The NFL is funny. Teams do try and win. Coaches and players try and win so it’s up to the GM to properly dismantle a team to tank for the upcoming draft. The Jets have done that and normally I’d say they have very little chance to win in this game but the Bills have tried just as hard to diminish the talent on the field so this could be an epic battle of futility we haven’t seen since 1976.
In 1976, the Bills were 2-12 and the Jets were 3-11. In week five of that season the Jets indeed beat Buffalo 17-14. In week 8 the Jets beat Buffalo again 19-14. The other win that year came against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Clark Gaines had a combined 179 yards against the new team in the NFL.
The Jets drafted fourth the following season. They got a solid player in Marvin Powell. He was a five-time pro bowl tackle. It was a great selection but the second selection in that draft was a running back named Tony Dorsett. The Jets never had a chance at him because they won too many games. I suspect that may happen this season as well in their quest for a franchise quarterback.
Fast forward to Sunday’s game. I think the Jets will be able to run the ball effectively with Matt Forte and Bilal Powell as the tandem. Buffalo will get a lot of ground yards out of LeSean McCoy and Tyrod Taylor. The Jets have the better receiving core with Jeremy Kurley and Jermaine Kearse providing slot options to Josh McCown in his first game for Gang Green.
I think Leonard Williams (defensive end) and Darron Lee (Linebacker) are the x-factors. They can make some big plays. Jets rookie safety Jamal Adams will be tested. If he fails the test it can be a long day for the Jets.
I think the Jets will win by three and the fan base will be happy and upset all at the same time. The Jets will have a strange season. Fans are used to it so let’s see how it all shakes out. Something tells me there will be more than a few storylines this year.