(Photo: Mark Runyon | Pro Football Schedules)
The offense however, has been handed over to rookie second-rounder Geno Smith by default with incumbent Mark Sanchez sidelined to injury. Sunday, Smith will be up against former Jets All-World cornerback Darrelle Revis as he tries to navigate a tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary with a handful of unproven weapons. The good news for the Jets is that they'll also be facing a shaky quarterback on the other side in Josh Freeman.
FOUR FOCAL POINTS FOR WEEK 1:
Returning Revis. The Jets will see their former star defensive back for the first time since trading him in April, as Tampa Bay was willing to drop franchise quarterback money on a defensive player coming off a severe ACL injury while New York was not. Revis will certainly be out for blood against former teammates Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill.
Ge-no or yes? Smith was named the starter for Week 1, which doesn't mean he's promised anything beyond Sunday. This is Smith's opportunity to officially take the reigns by performing well enough to keep the headset on Sanchez. Gang Green will certainly have a scaled-back, somewhat conservative gameplan for the youngster, but don't expect new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg to hold back completely. Mornhinweg runs a passing offense.
Muscle Hamster Watch. A Jets victory starts with keeping Bucs tailback Doug Martin in check. If the Jets contain Martin and make Freeman beat them through the air, they'll be just fine. That will also allow New York's offense to work the run game on its own side and control the pace. The more the Jets can control, the more comfortable Smith will be.
Skill-position exam. We'll finally see what the Jets have at receiver and running back. Jeremy Kerley is a rising wideout but needs help on the outside, which will come in the form of Hill and hopefully a useable Holmes. We also haven't gotten a great look at running back Chris Ivory, who will split carries with returner Bilal Powell, but we will today. An offseason full of questions will be answered by 4 p.m.
---A week in Jets posts at AFCEastDaily.com:
Week 1 AFC East game picks: Bucs at Jets
Ty Law: Jets aren't worthy of facing Revis
Idzik: Rex's Clemson trip 'surely overblown'
Injury Report: Many probable, Holmes not
Wilkerson: A rattled Freeman equals victory
Rex says Powell 'earned the right to start'
Web-wide AFC East power rankings: Week 1
Jets, Bills to start rookie QBs Smith, Manuel
Geno on progression: 'Mentally I've grown a lot'
Carpenter on third East team in as many weeks
Milliner, Revis poised for mini-showdown
AFC East is NFL's youngest division
Folk off, Carpenter: Jets end kicker competition
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