AFC East: Jets Pull Stunner By Beating Bills Without Rodgers

The New York Jets’ fan base will be nervously awaiting the MRI for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. What everyone is hoping for is the Jets’ season-opening win over Buffalo on Monday night at MetLife Stadium is the peak of their season. Rodgers went down with an injury in their AFC East clash against the Bills on their first possession Monday night and was carted off the field.

What a potential season-ending injury for Rodgers does is create significant waves in the AFC East Division race. The Jets are unlikely to stay in the race with Zach Wilson at quarterback, while the New England Patriots have big problems. Miami opened the season with a big win on the road at Los Angeles and looked like the odds-on favorite. There will be plenty of twists and turns down the stretch.

 

Team Result
Buffalo Bills L, 22-16 at New York Jets
Miami Dolphins W, 36-34 at Los Angeles Chargers
New England Patriots L, 25-20 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
New York Jets W, 22-16 vs. Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen Doesn’t Inspire Confidence

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Josh Allen

The Buffalo Bills hoped Josh Allen would take better care of the ball this season. How Allen played in Week 1 didn’t inspire confidence in the former first-round pick. Allen threw three interceptions and looked uncomfortable in the pocket.

Allen was also sacked five times. He finished the game by passing for 236 yards and completed 29 of his 41 attempts. Allen has thrown at least 10 interceptions in four of his first five seasons. Last season, Allen threw 14 interceptions. As a team, Buffalo committed four turnovers in the opener.

 

Zach Wilson Does OK in Relief

 

The question before the season revolved around what Rodgers could bring the Jets. Now, can Zach Wilson deliver on the potential that people thought he might have? Wilson wasn’t perfect filling in for Rodgers but made enough plays to help the Jets win.

Wilson passed for 140 yards and a touchdown. While Wilson also threw an interception, he was only sacked twice. During Wilson’s first two seasons in the league, he struggled with accuracy. Last year, Wilson only completed 54.5 percent of his passes last season and threw six touchdowns. The Jets hope they can build off Wilson’s performance if Rodgers’ injury is as severe as feared.

 

Bill O’Brien Effect Impacts New England

 

Bringing O’Brien back to the coaching staff has already paid dividends for the Patriots. After having an inexperienced offensive coordinator last season, bringing in O’Brien has provided stability for quarterback Mac Jones. O’Brien gave Jones credit for making more improvements.

Jones showed off the fruits of his labor against the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles. He passed for 316 yards and threw three touchdowns in the season opener. It was a special night for Jones, who was playing in front of an energized crowd at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots were honoring Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, who was back in attendance. 

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Tom Brady

Dolphins Passing Game Back to a Deadly Combination

 

Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will be under close watch for concussions all year. The Dolphins passer has flourished under second-year Miami coach Mike McDaniel. Regarding staying healthy, there are no guarantees for NFL players.

Miami fans are excited for the early return of Tagovailoa this season. He passed for 466 yards and three touchdowns against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1. The Dolphins’ quarterback’s top target was star wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

Hill, who is on the record saying he would like to set the NFL receiving record for yards in a season, is off to a great start. He caught 11 passes for 215 yards and scored two touchdowns.

 

Xavier Gipson Proves His Worth

 

There was some debate about whether or not undrafted free agent Xavier Gipson would make the Jets’ 53-man roster. Gipson was signed for his ability to make a playmaker, which he demonstrated at Stephen F. Austin in college. During the Jets’ opener, Gipson rewarded New York for taking a chance on him.

During overtime, Gipson took Buffalo’s first punt back for 65 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Gipson also returned two kickoffs for 46 yards. 

 

Smith-Schuster Disappoints in Debut

 

The Patriots were happy to add wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster in free agency. After winning a Super Bowl with Kansas City last season, Smith-Schuster proved he could be an important piece of a winning team. Smith-Schuster finished with only four catches on 33 yards in his Patriots’ debut.

Rumors before the game was that Smith-Schuster had suffered a knee injury and wasn’t at 100 percent. When New England was driving to attempt to win the game in the fourth quarter, the Patriots favored rookies Kayshon Boutte and Demario Douglas at wide receiver instead.

The Patriots will hope to get more from Smith-Schuster as the year goes on. He has been productive in Pittsburgh and Kansas City before heading to the Northeast.

 

Miami’s Run Defense Could Use Some Work

 

The Dolphins’ defense wasn’t torched by Justin Herbert in Week 1. The Chargers’ star quarterback finished with 228 passing yards and one touchdown. However, Los Angeles’ running backs found plenty of room to move.

The Chargers piled up 234 yards on the ground. Austin Ekeler led Los Angeles with 117 rushing yards, while Josh Kelly added 91. With how Miami’s offense looked, the defense will have time to catch up, but the Dolphins can’t afford to allow that trend to continue.

 

Bills, Jets Had to Shelter in Place

 

While the Bills and Jets game wasn’t played entirely in horrible weather, there were several close calls Monday night due to the rain. Both Bills and Jets personnel got the message to shelter in place before the game due to the after-effects of a hurricane. The sky above the stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., had an orange hue before the game. While there were some worries about the start of the game being delayed, the kickoff went off as scheduled.