The New York Jets will head to Buffalo on Sunday for a Week 1 showdown against their division rivals. For two teams that are reasonably looked down upon this year, a lot is on the line, including first place in the division and a structured season mindset.
After the Patriots fell quite shockingly to the Chiefs on Thursday in the season’s opener, the AFC East is up for grabs…for now. The Dolphins/Buccaneers game has been postponed due to Hurricane Irma, so an early division lead is available for either the New York-based teams.
With that being said, a Week 1 victory for either team could carry them a long way, mentality wise.
The Jets have been ridiculed for their potential season outlook, with one Vegas sports book giving them the worst odds EVER to win the Super Bowl. And while the Jets may not look like a high quality team on paper, they have a huge chance to prove themselves this opening weekend.
What To Watch For:
There will be a lot that fans should keep their eyes open for in this Week 1 tilt. As both teams look to fight their way out of the bottom of the league’s barrell, neither can truly afford to slip up this early.
The Jets will need to get some major things in order via this game.
First off, keep an eye on the defense this weekend. They proved to be a strong-minded unit during the preseason, and while they are quite the puzzle with a lot of moving pieces and a multitude of varying ages, this will be their best shot at proving their worth.
The running back situation will be important to the Jets’ season outlook as well. The Jets’ three half-backs have all made their case to be the featured starter, but Week 1 will likely pave the way for one of them.
While Powell remains the favorite, it cannot be guaranteed. Matt Forte will likely see his fair share of work while Elijah McGuire may be given a few opportunities to again showcase the powerful preseason he had.
.@bilalpowell29's last regular season game?
25 touches, 137 yds, 1 TD…vs. the Bills.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 8, 2017
Last but not least, the quarterback situation.
The Jets have been surrounded with this drama for months now, and it likely won’t stop until the season’s end.
While Josh McCown may give the Jets the best opportunity to win as the starter, he may not turn out to be the best choice for this rebuilding team.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Bryce Petty and eventually Christian Hackenberg get some playing time. McCown will likely play out all of the Week 1 showdown (barring any injury), but we should expect some quick changes if things start getting messy with McCown’s play.
The Jets likely realize that at least one of their young quarterbacks will remain with the team next year, and even if they select a quarterback with an early pick in the upcoming draft, they will need an experienced backup to help compete with the rookie.