Here's a primer for Week 1:
New York Jets Quarterback Carousel. The Jets are carrying four quarterbacks heading into Week 1 -- Geno Smith, Mark Sanchez, Matt Simms and newly acquired Brady Quinn. With Sanchez hurt, Smith is likely to start. The question is, how long of a leash do head coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Marty Morninweg give the rookie? If he plays like he did against the New York Giants in the preseason (16-30, 199 yards, 3 INTs, 45.7 QBR), does Simms get the call?
Can the Jets Stop Doug Martin? Tampa Bay's All-Pro running back returns to action after missing much of the preseason with concussion-like symptoms. He rushed for more than 1,400 yards last season and is facing a Jets unit that ranked 26th in the NFL against the run in 2012. The Jets need to stop Martin to have a chance.
Which New York Jets Running Back Steps Up? Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Green Bay Packers castoff Alex Green will face a Tampa Bay defense that ranked first in rushing defense last season (82.5 YPG). Ivory missed much of the preseason with injuries, while Powell was mostly ineffective as the featured back this preseason. This unit has to be effective to give Smith -- or whoever lines up behind center -- a chance to succeed Sunday.
Can the Jets pressure Josh Freeman? Losing LB/DE Quinton Couples for the first month (as is being reported) doesn't help the Jets' pass-rush. So it's up to Muhammad Wilkerson and rookie Sheldon Richardson to lead the charge for a unit that ranked 25th in the league last season in sacks. And it won't be easy in Week 1. Tampa Bay ranked 3rd in the NFL in sacks allowed (only 26 allowed last season).
Welcome Home, Darrelle Revis. If ever there was a team that needed Revis' services (besides the Jets, of course), it is the Buccaneers, who ranked dead-last in passing defense (nearly 300 YPG allowed) in 2012. If the Jets fall behind early and are forced to air it out, Revis might be in for a big day against his former team.
What is the key to a New York Jets win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1? Let me know in the comments section below.
James Moffat has 10-plus years of journalism expertise, writing for daily print and online publications.
Check out his other work on the New York Jets here, or check out his recent work regarding the Jets:
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