Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets: NYJ writer gives insight to upcoming game
We had a chance to talk with Justin Fried to get some expert insight about the New York Jets ahead of their game Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
The Buffalo Bills will be kicking off the 2020 season against the New York Jets and since there was no preseason, it has proven difficult to get some insight into the Jets. We had a chance to talk with Justin Fried, who is the site expert at The Jet Press, to find out what he expects from the Jets heading into Sunday’s game.
BuffaLowDown: The Jets have dealt with their fair share of injuries during camp. How prepared do you think they are to step on the field Week 1 trying to get everyone up to speed?
Justin Fried: The Jets have been fairly beaten up this summer, but fortunately, none of the injuries appear to be major. Denzel Mims and Breshad Perriman were dealing with nagging injuries throughout much of camp, but both are on track to play. The same goes for No. 1 cornerback Pierre Desir who missed the majority of the summer with a hamstring injury. Thankfully, the Jets are getting healthy at the right time.
That said, expect the injury to have an impact on a guy like Mims whose development was definitely hindered as a result. He’ll be running with the second-team offense behind Chris Hogan for the time being meaning that his impact in Week 1 will likely be limited.
BLD: One of those big changes was along the offensive line. How have they looked in camp?
JF: For the most part, the offensive line looked pretty good in camp. Obviously, it’s never possible to truly gauge the effectiveness of an offensive line through their performance in training camp. But the early reports have been promising.
First-round pick Mekhi Becton has received near-universal praise while Connor McGovern looks to be a sizable upgrade on the interior. Week 1 will be the true test and it’s best to temper any optimism. But so far so good.
BLD: The Jets are going to be without key pieces on their defense from last year, specifically C.J. Mosley and Jamal Adams. Who is expected to replace them?
JF: Considering Mosley missed essentially all of last season anyway, his situation is very different from Adams. The Jets will turn to a returning Avery Williamson and the incumbent Neville Hewitt to hold down the fort in Mosley’s absence. Expect to see some of the second-year pro Blake Cashman sprinkled in as well.
As for Adams, the Jets traded for veteran Bradley McDougald to act as Adams’ pseudo-replacement. But in camp, it wasn’t McDougald who filled the Adams role in Gregg Williams’ defense. Instead, it was Marcus Maye. No player shined quite as bright as Maye this summer as the former second-round pick excelled in the do-it-all role that Adams once filled. If he can stay healthy, look for Maye to have a monster year in 2020.
BLD: Sam Darnold is entering his third year in the NFL. How much pressure is there for him to produce and do you think he will?
JF: Sam Darnold has been put in a near-impossible position to succeed at this point. Saddled with a bottom-three receiving corps, a bottom-two offensive line, the league’s worst running game, and arguably the worst offensive coaching staff in the NFL, it’s truly amazing that Darnold not only put up respectable numbers in 2019 but actually improved immensely. The excuses are valid ones and there are reasons to be optimistic about his future. But excuses can only buy you so much time in this league.
Eventually, he’s going to have to show more than he has thus far. Darnold fully has the potential to be a top-10 quarterback in the NFL, but he’s going to need some help. He’s going to need his supporting cast to at least be below-average as opposed to arguably the league’s worst which is where they currently reside. If not, it may be another year of a slight improvement in spite of his teammates and coaches.
BLD: What is the key to the game for the New York Jets?
JF: If the Jets are going to find success against the Buffalo Bills, they’re going to have to be able to move the ball on offense. The defense should hold its own, but the Jets need to come out firing much as they did in the first half of Week 1 last year — only this time they need to play 60 minutes instead of 30. It’s going to take all hands on deck to move the ball effectively against a stout Buffalo defense, but you need to score to win.
On defense, all eyes will be on Pierre Desir to see if he could limit Stefon Diggs in his first game with the Buffalo Bills. The Jets are the underdogs, that much isn’t a question. But we’re going to learn a lot about this team in Week 1. Sunday can’t get here soon enough.