Well ladies and gentlemen, we have made it through the arduous offseason and arrived at Week 1 of the regular season. This is a league game. This determines who enters the round robin. Stakes are high right away. It’s a bit strange to jump right into the regular season without seeing the teams in pre-season. We don’t know if Adam Gase has learned from his mistakes last season and re-designed the offense to be more dynamic (Spoiler: He has not). The season is blank canvas waiting for the Jets to spoil with a fingerpaint offense. And I will watch it all because apparently I am a masochist.
This offseason was quite eventful for these Jets. We saw the Jets best player publicly rip the team and demand a trade. We saw the second best and highest paid player opt out of the season. We saw the team draft one(!) WR with its 9 picks. The WR that was drafted inevitably was injured. This is an Adam Gase-led team after all; as we know from his previous four seasons as a Head Coach, injuries are par for the course. WR is a position so devoid of talent that Chris Hogan is going to see meaningful reps today, which as we have discussed is a regular season game that does indeed count towards the standings. Chris Hogan! Are you kidding me?! The 5’9” 175 lb Jamison Crowder is ostensibly the WR1. Yet the Jets saw fit to draft a punter rather than another WR. This punter had better have a rocket for a leg. To top off the summer, the pissant owner and heir to bandaid fortune, Woody Johnson, was credibly accused of light treason and gender discrimination during his time cosplaying as an Ambassador in the UK. In a just world, he would have been forced to resign in shame and be held accountable for his actions. Alas, he has a great deal of money, none of which he earned himself by the way, and will not have to face the music. The organization as currently constructed is rotten to the core and in a strange way I will be relieved come January after another embarrassing 6-10 season that ought to force some change.
Now we arrive at Week 1. For the tenth consecutive season, Week 1 is a Must Win for the Jets. For the second consecutive season, the Jets enter Week 1 with a bottom five head coach and roster. It is difficult to get excited about a team that appears destined to miss the playoffs for the tenth consecutive season. That is the third longest drought in the league. Even with a seventh playoff team added to the bracket this year, you really have to strain to envision this Jets team claiming one of those spots.
In what is sure to be a trend this season, the Jets are a significant underdog against the Bills today. A Bills team that inexplicably has adopted the attitude of Super Bowl or Bust. We can charitably call the Bills the fourth best team in the AFC, so we can safely say it will be Bust. Right now, the line today sits at Jets +6.5 with an O/U and 39. It looks like a wet and windy day in store in Orchard Park. Sam Darnold and Josh Allen have squared off twice in two seasons. Neither QB has performed particularly well in those two games, which is why we see a game total of 39, the lowest in the league today. In the two games, Allen has completed 57.5% of his passes for 6.3 YPA, thrown for 1 TD and 4 INTs. He’s simply not a good passer. Where Allen has hurt the Jets is on the ground; he has rushed for 139 yards and 2 TDs in the two games against the Jets. In those same two games, Darnold has a stat line of 67.7% completion for 5.3 YPA, with 2 TDs and 1 INT. He is also not a good passer. I struggle to see how the Jets are going to move the ball consistently, but if they can limit the damage from Josh Allen on the ground, they should be able to keep it close. They do have a good run defense, it’s the secondary that has the question marks. I think you have to dare Josh Allen to beat you with his arm. If he is throwing 30+ passes today, that is good news for the Jets. The Jets should be able to cobble together 14 – 17 points and keep this one close. Take the Jets +6.5.
Pick: Jets +6.5