We are just over 24 hours away from the first game of the season, we have waited 9 months for the opportunity to prove that we are contenders and not pretenders. Tomorrow we get the chance to prove just this and to make things even better it's against an up and coming divisional opponent.
In just over 24 hours the tailgating will be in full flow, the stadium will be starting to fill up and the players will be going through their pre-game routine. Here on GGN we are going through our pre-game routine as well and it feels great to be doing it. Going through the injuries, looking into key match-ups and of course handling a game preview.
The Jets swept the series against Buffalo last year winning at Ralph Wilson Stadium 27-11 in week 9 and then edging out the Bills in New York 28-24 in Week 12. Buffalo has improved over the off-season adding Mario Williams and moving back to a 4-3 defense. George Edwards is gone as the defensive coordinator and Dave Wannstedt is in, and I'm sure he won't have too many problems getting to the quarterback with a defensive line that includes Mario Williams, Kyle Williams, Marcel Dareus and lets not forget Mark Anderson who came over from the Patriots and recorded 12.5 sacks last year.
Our offensive line will likely have it's hands full with the defensive line and our linebackers will be kept on their toes against Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller. However the receiving core should strike fear into few, with Fitzpatrick tossing the rock and Stevie Johnson, Donald Jones and David Nelson catching the football, the Jets who possess one of the better secondary's in the league should be able to handle it.
The Bills invested in defense during the 2012 NFL draft. We will get to see Stephon Gilmore the first round cornerback selection out of South Carolina likely lined up against Stephen Hill, however 4th round cornerback Ron Brooks from LSU has already been ruled out. I expect the Jets interior line to attack 2nd round selection Cordy Glenn from Georgia and for Sanchez to go after the young cornerback partnership the Bills will be starting.
Buffalo led the Jets in almost every offensive category last season apart from 3rd down completion (32.5% for Buffalo and 34.7% for New York) however the Jets led the Bills in pretty much every defensive category. So it'll be a fantastic test. I believe the Bills have improved defensively and offensively over the off-season and I also believe the Jets have done the same thing.
Buffalo out-gained the Jets in total yards per game last season (351.5 for the Bills, 311.8 for the Jets) however they did allow 139 rushing yards per game which was 28th in the league. Buffalo has improved its pass rush, however have they improved their run defense enough to stop the ground and pound New York Philosophy.
In the first meeting in 2011, the Jets held Fitzpatrick to less than 50% completion (15-31) and forced him into throwing two interceptions. They limited the Bills to 27% efficiency on third down and kept a lid on Jackson to a certain extent.
In the second meeting, there was 7 touchdowns thrown between Mark Sanchez and Ryan Fitzpatrick and both defences continuously buckled with the Bills completing 40% of their third down opportunities and the Jets completing 45% of theirs.
It's going to be a battle in the AFC East, there is no doubt about that. However we'll learn a lot about the team we have, and we'll learn a lot about the team the Bills possess. Remember to check out my three key match-ups and the Injury Report from Friday.
Enjoy the game Jets fans, football is in the air!!