It’s been a helluva pre-season for the New York Jets, marked mainly by the Sanchez-Tebow situation and the worrisome lack of offense.
How much of that will carry over into the regular season? We’ll find out, in part, this Sunday when the Jets host their friends from upstate, the Buffalo Bills, in the NFL 2012 regular-season opener for both teams (1 pm Eastern, CBS).
As of Monday morning most Week 1 NFL odds boards were listing the New York Jets at -3 for Sunday’s game over the Bills. But with some shopping around bettors could find New York at -2.5 at some NFL betting outlets, although the grease was a bit steeper.
Also, the total on Sunday’s Jets-Buffalo game could be found at 40, 40.5 and 41, depending on where you’re looking.
The Bills are still trying to break what is now the longest playoff drought in the league, at 12 seasons. Last year Buffalo started 5-2, then won one of its last nine games to finish at 6-10.
Over the off-season, in hopes of getting over the hump, the Bills signed DE Mario Williams away from Houston and DE Mark Anderson from New England.
New York, meanwhile, after making the AFC championship game two straight seasons, missed the playoffs last year, going 8-8. The Jets got to 8-5 last season, then lost their last three straight.
Then, over the off-season, for those of you out there new to our planet, New York traded for Tim Tebow. Just why isn’t exactly clear yet.
The Jets got away last year from what led them to those two AFC championship games; namely, running the football. Three years ago New York led the league by averaging 172 YPG on the ground; two years ago they ranked fourth at 148 rushing YPG. But last year, for whatever reason, the Jets let Mark Sanchez throw the ball 543 times, and ran for just 106 YPG.
This year, with the change in offensive coordinators to Coach Sparano, New York will lean back toward a run-first approach.
That approach could lead to good things vs. Buffalo, which ranked 28th in the league last year in rush defense, allowing 139 YPG.
The Jets swept the two games last year from the Bills by scores of 27-11 and 28-24, and have won the last five straight in this series.
As kick-off for this game approaches BetOnline is offering prices of +700 on the Jets to win the AFC East this season and +1500 to win the conference championship, while the Bills are getting +650 to win the East and +2000 to win the AFC.