Winning ten games against a cupcake schedule last year has vaulted the NY Jets into the steaming cauldron from the get go this years as gang green has the second toughest schedule in the league. Four of the first six games are on the road, five are against playoff teams and the other game is against Buffalo and Rex the Hex who makes it his personal business to give the team who gave him the boot fits.
So in come the Bengals for game one. Cincy is favored by two and a half to three points and with the home team getting 3 points for home field that means the Jets are really five and a half point dogs. The great thing about game one is the odds makers have no idea how teams are going o gel, age and come together. On opening day anything can happen. So what are the game keys?
Revis island has to be dominant again. The superstar corner revealed that he played most of the year last year with a broken bone in his wrist that did not allow him to play the explosive bump and run that he is used to. In pre season Revis looked like he was back to pro bowl form and if he can become that shut down corner again it will go a long way to taking pressure off of the rest of the dbacks.
Leo and Mo – Snacks may have walked out and joined the cross town GMen but the Jets are still stacked on the D line. Leo is in his second year and was playing like a beast in preseason. Mo is coming off the broken leg but he looks healed, has a new deal and is ready to make qb’s quiver. Richardson is suspended, AGAIN – so these two big guys will have to pick up the slack before he returns.
Matt Forte – Chris Ivory was a warrior with the Jets who set the tone in many games putting ghis head down and getting the extra yards. Forte was a great player for the bears but there are whispers that he has taken to many snaps and lost a step. If he cannot produce at a high level Powell is ready to step in and be a full timer if just given a chance.
Was Fitz a fluke? The bearded boy wonder had a career year in 2015, was it a preview of a maturing qb who figured it out or was it a one year wonder. If Fitz doesn’t get close to last years performance gang green will be out of it by November one.
Marshall and Decker – see above paragraph. These two had career years last year and seemed to meld perfectly with Fitz. Any decline or injury to either could spell big trouble.
Coach Bowles – The silent assassin is now in year two and looks more comfortable running the team. Will he be able to adapt better making in game adjustments because last year this was not his strongest point. He has to figure out how to be Rex, badly outcoached in the last fame last year, or the season will end without the playoffs again.
Special teams – The past few years the jets have gotten very little spark from the specials. It was only preseason but this unit seemed to be on the verge of making big plays every time they touched the ball. Any added boost from this unit could be the difference in an 8-8 season and one with 11 wins.