Sophomore quarterbacks will be on display in this game, but their teams have completely different expectations heading into the season. AFC East rivals, the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills, will face off in week one.
Sam Darnold and Josh Allen were both first-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. They are viewed as franchise quarterbacks and will need to take that next step in 2019. For the Jets, expectations are high, higher than they should be.
Jets’ fans in New York have this somewhat unrealistic expectation of the Jets winning double-digit games and making a Super Bowl run. While anything is possible, this seems like a long shot. New York finished 4-12 last season but made it clear in free agency that they want to make the playoffs this season. The Jets added Le’Veon Bell, Jamison Crowder, and C.J. Mosley.
The Bills finished 6-10 which was third in the AFC East. The division is pretty much set heading into the season, but the Bills could go one of two ways. They could shock the league and win some games because of their strong defense or they could return to mediocrity. Buffalo added Cole Beasley and John Brown to try and give Allen some weapons to throw to.
Bills vs. Jets: AFC East Rivals Play Ugly Games
These two teams split last season. The Bills wet into MetLife Stadium and dominated the Jets 41-10. The Jets got their revenge in Buffalo with a 27-23 win. The Jets are 10-8 in the last 18 games against the Bills.
This has never been an easy matchup for the Jets. This season, it is supposed to be. With the addition of Bell, this opens up Darnold to have a huge sophomore season. He finished with 2,865 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. Darnold’s Achilles heal was his turnovers. He threw 15 interceptions last season, but did not have many over the last four games. Sunday will show if the Jets can be taken seriously as a fringe playoff team.
The Bills are a confusing team in the division. The Patriots are going to run away as usual and the Dolphins are going to finish last by a lot. It comes down to if the Bills can surprise the Jets and finish second in the division. They released LeSean McCoy and brought in some receivers. Allen finished 2018 with 2,074 yards, 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He showed the ability to use his legs and that he has a big arm.
Bills vs. Jets: Pick & Prediction
The Jets are currently 2.5-point favorites in this game. The o/u is set at 40.5, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. With such high expectations, you might be wondering why this spread is below a field goal. The answer is simple, the Jets aren’t very good.
This would be a perfect spot for the Bills to pull off an upset. The Jets are sporting a new roster, a new head coach, a new defensive coordinator, and an new general manager. This is a franchise that has complete revamped itself. Even so, it is hard to take the Bills on the road. The home field in this game will certainly play a factor, and since the spread is so low, take the home team.
PICK: Jets -2.5
SCORE PREDICTION: Jets 21, Bills 18