Thursday Night Football – Week 2 – New York Jets at Buffalo Bills – Preview and Betting Prediction
The AFC East is on center stage for the start of Week 2 as the Jets travel to “The Ralph” to take on the Bills. Both teams are coming off a loss in Week 1, making this one a pivotal contest, not only to avoid starting with a 0-2 record but losing a game in the divisional race.
The Bills opened this game as -2.5 favorites, but after heavy betting action on Jets, the odds have moved to a pk. The total has seen a significant drop since opening while betting action has been mostly even on both sides. It originally opened at 42.5 but has moved to 40.5.
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New York started off their season in East Rutherford but failed to get a victory against the Bengals in a game that came down to the final seconds. Jets kicker Nick Folk kicked a 23-yard field goal to take the lead with 3:23 remaining the fourth quarter, but the Cincinnati easily moved the ball down the field and set up Mike Nugent for a game-winning field goal.
Nick Folk had a 22-yard kick blocked earlier in the game and also missed the first extra point of his career. Points they desperately needed in this contest.
Offensively, the Jets looked a bit slow all afternoon. Fitzpatrick completed 19 of 35 of his throws for just 189 passing yards. He threw two touchdown passes to Eric Decker and Quincy Enunwa and one interception. Matt Forte looked better on the ground, gaining 99 yards on 22 rushes. He also added five receptions for 59 yards.
Most alarming for the Jets is the play of cornerback Darrelle Revis, who showed signs of decline last season. He was roasted by A.J. Green in this one to the tune of 12 catches, 180 yards, and a long 54-yard touchdown. Revis covered Green on 10 out of 13 routes.
Green is an elite receiver, but Revis’ decline isn’t something that came out of nowhere. He may end up being a liability in coverage this season for the Jets, which should be a major concern.
Buffalo at Baltimore was probably the ugliest game of the week if we don’t could Miami at Seattle. The Ravens won in grind-it-out fashion and boy, was it a grind. The Ravens led at halftime 10-7, and that was nearly all of the scoring. The Bills were shut out in the second half and lost the game 13-7.
The biggest story to come out of this game is the struggle of Tyrod Taylor – against a defense and secondary most thought to be poor – and the health of wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Watkins played in the preseason, but he didn’t get many reps. Most assumed his foot was healed after breaking it in the offseason, but that apparently was not the case.
Watkins did grab four receptions for 43 yards, but the offense struggled as a whole. Tyrod Taylor threw for just 111 yards, the lowest in Week 1 out of any quarterback. The offense, as a whole, had its worst performance of the past decade.
After the loss, Watkins complained of pain in his foot. He had an X-ray after the game, and it revealed no broken bones in his foot. Surgery can’t help improve the pain, so it’s just up to him to manage the pain. He’s listed as questionable to play on Thursday but has stated that he will play through his nagging foot injury.
Watkins has said he will play, but players make guarantees like that all the time and fail to suit up. Ultimately, his status may be decided when they announce the inactives. He’s surely going to be less than full health but has a potentially juicy matchup with Darrelle Revis if he suits up.
It would have been ideal to get the Jets +3 before the line moved, but we are far past that. Some sportsbooks even have the Bills as a +1 underdog right now. The action is pouring on New York, with more than two-thirds of the bets being placed on the Jets to cover the spread.
This game isn’t a terrible matchup for the Bills offensively, but with Watkins’ health in question, it’s tough to feel great about their passing game. Baltimore’s secondary was poor last year and is expected to be poor this season as well, which complicates things.
If Watkins’ foot feels better, he could be a game changer. However, that seems highly unlikely considering his issues after the game and short turnaround after playing Sunday. Heck, we don’t know if he will play at all.
Behind Watkins, they don’t have many other receiving threats. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say their production as an offense hinges on his health. Robert Woods is a decent player, but he’s not a number one wide receiver.
I probably won’t bet this one myself, but I lean towards the Jets pk (-115). It’s definitely one to monitor for live movement up until game time.
Other than Revis, the Jets defense played a strong game against the Bengals. Tyrod Taylor looked completely out of sorts against a Ravens’ defense projected to be a lot worse. The Jets sacked Andy Dalton a whopping seven times last week.
That breeds trouble for Taylor, who holds onto the ball long and has some indecision in the pocket. He’s a mobile quarterback, so his legs will help him, but this an extremely tough matchup, especially with Watkins ailing. The Bills defense is tough, even in the secondary, but New York may only need 20 points to win this one.