After scoring only one-count'em-one touchdown in four pre-season games, the offense of the New York Jets woke up this morning, just in time for the season opener, and solidly stomped the Buffalo Bills, 48-28. And believe me, the game wasn't nearly as close as the score.
Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick helped a great deal, tossing three interceptions to the boys in the white and green. Fitzpatrick throws at Darrelle Revis more than any other QB in the league, and today Revis made him pay. He did not fare much better throwing at the other Jets defenders either.
And the Buffalo defense, supposedly much improved in the off-season, showed nothing at all. The Jets finally got rid of Wayne Hunter, the weak spot on their O line, replacing him with a guy off the practice squad... and practice squad guy, whose name I have already forgotten, shut down Mario Williams all day, never letting him get even a sniff of Mark Sanchez. So Super Mario was a bust, for this game at least, and Buffalo's star RB Fred Jackson went down with a leg injury early in the contest. His replacement, C.J. Spiller, was the lone bright spot for Buffalo, ripping through the Jets' D-line time after time for long runs. Good on him, bad on us: we better shut down that next week. In a closer game, letting the opponent run on you like that could be fatal.
Rex Ryan finally unveiled the "wildjet" formation that he's been hiding all preseason. Well, okay. Having both Sanchez and Tebow on the field together didn't seem to produce much. I am dubious about whether or not this shuttling them in and out will work for long, but we'll see. Today was all Sanchez. He looked very sharp, especially throwing to our rookie WR Stephen Hill and some tight end named Cumberland who we must have picked up when I wasn't looking. Hill was our 2nd round draft pick, and looks like a keeper. Our first round draft pick, DE Quinton Coples, was only heard from when drawing a roughing the passer penalty... but hey, it was his first game.
I wonder if Rex has a play in that playbook where Tebow as QB throws to Sanchez as WR. We saw the flip side of that today, for a couple yards, but Tebow-to-Sanchez would be the eye opener. A guy who can't throw throwing to a guy who can't catch. Opponents will never expect it. (Though, if the other teams keep smacking around Sanchez when he lines up as WR the way the Bills did today, he may think twice about staying in when Tebow is under center).
So... a convincing win, and a nice way to start the season. Let's see where it goes from here. As for my friends in Buffalo, I fear you may be in for another long season. But please do beat the Patriots for us, it would be much appreciated.