First off, I would like to say it is an honor to be covering the New York Jets this year for Jersey Sporting News. I look forward to covering the most exciting team to suit up for the Jets in quite some time. The Jets will host the Buffalo Bills on Monday night, and they’ll be thrown right into the spotlight.
Buffalo is coming off a disappointing season that saw them fall to Cincinnati in the Divisional Round. At the start of the season, they are certainly the team to beat in the AFC East—but the Jets team can easily put that thought to bed come Monday night.
Throw out all the Hard Knocks episodes, and forget about all the headlines: It is time to play some football.
Storylines on Offense:
Aaron Rodgers makes his debut for Gang Green against the reigning Division Champs. Rodgers left Green Bay on the heels of a disappointing loss to Detroit that prevented the Packers from going to the playoffs. The expectations from media and fans, alike, could not be bigger for the future Hall of Famer entering the year.
While Garret Wilson will be a top target for Rodgers, look for Allen Lazard to have a big impact this year. Dalvin Cook will be another player to watch. It often takes time for a veteran quarterback to adjust to a new offense; Rodgers, however, will not need much time (if any) to adjust, as he and Nate Hackett have done this before.
The biggest storyline will be how this offensive line holds up to protect Rodgers. As someone who has watched Aaron for the past 18+ years, I can tell you that he still can escape pressure and obviously has elite pocket awareness. The Jets offensive line, however, needs to make sure he is not running for his life all season. This also means that Hackett needs to dial up some quick plays to open up the field.
Look for some quick slants to Wilson to start the game and then, as the game progresses, you will see that open up-the-back shoulder throws to Lazard. Dalvin Cook and the running game are also key, as they will keep the Bills front 7 on their heels.
Storylines on Defense:
We all know how good this Jets defense is and can be this year. DJ Reed made headlines when he stated they could be “Historical” and could be as good—if not better—than the ‘85 Bears. They have everything you would want in a defense—with incredible corners like Sauce Gardner and Reed, as well as their front seven that will be getting after quarterbacks all year.
The confidence on defense is everything any fan or coach would want to see from a team; now it's time to take care of business and back the comments up.
Jets fans have been waiting for this day all offseason long, Aaron Rodgers and Gang Green on Monday Night Football on the anniversary of 9/11. “Jetlife” Stadium will be rocking, and Josh Allen and the Bills will be in for a long night.
Look for the Jets defense to not give Josh Allen any room to breathe, forcing turnovers all night whether it be strip-sacks or interceptions. The Jets offense will be putting up points, electrifying the capacity crowd. Garret Wilson and Lazard will both be huge factors tonight. My offensive sleepers tonight are Michael Carter and CJ Uzomah, who both are listed as backups, but will have opportunities to shine.
This game feels like it will be the complete opposite of the Giants opener less than 24 hours ago.