Saturday, September 7, 2013

Week 1 AFC East game picks: Bucs at Jets

Publisher Nick St. Denis, associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick the New York Jets' cross-conference contest with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Nick's take:
The Jets' defense will pressure the heck out of Josh Freeman and turn his mistakes into points. The challenge is that Gang Green will have to convert turnovers to points at a higher rate than than the Buccaneers do against rookie Geno Smith. Ultimately, whichever team succeeds at shutting down the run will win, and the Jets look pretty stout up front despite being without Quinton Coples. Doug Martin is a major focal point for the Jets' 'D.'
Prediction: Jets 17, Buccaneers 14

Sean's take:
Few teams are as relieved to finally play real football as Rex Ryan's Jets. Their defense will be as stout as ever, but inconsistent offensive play in quarterback Smith's debut will sink Gang Green in this one. Tampa Bay's aggressive secondary confounds the rookie, and Freeman does just enough to win a close one.
Prediction: Buccaneers 24, Jets 16

Dan's take:
Despite the drama surrounding Darrelle Revis’s return to Met Life, things should be business as usual for the Gang Green defense. The real question will be the consistency Smith can or cannot bring to the offense. We'll see if the Jet receivers can help out the rookie and be a bit more sure-handed than they’ve been in the preseason. Greg Shiano’s defense wins out in this secondary showdown.
Prediction: Buccaneers 23, Jets 17