The Jets (0-0) at the Buffalo Bills (0-0) at New Era Field in Orchard Park, N.Y. on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 1 p.m. ET.
Coverage on SNY:
- Jets Pre-Game Live at 12:00 p.m.
- Jets Halftime Live on Facebook.com/SNY
- Jets Post-Game Live following Mets Post-Game
- Jets Post Game Overtime on SNY.tv & Facebook.com/SNY following Jets Post Game Live
It should be a beautiful, fall-ish day with lots of sun, little wind and temperatures in the mid-60s.
WHAT IT MEANS
It's a battle for first place in the AFC East! No, really! … OK, these are two rebuilding -- or possibly "tanking" -- teams, neither of which are expected to win many games this season. If they're tanking, then a loss here gets them off to a good start. If they're not, then they ought to take the wins where they can find them because neither have a lot of winnable games on their schedule this year.
PLAYER TO WATCH Jets QB Josh McCown
He didn't play much this preseason, which means he hasn't had a lot of time to get used to a new offense or the many young receivers on his roster. Oh, and his two veteran receivers -- Jermaine Kearse and Jeremy Kerley -- just arrived last weekend. McCown is a 38-year-old journeyman, as everyone knows, but he has had brilliant stretches of football in the last three seasons, and some terrible stretches, too. If the Bad Josh shows up this Jets team has absolutely no chance to win. If he's the competent, turnover-free quarterback he's been during those good stretches, then this is a game the Jets can absolutely win.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Bills RB LeSean McCoy vs. the Jets linebackers
McCoy remains one of the best and shiftiest backs in football and if he's able to get through the Jets' defensive front he can be tough to handle in the open field -- running or catching passes. With veteran LB David Harris gone, there will be a lot of pressure on Darron Lee and Demario Davis, especially, to keep him contained. Beyond the front three, this is a dangerously young and unproven Jets defense. There is talent there, but they are likely to be a work in progress. If they're not immediately up to the task of dealing with a player like McCoy, this could be a very long game.
Jets: QB Bryce Petty(Christian Hackenberg will be the backup QB), Newly signed WR Jeremy Kerley, TE Jordan Leggett, S Rontez Miles, DB Derrick Jones, G Dakota Dozier, TE Neal Sterling.
There aren't going to be many opportunities to pick the Jets to win this year, so I may as well take advantage of the opportunities when they're there. The Bills have two advantages here: They are at home, and they have the best player on the field in McCoy. But they are also adjusting to life under a new coach (Sean McDermott), trying to rebuild a defense that was a mess last season, and -- much like the Jets -- have been enduring their own player-shedding this summer. So it's not like they're coming into this game on a roll. I think the Jets' defensive line is going to be able to pressure QB Tyrod Taylor, and he doesn't really have the weapons any more to make the Jets pay for mistakes, or to test their young secondary. His best weapon is McCoy and I think the Jets can keep him contained enough to stay in this game. As for the Jets' offense … I think they're going to surprise you. Not a Chiefs-beat-the-Patriots kind of surprise, but I don't think they're going to be a disaster. They will be able to run, and their West Coast, quick-passing attack can utilize both Matt Forte and Bilal Powell as weapons out of the backfield. If McCown can avoid the big turnover, he can connect with his patchwork receiving corps and move this offense. Not a lot, but enough. … Jets 19, Bills 17.
MY RECORD (2016 season): 11-5
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING JETS TO WIN: 3-3
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING JETS TO LOSE: 8-2