After two weeks, both the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills have quite a few things in common. First of all, they head into week three getting ready to face each other with the same record at 1-1. Secondly, each team’s lone loss came against the New England Patriots this year — a pretty respectable team to lose to.
Third, and most importantly, these two teams are going to ride out their rookie quarterbacks for — probably — the entire season. After the Bills brought in Kevin Kolb, he found his way onto injured reserve in a hurry and it looks like his career could be over. E.J. Manuel is now the starter.
This brings us to another similarity. Mark Sanchez is also on injured reserve, giving Geno Smith the go-ahead starting job. So, both teams have the same record, lost to the Patriots, have former starters on injured reserve and are looking to solidify their franchise quarterbacks in 2013 while watching their rookies go to work.
Right now, the edge certainly belongs to Manuel. He’s looked very good through two games, although making his share of mistakes. Leading a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers in week two, Manuel showed plenty of poise and collectiveness on his way to his first NFL win.
Smith, on the other hand, has not looked nearly as good as Jets fans have hoped. Throwing four interceptions to only one touchdown on the year, Smith has been awfully inconsistent. For the most part, he’s looked inaccurate and, well, like a rookie.
If he wants to take a big step in his development as a quarterback, especially in a city like New York, Smith will need to win this game in a battle between he and a fellow rookie passer. It would give him a lot of confidence going forward knowing that he, at least for the moment, can boast a better head-to-head and overall record than Manuel.