The Bills and Jets open 2023 as true AFC contenders, squaring off in the season’s first Monday Night Football game.
The Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets enter the 2023 season with something to prove as both organizations have felt as though they were only a few pieces away from a Super Bowl.
For Buffalo, the team has enjoyed great regular-season success ever since Josh Allen took the helm but has fallen short in the playoffs. They are a great team on both sides of the football, but the elite AFC quarterback play of Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs along with Joe Burrow and the Bengals have proven too much for them to overcome. Some analysts have suggested that the Bills may take a step back this year, but they still have the roster and coaching staff to remain AFC contenders.
The Jets are a team full of young talent, and many believed they were only a quarterback away last year. Well, arguably the biggest story of the 2023 offseason has been the Jets’ acquisition of future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. All eyes will be on Rodgers as he makes his Jets debut. Only two years removed from claiming back-to-back NFL MVP awards, Rodgers experienced a slump last season, posting only 26 touchdowns to go along with 12 interceptions. He will look to rebound in 2023 and bring the Jets not only to the top of the AFC but also to their first Lombardi Trophy since 1969.
This Week 1 AFC East matchup will set the tone for what should be an extremely tight divisional race in a very crowded conference.
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Date: Monday, Sept. 11, 2023
Start time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: East Rutherford, New Jersey
Stadium: MetLife Stadium
TV Info: ESPN, ABC, ESPN+
Odds courtesy of DraftKings.
Point Spread: BUF -2.5 (-110), NYJ +2.5 (-110)
Moneyline: BUF (-135), NYJ (+114)
Over/Under: O/U 45.5 (-110)
Buffalo is favored by less than a field goal, which means we’re in for a close game.
What To Watch For
This week’s Monday night game features two elite matchups at the wide receiver and cornerback positions. First, three-time Pro Bowler and Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs will battle against the 2022 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner. The second matchup to watch is Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson, who was named 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year, facing off against Bills All-Pro corner Tre’Davious White.
While the Bills’ star players have the experience, the aforementioned Jets players showed in their first seasons that they have the skills necessary to beat anybody. If one team wins both matchups, they will have a clear edge in winning the ball game. However, Diggs and Wilson could both put up monster numbers, or Gardner and White could completely lock down both of these top receivers. If either of these scenarios plays out, the Bills and Jets will have to look to their other playmakers down the stretch.
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