When the New York Jets face the Buffalo Bills on Sunday the first two quarterbacks selected in this year’s NFL draft will be the center of attention.
This will be the first time in their storied rivalry that two rookies will be starting at quarterback.
The Bills selected E.J. Manuel, out of Florida State, with the sixteenth overall pick. A little higher than expected, but they felt he was their guy.
The Jets waited until the second round to select Geno Smith at No. 39.
Both quarterbacks have led their teams on game-winning drives as the Jets and Bills come in to this game even in the standings at 1-1.
Although most of the attention will be paid to the offenses, it’s the defenses of these teams that are going to cause problems for the rookies under center.
The Bills’ pass rush is vicious. Led by defensive end Mario Williams they’ve sacked opposing quarterbacks nine times this season, 4.5 of those coming from Williams last week. While the unit has been able to get pressure in the backfield Buffalo has given up over 140 yards on the ground per game, which bodes well for Jets’ running backs Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell.
New York’s defense has been much more solid allowing less than 60 yards rushing per contest thus far. They’ll have to do a good job stacking the box against the quick running back C.J. Spiller. The Jets need to force Manuel to beat them with his arm. This is the first road game of the rookie’s career and if the Jets are able to get pressure on him early it could change the entire dynamic of the game.
Sunday may be a glimpse into the future. Both quarterbacks have the potential to be the face of their respective franchises and being in the same division this could be a matchup for years to come.
Final Score: New York 20 Buffalo 14
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Written by Matt Brody