After a disappointing 3-point loss to the New England Patriots last Thursday, the New York Jets are facing an early season “must win” against the Buffalo Bills this week if they’re going to have any hope of putting together a winning season. This is a winnable game at home against a team very much in the same boat as them, with a rookie quarterback and a solid defense. In fact, it’s nearly the same exact defense since it’s being coached by Rex Ryan’s pupil, Mike Pettine. Let’s jump right in to this week’s Stock Watch and do some buying and selling as we prepare for week 3.
BUY: Rex Ryan vs. Rookie QB – Last week we heard a lot about Bill Belichick’s ability to befuddle a rookie quarterback like Geno Smith. Well, Rex Rya isn’t exactly a slouch in that department and we’ve seen him completely shut down rookie quarterbacks in the past. I would expect EJ Manuel to join that list and see him struggle mightily against Rex Ryan, who had three extra days to prepare and gameplan for the matchup. In fact, I would suggest all you fantasy football players out there scour the waiver wire and see if the Jets D is available because they’re going to have a big week, especially since…
BUY: Quinton Coples is Back – Yep, that’s right, the league’s #2 ranked defense is getting their best pass rusher back. The Jets defensive front has been a force so far in this young season and that has been with Calvin Pace and Garrett McIntyre both playing far more than they should be in Coples’ absence. Well, the 2012 first round pick is expected to play this week and he’s going to add a whole new element to the defense lining up next to players like Mo Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Damon Harrison, and Antwan Barnes. There are lots of reasons for excitement with this defense.
SELL: Wide Receivers – For as good and exciting as the Jets defensive front is, the wide receivers as a whole are the exact opposite. Santonio Holmes is still clearly not 100%, Jeremy Kerley has been banged up, and Stephen Hill and Clyde Gates are Stephen Hill and Clyde Gates. After watching the group drop 47 passes last week (or maybe it just seemed like that many), it is imperative that Kerley get back this week and for Kellen Winslow to be involved in the offense. Gates needs to just go away. I don’t care where, he just needs to go away.
BUY: Trading for a WR – With the WR group struggling and Geno Smith needing some healthy weapons to succeed, I think John Idzik should be making calls around the league to try and get a talented disgruntled receiver on the cheap similar to the way Mike Tannenbaum brought in Braylon Edwards during the 2009 season. Sometimes all a guy needs is a change of scenery to jumpstart his career, and that could be the case for a guy like Kenny Britt or Josh Gordon. Rex Ryan has had a great history with turning “troubled” players around and bringing in a guy like that could pay huge dividends for the offense.
BUY: Chris Ivory – Last week we saw the freeing of Chris Ivory and it was glorious. Ivory ran with power and quickness and showed a burst that we haven’t seen in years from our running backs. The line got good push up front and Ivory took full advantage. The only probably was that he didn’t get the ball more often because he is clearly a better option than Bilal Powell. I’d expect this week against Buffalo could be when we start to see Ivory distance himself from Powell a little bit and get more carries.
BUY: Vlad Ducasse – It took a few years, but Vlad is finally starting to get it out there. He has all of the physical tooks and he’s finally putting it all together a little bit. Yes, there will still be mistakes, and he needs to still improve pass blocking, but he was a force against the run last week and dominated Vince Wilfork 1-on-1 on several occasions. That is not a misprint. That really happened. He faces another tough task this week against the Bills tough defensive front, but I think Vlad is up for the challenge.
HOLD: Geno Smith – I’m not ready to make any definitive statements on Geno like so many others are. I didn’t love him coming out of college, and I was praying that the Jets wouldn’t draft him in the 1st round, which they didn’t. I didn’t want him in the 2nd either, but I thought it was a good roll of the dice and worth it.
So far early in this season he has clearly shown some flashes that he can become the Jets answer at QB, but he’s also been absolutely awful at times as well. I think this week will tell us a lot about Geno for a few reasons. He had three extra days to prepare for this game and get ready for the Bills defense, which is awfully similar to what the Jets run. You know the coaches are doing everything they can to have him ready, so how he responds will be telling. He’s also going up against EJ Manuel, who was the only quarterback selected ahead of him in the 1st round. Will Geno step up and bring his A-game to show everyone they were wrong for passing on him? I sure hope so. I expect him to play well, and hopefully next week I’m buying up a ton of Geno stock.
BUY: Jets Win – There’s no way Rex is going to lose on his home field to Mike Pettine and a rookie QB, it’s just not going to happen. I expect a monster performance from the defense, a solid performance by Geno and the offense, and to be celebrating a Jets victory some time around 7:30 Sunday night.
TNF Picks – Philadelphia (-3) vs. Kansas City
- Joe – Philly
- Dalbin – KC
- Dan – KC
- Mike – KC