As the New York Jets prepare to start the 2017 season this Sunday in Buffalo, we prepare you with an in-depth look at the matchup.
The 2017 New York Jets schedule starts off at the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The Bills are coming off a 7-9 season which they fired former Jets head coach Rex Ryan. During the offseason the Bills hired former Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator, Sean McDermott to be their head coach.
JETS GET REVENGE ON BILLS IN 2016
In an otherwise frustrating season where they fell way short of the preseason expectations for them, the Jets were able to have their way with the Bills. Gang green put together two of their three games when they scored 30+ points on the season against Buffalo, outscoring them 67-41 in the two Jets wins.
Quincy Enunwa was outstanding for the Jets in both their wins, combining to catch 11 passes for 173 yards, but he obviously is not around this season. The Jets ground game was also outstanding in both wins, as first Matt Forte (30 rush, 100 yards, 3 TD) and then Bilal Powell (22 rush, 122 yards, 3 receptions, 15 yards, TD) ran the ball effectively.
RECENT HISTORY BEFORE 2016 SAW BUFFALO STAMPEDE THE JETS
This was the total opposite of the outcome for the Jets against the Bills in 2015 when their two losses kept them from the postseason. The Bills won both games by the same score of 22-17. If the Jets would have had the same success in 2015 that they had in 2016, they would have won the AFC East (finish with a 12-4 record) and had the number one overall seed in the AFC.
Going back to 2012, the Jets had lost 4 of their previous 5 against the Bills (6 of 7 when you include the two losses in 2015). Buffalo destroyed the Jets over that span, as their four victories were won by just over 26 point per game.
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF THESE TEAMS THIS SEASON
Both the Jets and Bills are picked to battle for last place in the AFC East. Both teams lost key veterans in the offseason.
JOSH McCOWN IS OLD AND GETS AROUND
Josh McCown will be 38 years and 68 days old when the Jets open the season on Sept. 10 at Buffalo. On three other occasions since the merger, the Jets started a QB 38 or older in the season opener. The Jets won two of those previous three games, all of which were also on the road.
– In 2008 Brett Favre was 38 years and 333 days old when he started against the Miami Dolphins. Favre went 15-22 for 194 yards and 2 TD as the Jets won 20-14.
– In 2003 Vinny Testaverde was 39 years and 295 days old when he started against the Washington Redskins to kick off the NFL season on a Thursday Night. Testaverde went 15-24 for 105 yards in the Redskins 16-13 victory.
– In 2002 Vinny Testaverde was 38 years and 299 days old when he started against the Buffalo Bills. Testaverde finished the day 24-30 for 240 yards and 2 TD as the Jets defeated the Bills in Drew Bledsoe’s Buffalo debut, 37-31 in overtime.
Josh McCown can become the 6th player in NFL history to throw a pass for 7 different teams (Jeff Blake, Steve Bono, Chris Chandler, Gus Frerotte and Vinny Testaverde) NOTE: Ryan Fitzpatrick could also join list if he throws a pass for Buccaneers.
TYROD TAYLOR IS A DIFFERENCE MAKER FOR BILLS
The Bills are 0-3 in the last 2 seasons when Tyrod Taylor does not play, including a 30-10 Week 17 loss to the Jets last season. They average 24.7 PPG and outscored their opponents by 2.4 PPG
The Bills are 15-14 when he does play. Buffalo averages 18.7 PPG and outscored their opponents by 12.0 PPG.
BILLS AND JETS WR ARE BOTH INEXPERIENCED
The Bills top 5 wide receivers in terms of receiving yards last season will not suit up for Week 1 (Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, Sammy Watkins and Justin Hunter are no longer with the team, and Walt Powell is suspended). LINK And WR Jordan Matthews suffered a chip fracture of his sternum in his first practice with the Bills. They could lean on 2nd-round pick WR Zay Jones, who had the most receptions in FBS history.
The Jets added both Jermaine Kearse and Jeremy Kerley to take some pressure off the Jets young WR. The other four WR on the active roster for Week 1 (Stewart, Hansen, Peake and Anderson) have combined for just 61 catches for 773 yards.
New York Jets
– Have not reached postseason since 2010 season. Six season stretch of missing playoffs is tied for second longest streak in franchise history (92-97). The Jets 11-year stretch from 1970-1980 missing the postseason is the longest is franchise history.
– Won 2 straight games vs Bills after losing 5 straight
– Lost last season’s opener vs Bengals (haven’t lost back-to-back season openers since 1998-99)
– The Bills haven’t been to the playoffs since 1999, the longest active drought in the league
– 0-10 in Super Bowl era (since 1966) with coaches making NFL head coaching debut (worst record in NFL)
– LeSean McCoy (BUF): 100 Rush yards in 5 of his last 6 home games
– 4 straight losses vs AFC East teams (worst losing streak since 2011-12: 8 straight)
JETS HISTORICALLY IN WEEK 1
The Jets and Bills are no strangers when it comes to opening the season against each other. Here are some bullet points to help fans break down the matchup that starts the 2017 season for the Jets.
– This is the 12th time the Jets open the season against the Bills, easily the most in franchise history.
– Jets are 8-3 in previous 11 meetings in season openers against the Bills, having won their last five season opening matchups.
– This is the 10th time that the Jets will be opening the season in Buffalo. The Jets have won six of those previous meetings, including four straight. The last time the Jets lost in Buffalo to start the season was 1981.
– This will be the fourth time the Jets will start the season on September 10. The Jets are 1-2 in those games (Won at the Titans in 2006, Lost to the Patriots in 1989 and lost at the Bills in 1967.)
– This is the first time the Jets will start the season on the road since 2009 when they defeated the Texans in Houston, 24-7.
– The Jets recorded their most points in a season opener against the Bills in 2012 when they defeated them 48-28. They also scored 41 points against them in 1972, which is tied for the 2nd most in a season opener (also done in 1997 at Seattle and in 1983 at San Diego).
– Overall the Jets are 27-30 in season opening games, including going 17-20 on the road.
Mark Kelly covers the New York Jets for ProFootballSpot.com. You can follow him on twitter @CkmagicSports. Looking for more Jets news and features? Like our Jets Facebook page and also follow @spot_jets on Twitter.