Sunday, September 9, 2012
Pregame: Jets may wait on Wildcat
By Rich Cimini
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A postcard day for a season-opener here at MetLife Stadium, a far cry from the tornado watch that occurred Saturday in the area.
Some quick thoughts on Jets-Bills:
1. Interesting pregame note from ESPN's Sal Paolantonio, who said on the air that the Jets would like to score a touchdown with the Mark Sanchez-led conventional offense before putting Tim Tebow in the game. The reason is obvious: The Jets are hyper-sensitive to the perception of a quarterback controversy. If a Tebow-flavored drive resulted in the first touchdown of the season ... oh, boy, could you imagine the fallout?
2. Jets NT Sione Pouha (back) won't play. That means Kenrick Ellis will start. Ordinarily, that would be a big deal, but Pouha's absence will be mitigated somewhat because of the Bills' spread offense. The Jets will be in nickel and dime packages most of the game, and the nose tackle doesn't play in those sub units.
3. I'd look for the Jets to pick on CB Aaron Williams, not rookie Stephon Gilmore. Williams struggled in the preseason.
4. Wouldn't be surprised if you see a lot of backup OT Jason Smith as a jumbo tight end, helping neophyte RT Austin Howard. In essence, it would be like two right tackles. The only problem with that is, it restricts what you can do in the passing game. On the other hand, the No. 1 objective for the Jets is to keep Sanchez upright. They were very concerned about the Howard-Mario Williams matchup.
5. Matchup to watch: The Bills are expected to use RBs Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller at the same time, with Spiller split out as a receiver. That will be a tough cover for the Jets. We should find out right away if LaRon Landry and Yeremiah Bell have upgraded the pass coverage at safety.