The time is once again upon us, NY Jets fans. It is once again time for football! The Jets will be kicking off their season by welcoming arguably their biggest division rival, the Buffalo Bills, to MetLife Stadium on Monday night.
However, this is not the same Jets team. There is a new aura in the air, and it's one of hope. This is in large part due to the Jets acquiring a future Hall of Famer in Aaron Rodgers.
Last season, all the Jets needed to make the playoffs was a stable, consistently good quarterback, and now they have just that. That said, here are the Jets' three keys to victory against the Bills.
3. The NY Jets must pressure Josh Allen
First and foremost, the Jets' defense must pressure Josh Allen. Allen is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and that can't be argued. Not only is he a threat in the air, but he is also a danger on his feet.
If the Jets hope to come out of Week 1 with a victory, they must apply pressure on Allen from the start of the game. This means we will need a big game out of the likes of Carl Lawson, Quinton Jefferson, Quinnen Williams, and John Franklin-Myers.
It starts with the men up front, and if that unit can make Allen's life difficult during the game, the Jets could find themselves in a prime spot to win.
2. The NY Jets must protect Aaron Rodgers at all costs
The second key to a Jets victory comes at the line on the offensive side of the ball. Aaron Rodgers is going to need to be protected at all costs. Without the protection, it doesn't matter how good of a quarterback you have on your team.
This means that Duane Brown, Laken Tomlinson, Connor McGovern, and Alijah Vera-Tucker will need to be on their A-game all season long. One man on the offensive line, however, sticks out the most — Mekhi Becton.
Becton is the team's new starting right tackle, and after a pair of injury-riddled seasons, he has a lot to prove this season. This is a make-or-break year for the former first-round pick.
1. The NY Jets must establish the run game
Arguably the most important key to a Jets victory is establishing the run game. The Jets' running back room is one of the positions that improved the most since last season.
Establishing the run game against the Bills could be absolutely crucial to a Jets victory. Rodgers arguably does his best work in play action, so establishing the run game could completely open that up for the 10-time Pro Bowler to do what he does best.
Aside from play action, the Jets running backs have to set the tempo against the Bills. Despite Breece Hall being expected to play, expect to see the newly acquired Dalvin Cook receive a sizable chunk of carries.
Between Cook and Hall, the Jets running game could reach heights it hasn't seen in quite some time. Add in a decent Michael Carter and a speedy Israel Abanikanda, and the Jets could be unstoppable on the ground.