Take your pick from the many storylines to follow in one of the weekend’s most intriguing matchups – Bucs vs. Jets. Sure, the Jets aren’t predicted to make any noise this season and the Bucs have their fair share of question marks, but football fans around the country will still be tuned into this one.
This season opener of course marks the return of Darrelle Revis to New York. He hasn’t been gone long and you can bet he’ll be eager to show his former team that they made a huge mistake by dealing him to the Bucs. Rex Ryan has made it clear that his team has no plans to throw towards Revis Island, which is unquestionably the right call considering they’ll be starting a rookie at quarterback.
By default it seems, Geno Smith is the Jets signal-caller to start the season. After Mark Sanchez suffered a bruised shoulder in the team’s third preseason game, Smith has been tossed into a sink or swim situation in his first NFL game. It’s not ideal, but what do the Jets really have to lose? They saw enough in this kid to spend an early second round pick on him, and let’s be honest, he can’t be that much worse than Sanchez.
But of all of the players and coaches to watch in this game, who will steal the show? Who will everyone be talking about once this one is in the books? The safe bet is Doug Martin. The talented sophomore running back is almost a footnote in this game on account of the massive coverage Smith, Ryan and Revis are getting. But in my mind, there’s no one primed to steal the show more than Martin. The talented back can run it with the best of em’ and he doubles as a huge threat in the passing game out of the backfield.
I expect the new-look Tampa defense to shut down the rookie QB in this one, while Martin runs wild en route to a Bucs victory.