Hi, hello & welcome to Week 2 of the National Football League! I’m Steve Cook, and if it’s Thursday, you know that it’s time for some more football! We went just over .500 in the picks last week and are hoping to kick it up a notch in Week 2. This week’s Thursday night game is a clash of two New York AFC East teams hoping & praying that someday the Patriots won’t be good and won’t win the division. They might be out of luck already on that account this season, but there are two wild card playoff berths still up for grabs!
Thursday, September 15
NY Jets (-1) at Buffalo
The Jets are coming off of a tough loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday in Metlife Stadium in a game that they looked destined to win early on. The front seven was making Andy Dalton’s life a living hell, sacking the Bengal QB more than he ever had been in an NFL game. Their downfall came largely in the form of Darrelle Revis getting completely owned by A.J. Green in a way that Revis hasn’t been dominated since entering the league. Ten targets. Ten receptions. 152 yards and a touchdown. A.J. staged a revolution on Revis Island & his success probably helped lead to his fellow A.J.’s success later that evening at Backlash, when The Phenomenal A.J. Styles took the WWE Championship from Dean Ambrose. An especially tough pill for Ambrose to swallow since he’s a Cincinnati guy & loves his Bengals. Green’s one of the best WRs in the league, but seeing Revis get beat this bad by anybody has to be disconcerting.
Even worse for the Jets: Kicker Nick Folk missing a PAT & a twenty-two yard field goal in the game. The PAT point could have led to overtime & the three-point field goal would have likely ensured Jets victory, depending on how the Bengals’ different strategy fared. I don’t like to throw all of the blame for a loss on a kicker, but Folk certainly didn’t help the cause on Sunday. If he doesn’t get back on the right track soon, we’ll probably be seeing a new kicker on this Jets squad imminently.
That all being said, I still like this Jets team to at least get a winning record and contend for a wild card berth. That front seven is no joke, Matt Forte looked good in his new digs & Bilal Powell is a competent #2, and if Ryan Fitzpatrick can manage the game & not make too many mistakes, they should be in pretty good shape.
Speaking of pretty good shape…
No, I’m not going to make any jokes about the Ryan brothers’ waistlines. That would just be mean considering that Rob had a problem with his lap band and Rex decided to remove his out of solidarity. He also figures that he won more games without the lap band than he did with it, and he needs to win some games this season or his job will be in jeopardy. Which brings up the interesting point of how Rex Ryan’s job always seems to be in jeopardy while guys like Jeff Fisher & Marvin Lewis don’t have much more success to their credit than Rex & yet they remain with organizations for decades at a time. Weird how that works out.
If Ryan needs some wins this season…he’s gonna need some help. The Bills were one of the least impressive teams of Week 1, losing to the Baltimore Ravens in a game so uninspiring that I didn’t even bother watching the highlights. Something about Mike Wallace getting a big TD catch for the Ravens. Tyrod Taylor didn’t look very good. Sammy Watkins got a new foot injury. Stuff like that.
Both these teams need a win early to avoid falling into a quagmire they might not get out of. I was impressed with what I saw from the Jets on Sunday, and I think they’re better than the Bills on both sides of the ball. But the thing making this pick difficult is Rex Ryan’s ownership of the Jets since leaving New York.
So, do I go with what I saw on television & what my brain tells me, or do I go with my gut? I’m going to go with my brain. Watkins not at 100% & injuries & suspensions rendering the Bills’ offensive line mediocre at best should lead to a Jets victory in a low-scoring game. Sorry, Rex.
Week 1 Results: 9-7
2016 Season Results: 9-7 (1-0 Thursday)