The TOJ Staff gives their predictions for the New York Jets regular season opener against the Buffalo Bills. Make sure to give everybody a follow on Twitter
Chris Gross - Jets 19 Bills 10 – Don’t expect this game to be very pretty in terms of offensive fire power. Each of these teams are built on defense and running the ball. The Jets play their first real game in the brand new offensive system of Tony Sparano, while Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills take on a New York defense that seems poised to rank in the top three in the league. The Jets offense will struggle to score touchdowns until it fully gels within the new system, but stellar defensive and special teams play will allow them to win the field position battle and accumulate points through field goals, with a touchdown sprinkled in. Expect either a “TebowCat” TD run from inside the ten, or a play action pass from Sanchez to Keller.
Mike Donnelly - Ahh, the Buffalo Bills. There’s not a team I’d rather see the Jets opening against. After months and months of hearing about how wonderful Buffalo is going to be this year on both sides of the ball, while the Jets are expected to show up in their clown car and just throw in the towel, we get to see both teams actually prove it on the field. WIth or without Sione Po’uha, the Jets defense is going to smother the Bills. You know damn well Rex Ryan has a few special wrinkles saved up for Chan Gailey this week, and I don’t expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to be able to handle them. The Jets offense is NOT as bad as they’ve shown this preseason, and now that the games count you better believe they’re going to open up the playbook and actually, you know, score a touchdown. They’ll do just enough on offense and unleash the hounds on poor Fitzpatrick on defense as the game slowly turns into a rout, something like 27-10. Oh, and expect this guy who wears #24 for the Jets to put all the “Stevie Johnson owns Revis” garbage to rest, once and for all. My official prediction? I’ll let Clubber Lang handle this one -
TJ Rosenthal - Jets win 23-17 if: The Front four remains as physical and quick off the bell as they were against Carolina weeks back. This will allow the Jets to make the Bills duo of Jackson and Spiller unable to dictate terms. Sanchez will be efficient in this scenario while finding a way to make the big strike at some point. Tebow will move the chains and bring energy to Met Life with a few scintillating runs. Jets lose 27-13 if: The offense looks the way it did all preseason, tiring out a Jets D that had good intentions, but couldn’t rest properly. Eventually caving in after halftime.
Chris Celletti - This game is going to be absolutely excruciating for Jets fans. Not because I think they’ll lose, as you’ll see, but it’s not going to be pretty at all. I still don’t have a ton of confidence in this Jets’ offense. I expect Mark Sanchez to make some really nice throws, hit a few intermediate plays and try some deep throws, but I don’t expect a huge statistical output and I’d be shocked if he doesn’t throw a pick (and at what point that pick comes and the context of it is going to determine the circus factor in MetLife). Tim Tebow and the Wildcat will prove to be efficient, but since the Jets’ offensive line struggled in the preseason on standard running plays, I don’t see them opening up huge holes for Tebow to make a big play. I think both offenses will struggle, especially the Bills as I think the Jets’ D has a big day. The Jets do find a way to score a few touchdowns in a defense/field position battle, and the panic button goes away for at least a week. Jets 20, Bills 16
Rob Celletti- It’s not surprising that of the 16 games on the NFL Week 1 slate, Jets/Bills has the lowest over/under number (39, half a point lower than what promises to be an unwatchable clash between Minnesota and Jacksonville), and still, I’d take the under. It’s not going to be pretty, folks. The Jets will run the ball, and they’ll punt. Sanchez will take some sacks, and they’ll punt. But the defense will not only hold, but dominate, and the Jets offense will find a rhythm at some point. Look for the offense to score points when they start with a short field, via turnovers or an explosive special teams play. Mark Sanchez will get this team into the endzone twice, and the Jets will win the game 20-13. The statistics won’t be pretty, but 1-0 will be