Football is slowly but surely approaching. The offseason is well behind us, preseason is over and rosters are finalized. It’s time now to shift focus onto the first week of the football season. In that first week, Buffalo takes on a familiar foe, with some unfamiliar faces. In this article we’re going to dive into players who will cause the Bills some problems and ones that could be considered pushovers. Expectations? It’s all here. Let’s dive into it.
Quinnen Williams is one of the best
Williams is one of the best defensive tackles in the entire league, this is just a fact. It is well known that he has the ability to completely take over any game he is taking snaps in. Because he is so absurdly talented, he’s going to eat up a lot of double team blocks. Which in theory, sounds great; he’ll be less effective! While technically double teams do help neutralize star talent, it leaves your weaknesses more vulnerable to exploitation, and the Bills have a huge weakness at right tackle. Spencer Brown is the weak link in what otherwise is a solid Bills offensive line. Buffalo is going to have a tough task not only slowing Williams down, but making sure their weaknesses are serviceable.
He’s got all the Sauce
Cornerback is one of the hardest positions to play in all of sports, and in his rookie season, Gardner came with all the sauce, winning defensive rookie of the year. Accumulating 75 tackles, with 2 interceptions and 20 passes defended, quarterbacks fear throwing his way. The size, talent and pure athleticism make him one of the best corners in the league, even picking off Buffalo’s very own Josh Allen. This isn’t the same old Jets. Gardner anchors a very talented Jets secondary that hopes to dethrone Allen and the Bills in 2023.
Garrett Wilson is about to have a breakout year
The Jets had not 1 Rookie of the Year last season, but 2. Wilson managed to win Offensive Rookie of the Year posting 83 receptions for 1,103 yards and 4 scores. Not to mention the carousel of dysfunctional quarterback play he had to battle through. That situation reminds me a lot of DeAndre Hopkins, who once he started to get good/great QB play, became the best wide reciever in the game. Now, that’s not to say Wilson IS the best wide reciever in the game, or he ever will be (Justin Jefferson says hello!). But the fact is Aaron Rodgers is a massive upgrade over the talent that they had at the position last season, no questions about it. Garrett Wilson deserves his respect either way, and the Bills better give it to him, or he’s going to torch them.
Is Aaron Rodgers past his prime?
Let’s get the facts out of the way. Aaron Rodgers is a first ballot hall of famer. Aaron Rodgers also hasn’t had a 300 yard game since December 12th, 2021. Last season, Rodgers was not great. Granted, the lack of talent around him was little to none, especially with the wide reciever room. He walks into New Jersey with a new energy to him, arguably the best defense of his career, and even great weapons. But that is not enough for Aaron Rodgers and the Jets to scare me, let alone succeed this season. With that being said, he is a substantial upgrade over Zach Wilson, Mike White, and Joe Flacco, and the Jets will most definitelty take a step, just not as big of a step as some as the national media might say.
What does this offensive line even do?
The big thing with the Jets this season is their potential. They have talent everywhere, but what kinds of talent?
They have the talent that is good, and everyone knows they’re good. Then there’s potential talent. That’s the offensive line.
Mekhi Becton hasn’t played a game since his rookie year, and he’s slated to start at right tackle. He usually plays the left, where 38 year old Duane Brown is starting. That’s one of the oldest players in the entire NFL, right up there with Aaron Rodgers. Then you just have players who many would consider “guys” in Laken Tomlinson, Connor McGovern (not the Buffalo Connor McGovern), and Alijah Vera-Tucker. Not something I would neccesarily be concerned about, even with the absence of Von Miller for this first matchup.
What to expect from Buffalo?
Modest expectations for the Bills offense in Week 1
The Buffalo Bills have a Top 3 offense in the entire NFL. The Buffalo Bills offense was HORRID in their divisional round game vs Cincinnati Bengals. 2 things can be true at once. Good teams have bad games. The Bills just had their worst game of the season at the wrong time. Your teams’ final game usually creates the narrative for your teams’ next season, and that seems to be the case. With that being said, there is reason for optimism in Buffalo with new depth weapons in Trent Sherfield and Deonte Harty, on top of the addition of first round tight-end Dalton Kincaid. They even added 2 new guards who will be massive upgrades. But this Jets defense is no joke. Sauce Gardner, Quinnen Williams, D.J. Reed and Adrian Amos just to name a few. Division games are never easy, and this one is no different. While the Jets might be slightly overrated in what is expected of them this season, don’t expect the Bills offense to go out and dominate like we’ve seen them do. It will be a while before they silence those doubters.
Defense will get the job done. But it won’t be pretty
The offense wasn’t the only side of the ball that looked poor to end the season. Buffalo’s defense wasn’t even terrible, it was pathetic. Vanilla coverages and terrible playcalling from former defensive co-ordinator Leslie Frazier might have cost Buffalo their season. Not to mention, they lost their starting middle linebacker in Tremaine Edmunds, and practically refused to replace him, with Terrell Bernard projected to replace him, and he looks more like a box safety than a starting mike. With that being said, there is reason for optimism. Safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde returned in their respective ways. Von Miller will return (eventually), and Sean McDermott is calling the defensive plays, which is part of the reason he got the job in Buffalo in the first place. The defense will be smarter and more aggressive this season. As for week 1, I think they match up perfectly with the Jets lack of weapons offensively. They should be able to effectively double team Garrett Wilson, and as long as everyone else does their 1/11th, the Bills should ride out of Met Life with a victory
Buffalo 26 – New York (J) 18
Buffalo’s offense is effective enough against the tough Jets defense to score over 20 points. Bills are going to run a lot more 12 personnel which is something the Jets basically have zero film on. The scheme of the Bills defense is the same, but the aggresiveness will catch Aaron Rodgers and company off-guard and allow Buffalo to move to 1-0.