The New York Jets officially begin their quest for redemption this Sunday at MetLife Stadium when they host the Buffalo Bills. It will be a special day at MetLife Stadium, with not just the opening of a new season but also the team retiring the jersey of Curtis Martin. With many predicting the Bills overtaking the Jets this season in the AFC East, this is a statement game for the Rex Ryan and the Jets.
The New York Jets beat the Buffalo Bills twice last season by a combined score of 55-35. The Jets went up to Ralph Wilson Stadium following their week eight bye and derailed a promising start to the season for the Bills, the Jets defense completely snuffing the Buffalo offense for most of the day. The Jets offense finally woke up in the second half as the Jets cruised to a 27-11 win. The tilt at MetLife Stadium was much tighter, with the Jets escaping with a 28-24 win. It was reminiscent of the cardiac Jets of 2010, as Mark Sanchez tossed a touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes with 1:01 remaining for the win.
The Bills bandwagon is pretty full right now, with the signings of Mario Williams and a few other key acquisitions bringing positive feelings to Orchard Park. Everyone seems to be scared off after an 8-8 season from the Jets last season, despite the fact that many players played well below their potential and some key acquisitions of their own.
POUND THE ROCK
Forget the propaganda about the NFL being a passing league – there is still plenty of room for a teams with a solid running game and stone cold defense to make a lot of noise. Until they start putting flags around the players' waists, the more physical team is always going to be in a great position to win games. The Jets still need to throw the ball deep, but they have to establish a physical presence up front offensively. That's the style Rex Ryan likes and the only way he will be successful.
MAKE THE BILLS BEAT YOUR DEFENSE
Last season the Jets gave up the most points off turnovers in the NFL. With potentially the most talented defense in the NFL, the Jets can't beat themselves with sloppy play and turnovers. Make the Bills (and any other team moving forward) actually beat your defense in a fair fight.
HOPE THAT AUSTIN HOWARD CAN BE BOWSER, NOT JUST A KOOPA TROOPA (OR AT LEAST A TOUGH KOOPA) AGAINST SUPER MARIO
The Jets have replaced Wayne Hunter with Austin Howard, and Howard will start his first NFL game across the line of scrimmage from Mario Williams. Austin Howard is a good athlete with good feet, but Mario Williams is a beast. If Austin Howard can at least hold his own, the Jets will have a great shot at winning this one.
Stephen Hill. If Hill can hurt the Bills deep, or at least force them to respect his ability to get behind the defense, the Jets will have a lot of opportunities to make plays underneath.
Despite the fawning over the Bills as the winners of the offseason, the Jets are a better football team. The Bills won't be able to run on the Jets front seven, which will force Ryan Fitzpatrick to go to the air. With Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and LaRon Landry back there, that should have Jets fans salivating. This will be low scoring and tight, but the Jets pull out a nice AFC East win to start the 2012 season off right.
Jets 17, Bills 13
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