Florham Park, N.J. - Week two of the NFL season is upon us and the New York Jets kick it off on Thursday Night Football taking on division-rivals Buffalo Bills. You'll never hear anyone on the Jets say this, but this is a revenge game for Week 17 of last year. There's a lot of bad blood between these two teams and unfinished business for the Jets.
The Bills are coming off of an 13-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Tyrod Taylor went 15-for-22 for 111 yards while LeSean McCoy ran for 58 yards and a touchdown. New York suffered a tough 23-22 loss over the Cincinnati Bengals. Matt Forte totaled 155 yards while Quincy Enunwa had team-high seven catches and a touchdown. Here's what you should know for the upcoming matchup.
WHEN: Thursday, September 15, 2016 8:25 p.m. EST
WHERE: New Era Field Orchard Park, N.Y.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
Control the Line of Scrimmage
New York needs to hold it down in the trenches on both offense and defense. The offensive line did a good job keeping Ryan Fitzpatrick standing up, only giving up one sack. However, head coach Rex Ryan is a defensive guru, so you never know what he's going to throw out there. They also need to focus on getting Forte and Bilal Powell some running room, as Ryan is somehow Fitzpatrick's kryptonite. On the opposite side, the defensive line needs to have a huge day. Muhammad Wilkerson, Steve McLendon, and Leonard Williams had a tremendous game against the Bengals. Now, bring in the return of Sheldon Richardson and there's no stopping the new generation of the New York Sack Exchange.
Red Zone Offense
The Jets did not have an ideal time in the red zone against the Bengals in week one. They went 2-for-5 in the red zone, with also bringing the ball within the 10-yard line twice and only walking away with two field goals. Last year, New York ranked 3rd in the NFL in the red zone. Now they're 22nd league wide. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are the two best red zone wide receivers in the NFL, but the pair only combined for five total catches. Decker did have a touchdown in the red zone, but that was the most of it. With the emergence of Quincy Enunwa and the addition of Forte, Gang Green should have no problem putting up points.
Receivers Need to Show Up
As I mentioned last paragraph, Marshall and Decker didn't really do anything last week. Marshall was targeted eight times, but only came away with three catches for 32 yards. Decker was thrown to seven times, but was only able to reel in two of them for 37 yards and a 15-yard touchdown. If those two aren't at the top of their game, the Jets offense is no where to being as good as it should be. Good news though, Enunwa broke out for a big game, adding 54 yards. Jalin Marshall also played a semi-big role, drawing two big penalties in order to put his team in a scoring position. However, he posted zero's on the stat sheet. Robby Anderson also saw some snaps but nothing came of that. Most of the chunks of damage done in the air came from Enunwa and Forte. In order to win, New York needs to air it out.
The Jets secondary was absolutely torched by the Bengals. Andy Dalton threw for 366 yards and a touchdown, a deep ball to A.J. Green. Green went off for 12 catches and 180 yards. The secondary were no where to be found. Marcus Williams had a interception early on, but that was the only big thing. They kept giving up big plays and big chunks of yards through the air. Darrelle Revis and Buster Skrine struggled. There was miscommunication between the cornerbacks and the safeties on a few plays, including the Green touchdown. Sammy Watkins will most likely be out for the game so the best target for the Bill is Charles Clay.
X-Factor: Ryan FItzpatrick
It's obvious that Fitzpatrick needs to step up. He looked sloppy last game, throwing 19-for-35 with 189 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on the final drive. When Fitzpatrick goes up against Rex Ryan, he has a career record of 2-8. In those games, he has a completion percentage of 47% and TD-INT ratio of 16-12. In two games last year against Buffalo, Fitzpatrick went 31-for-71 for 374 yards and four touchdowns and five interceptions. Both games New York lost 22-17. This is a year to prove for Fitzpatrick, and it all starts against Buffalo.
Prediction: Jets 24 Bills 20
No question, this is going to be a close game throughout. From last year to this year, both the New York's offense and defense has added pieces to get better. Buffalo also might be without star wide out Watkins, which gives a less of a load on the Jets secondary. The defense is coming off of a hot game so the offense just needs to catch up.null