BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) –
- Success under pressure. Jets new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has a long history of aggressive play-calling and I would expect his defense to be on the attack Sunday. The Bills will roll out their new offensive line. The starting five didn’t get a lot of practice time together this preseason due to injuries. The Jets game plan will likely test their chemistry. The o-line must keep Josh Allen clean and when the Bills QB is under pressure he needs to avoid the big mistake. Don’t try to make something out of nothing… sometimes nothing is just fine.
- Answer the Bell. The Jets added a big time weapon this offseason when they signed Le’Veon Bell. The running back sat out last season due to a contract dispute with the Steelers. I spoke with several players around the league about Bell’s situation entering his first game in a year and they basically the same thing, there’s a thin line between well rested and rusty. The Bills defense must be better against the run this season and they will get a good test in week 1. In 2016, Bell smoked the Bills for 236 yards rushing and 3 TD’s in a Steelers win.
- Sack Sam. The Bills aren’t the only team with a young quarterback entering his 2nd season. The defense needs to find a way to get pressure on Sam Darnold. The Bills only registered 36 sacks last season, that ranked 26th in the NFL. That’s the one part of the defense that needs to improve this year. They drafted Ed Oliver, Trent Murphy’s injuries are finally behind him, Jerry Hughes got a new contract extension, and Shaq Lawson is playing for a big money deal. Those four guys need to put some heat on Darnold early and make sure he doesn’t get comfortable.
- The Rookie and the Hall of Famer. For the first time since 2014, when LeSean McCoy landed in Buffalo, the Bills don’t have a feature running back and will go with a running back by committee. Devin Singletary and Frank Gore will likely get the majority of the workload while sprinkling in T.J. Yeldon. Since Sean McDermott arrived this team has relied on great defense and running the ball to win games. If they plan to follow that blueprint on offense they will need a solid effort from an entirely new group of running backs.