We are a bit over two days away from the start of Week 2 of the NFL season. The Thursday night game this week will see the New York Jets play Rex Ryan and their AFC East rivals, Buffalo Bills. Both teams are coming off losses in Week 1 as the Jets lost to the Bengals and the Bills lost to the Ravens.
Here are five things the Jets need to do to avoid going 0-2 and go 1-0 in Division play.
Rush the ball
In their Week 1 loss to the Bengals, Matt Forte only had 22 attempts for a total of 96 yards. Despite playing the Ravens tough in Week 1 and also losing to them, the Bills were able to limit the Ravens rushing game. The Jets want to expose the Bills defense because it does not get easier as they have played the Seahawks, Cardinals, and Steelers in the up coming weeks. In the next few weeks, the Bills defense is the weakest defense as the Jets play some of the toughest defenses in the NFL before Halloween.
Convert on third down
The Jets conversion rate on 3rd downs was four for twelve or 33% last week. You won’t win games in the National Football League by converting the ball less than 40% of the time. I am a firm believer that by not converting on 3rd downs, you are giving your opponent “free yards.” If the Jets can get that number better this week against Buffalo, it will help them win.
Don’t let Buffalo convert
I know I just said that you want to convert the ball, but like the defense, you don’t want to allow Buffalo to convert on 3rd downs and 4th downs. There are several ways not to allow this to happen. Some of them are to stay on your assignments and don’t allow them to get extra yards on a play.
Let Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw the ball
Last week, the Jets had 340 passing yards. Normally that is not a bad number. However, it is not good when your opponent has almost 400 passing yards. I don’t suspect the Bills will be close to that because of Sammy Watkins; the Bills number 1 receiver is not 100%. Also, Tyrod Taylor is not Andy Dalton in the sense that Taylor is more of an out of pocket passer.
Limit Taylor to not get out the pocket
Except for Week 2 and 4, the Jets face mostly quarterbacks who are pocket passers. Tyrod Taylor and Russell Wilson are the only two quarterbacks who the Jets face who happen to be out of the pocket. So the Jets don’t want to leave any windows open cause Taylor can burn them with his feet.
You have two teams who don’t want to start off the season 0-2. I see this being a close battle, but I see the Jets squeaking out a victory by the score of 20-14. I do see that the coach of the team that loses this game will be put on the hot seat. Bills and Jets have played close games over the years. Plus the Jets want to avenge their Week 17 loss from last season to the Bills.