The matchup between the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers has a lopsided history. In 10 all-time meetings the Jets have won nine times, four of which by 20 points or more. But in the 2013 season opener, which will be Darelle Revis‘ first time back in New York since being traded, the matchup favors the Buccaneers for a number of reasons.
The Jets’ defense struggled to stop the run throughout 2012, finishing 26th in the league in total rushing yards allowed. It looks like they’ll have their hands full in week one this year. Doug Martin is coming off of a stellar rookie season with the potential to be even better as a sophomore. The Jets are hoping to play faster on defense this year with more explosion at the point of attack, but Martin is as tough of a running back as they’ll face all year. He could easily gash the Jets for 100 yards or more and allow the Buccaneers to dominate the time of possession.
Unless the Jets can run the ball just as well, of course.
That won’t be so easy, seeing as the Buccaneers were the best in the NFL against the run in 2012. The Jets don’t have the most threatening backfield in the league, but even if they did, it would be hard to be productive against a defensive line that turned almost 20% of all rushing attempts against them into tackles for losses last season.
Well then, they’ll just have to throw it.
Not a great option either. With Santonio Holmes most likely out for week one, it looks like Revis will be able to feast on whomever he lines up against. The Jets are thin at wide receiver and the starting quarterback job is up for grabs. It’s safe to say that the Jets’ passing game is a bit of a work in progress. With Revis anchoring the secondary, the Buccaneers shouldn’t have all that much trouble stopping with Mark Sanchez and company despite the fact that they ranked last in the league against the pass in 2012.
Obviously how a team performs in a given area changes from year to year, and some of this speculation is oversimplified. But at a glance, the week one matchup really looks like it favors the Buccaneers. When the two teams played in 2009, Revis intercepted Josh Freeman and the Jets cruised to an easy victory. This time around, Revis will still be looking for an interception, but the tables will be turned. Sanchez might wish he had Revis back on his team when all is said and done.