|Photo from jetnation.com|
I did not do a preview for last week's game because I had way too much work, and it would have been impossible for me to write it on a Thursday.
Bills: CB Ron Brooks (foot), CB Stephon Gilmore (wrist), WR Marquise Goodwin (hand), K Dustin Hopkins (groin), G Doug Legursky (knee)
Jets: T Oday Aboushi (knee)
Bills: S Jairus Byrd (foot)
Jets: Once again, the Jets listed a ridiculous amount of people as probable, and I'm not going to bother myself and all of you with all of those names. Here are the important ones: DE Quinton Coples (ankle), DT Kenrick Ellis (back), DT Sheldon Richardson (shoulder), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle)
The Jets have impressed me so far, and while I still think the playoffs are about as likely as Wayne Chrebet remember his own name, Chad Pennington not having to amputate both his arms, or Kellen Clemens having any worth as a football player, I might have to back off the 4-12 prediction.
The defense has looked quite good. I expected the defensive line to be really good, which is an amazing sign because the three keystones on that line were taken in the first round of the last three drafts (Muhammad Wilkerson in 2011, Quinton Coples in 2012, and Sheldon Richardson this year). They've been really impressive at stopping the run, and the pass rush has been better than I expected without their best pass rusher, the now returning Coples.
The real key has been the linebacking corps. David Harris's corpse has been resurrected and he's playing like the dominant player that he was two or three years ago. He's a phenomenal run stopper with an occasional pass rush up his sleeve. Antwan Barnes has been pretty good at getting after the quarterback. The rest of the unit has been solid, which is a far cry from what I thought going into the year would be a glaring weakness.
While I thought the defense would be fine overall, they have been absolutely great so far, a trend which I think will continue this week, against a largely run oriented team.
As for the offenses. I think that E.J. Manuel is better than Geno Smith. I only watched part of Buffalo's Week 1 game, and none of them last week, but for a rookie, he's been pretty good. The mistakes have been pretty minimal, especially in comparison to Smith's first two games.
Don't even get me started on how much better C.J. Spiller is than either of the Jets running backs. Even backup" Fred Jackson is still going strong at the age of 32, and the combination of the two could be the best tandem in the NFL, right up there with Reggie Bush and Joique Bell in Detroit, Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce in Baltimore, and Arian Foster and Ben Tate in Houston. The Buffalo rushing attack is far ahead of what the Jets put out there.
Stevie Johnson alone would be better than Hobbled Santonio Holmes, Stone Hands Hill, and Clyde "I Dropped the Key for My" Gates combined. That dumpster fire of a threesome is going to hold the Jets and Geno Smith back, which is a shame because if the receivers were at least all average (in other words, if the Jets had six Doug Baldwins), this team could at least get seven or eight wins.
But on defense is where the Jets have the clear edge. Expect a triumphant debut from Coples. Their defense is so much better than Buffalo's, that it makes up for the offensive deficiencies. Geno Smith should not have too much trouble finding success against this paltry defense.
Throw in the home field advantage and this one is a Jets victory...barely.
JETS (-1) over Bills.
Jets 16, Bills 14
P.S. That was actually the score of a Jets-Bills game in 2004. I now have to re-evaluate my life because as soon as I typed that score, I remembered this game from when I was seven years old, so I furiously googled it. Help me.
P.P.S. Some players from that game: Drew Bledsoe, Eric Moulds, Willis McGahee, Aaron Schobel, Travis Henry, John Abraham, rookie Jonathan Vilma, Justin McCairens, my favorite player at the time Santana Moss, the aforementioned Pennington and Chrebet, and Hall of Famer Curtis Martin.
P.P.P.S. Seriously, why the hell did I remember that score?