The NY Jets are set to kick off their 2020 NFL season against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park.
It’s finally here. The 2020 NFL season is upon us as we preview the NY Jets‘ matchup this Sunday against a grueling divisional opponent in the Buffalo Bills.
It’s no easy task to go into someone else’s building and pull out a “W”, but the Jets seem to be betting against all odds that they can do such a thing.
They’re confident. They’re ready to prove many analysts who have bet against the Jets prior to the season, wrong.
There’s just one problem.
They aren’t going up against a bottom-feeder among many teams across the NFL. They’re set to face a team who convincingly made the playoffs last season and are, by many judgments, the favorite to win the AFC East when all is said and done.
The Jets, obviously, are looking to ruin the Bills’ parade over the weekend. Let’s jump into why the Bills’ are so highly touted heading into this *strange* football season.
Starting with the offense, led by quarterback Josh Allen, among many who help that offense turn its gears. The Bills upgraded at a couple of crucial positions this offseason. Beginning with the acquisition, via trade, of former Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
This gives Buffalo two (!) 1,000-yard receivers lining up on the outside hash-marks, the other being John Brown. This could be bad news for a Jets team that has struggled in the past to solidify an opposing team’s passing attack this early in the season (i.e. Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns).
While Gang Green should certainly worry about slowing down the pass, the Bills also drafted running back Zack Moss out of Utah in the third round to help elevate their run game alongside last year’s third-round draft pick Devin Singletary.
The Jets were exceptional when defending the run throughout most of last season’s conquest. With the team returning and adding plenty of depth along the defensive line and at the linebacker position, the effort shouldn’t change.
If the Bills are going to defeat the Jets, it’s most likely going to have to be done through the air, where the Jets ranked 17th in passing yards-per-game allowed throughout all of last season.
As that doesn’t seem to be a terrible ranking, the team added a couple of new pass defenders to try and halt an attempted air raid against the secondary.
This unit could take time to gel, as cornerback Pierre Desir, who the Jets acquired via free agency this past offseason, missed virtually all of the adjusted training camp portion throughout August, and who is slated to go up against one of the better receivers across the NFL in Stefon Diggs.
Stopping the Buffalo Bills’ offense will be no easy task for a team that has been assaulted through the air the past couple of years, but with Gregg Williams’ multiple formations that he rigorously deploys on Sundays, they may have a chance to make a statement.
The NY Jets will have their hands full with the Bills’ defense.
Switching over to examining the Bills’ defense, which has seen some roster turnover in terms of the defensive line and secondary, but also hosts many returning faces to a defense that has made opponents cower into the corner since last season.
Sam Darnold and the Jets will have to play a methodically patient game against a Bills defense that enjoys blitzing young quarterbacks out of their shell.
Much like Gregg Williams, Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier has a history of being able to create one-dimensional games on offense. The Jets will need to find a way to feed the football to their reliable options, both on the outside, and in.
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With running back Le’Veon Bell as motivated as ever to prove that last season’s play was truly a fluke, he’ll have his hands full in terms of running against defensive tackle Ed Oliver and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, among others.
The offensive line will be the storyline for a game of this caliber. They’ll have to come out of the gate with instant chemistry that has been worked on throughout the offseason.
Protecting Sam Darnold against a pass-rush that the Bills have nearly perfected over previous years will be a tough task for a unit that will not have taken an NFL snap together until this Sunday.
The Jets’ receivers are in for a treat as well.
A few new faces such as Breshad Perriman, Chris Hogan, and Denzel Mims (who will be eased in) will join the fray and go up against a Buffalo Bills secondary that hosts one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL in Tre’Davious White, who just signed a lucrative four-year deal to stay with the team.
The Bills also house an almost forgotten name in Josh Norman, who stands across from White on defense.
Tight end Chris Herndon will be an X-factor for Sam Darnold, who has seemed to find the perfect match with a big-bodied, red-zone threat such as Herndon.
With safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde still roaming the Bills’ defensive backfield, Herndon will need to find openings in a defense that doesn’t tend to give team’s much down the field.
While analyzing both sides of the football for a team that could use as much intel as possible is enjoyable, this all means nothing unless they come out and really show what all of this offseason work and preparation, was really about.
Score Prediction: Jets 20, Bills 17