jets will be how they will block Mario Williams. Williams abused Hunter in their matchup in 2010, and there is no reason to believe he cannot do the same this time around.
When the Bills have the Ball:
How well the Bills throw the ball will largely depend on what the Jets' safety situation looks like in a few months. Plus, the Bills will probably add a receiver or two between now and the start of the season. In any case, I would put my money on Revis and the Jets to keep the Bills in check through the air.
What the Jets need to worry about is how to stop Fred Jackson and Steve Spiller in the perimeter run game. There's a decent chance that they will be starting a rookie outside linebacker, and whoever that is will have to be ready to play sound football to keep those two in check.
Even after landing Mario Williams, I think the Jets are the better team. This game will come down to turnovers, and the Jets re-commitment to the running game works in their favor. I like the Jets in a low-scoring affair.
Jets 14, Bills 9