The New York Jets travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills in an AFC East battle on Sunday in the opener of the NFL season. These two teams split last year’s two meetings, with the Bills winning 17-16 in week one and the Jets winning by a score of 13-6 in week 17. New York ended the 2019 season with a 7-9 record, while Buffalo went 10-6 before losing to the Houston Texans in overtime, 22-19, in the Wild Card round.
Jets looking to improve on 7-9 recordThe New York Jets missed the playoffs last season after going 7-9, but they won six of their last eight games, losing only to Baltimore and Cincinnati in that stretch. With Future Hall of Farmer Tom Brady out of the division, this might be the year that the Jets finally get over the hump and crack the postseason.
Quarterback Sam Darnold is back under center for New York. In 13 games last season, he completed 61.9% of his passes for 3,024 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. He had just two 300-yard passing performances in 2019. Le’Veon Bell led the Jets in rushing last season with 789 yards, but just a 3.2 yards per carry average. Bell’s ineffectiveness led the Jets to sign Frank Gore in the offseason. Gore rushed for 599 yards for the Bills last season. He has rushed for 15,347 yards in his career, which is third all-time behind Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton. The top four wide receivers (Breshad Perriman, Jamison Crowder, Chris Hogan, and Denzel Mims) listed on the Jets depth chart are all listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Crowder led the Jets last season with 78 receptions, 833 yards, and six touchdowns.
"I know I've been blessed with the ability to play football at a high level and I take advantage of it," Gore said on espn.com. "The reason I take advantage of it is because it got taken away from me in college [at the University of Miami with a serious knee injury], so I know this game is not promised to nobody. No matter how many Pro Bowls, no matter how many thousand yards, no matter what, once I step on that field, I want to show I'm not satisfied
New York averaged just 17.3 points per game last season, while they gave up 22.1 points per game. They were pretty good defensively against the run last year, allowing teams just 86.9 yards per game on the ground, although they gave up 236.2 yards per game through the air. They had a turnover ratio of -4 last season.
There is an issue on defense and that's the fact that linebacker C.J. Mosley, who missed most of last year with an injury, has opted out this season. They also traded all-world safety Jamal Adams to Seattle for a first, a third-round pick in 2021, a first-rounder in 2022 and safety Bradley McDougald.
Bills look to take control of AFC EastThe biggest beneficiary of Tom Brady leaving the AFC East may be the Buffalo Bills. The Bills went 10-6 last season, which included two losses to the New England Patriots. The Patriots have owned the AFC East over the last two decades, but with Brady gone, Buffalo may finally get back to the top of the division.
Josh Allen threw for 3,089 yards in his second season, while throwing 20 touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He also ran for 510 yards and a team-leading nine touchdowns. Leading rusher Devin Singletary rushed for 775 yards last season and two touchdowns. Frank Gore has switched sidelines as he was signed by the New York Jets in the offseason. John Brown led the receiving corps last season with 72 catches for 1,060 yards and six touchdowns, while Cole Beasley had 67 receptions for 778 yards and six touchdowns. Stefon Diggs, who caught 63 passes for 1,130 yards for Minnesota last season, was added in a trade to help the receiving corps. He was one of the premier pick ups in the offseason and instantly gives the Bills the best receiving corps in the division.
“He’s another guy that kind of matches the type of competitiveness that I have — he wants to win every single rep, he’s not OK with being OK,” Allen said about Diggs on yahoo.com. “He wants to be great, I want to be great. And he’s bringing out the best in a lot of people on the team.”
Buffalo scored 19.6 points per game last season, while giving up 16.2 points per game. Their pass defense was their strength last season on defense, allowing just 195.2 yards per game passing last season, while they gave up 103.1 yards per game on the ground. They had a +4 turnover ratio last season. They are led in the secondary by Pro Bowl corner Tre'Darvious White, who is coming off a breakout season with six interceptions.
Trend found on oddsshark.com:
- The Jets are 6-2 straight up in their last eight games overall
- The Bills are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall