With Thursday being the kickoff of the new season, excitement is in the air. The first Monday night football game to start off this season between the Bills and the Jets is a prime example of that. While it is only week one, it’s a matchup of two teams facing very high expectations, and a game that could be crucial when determining tiebreakers in early January.
One thing that Bills fans can always count on is Josh Allen. Allen, a top quarterback in the league, has been considered by some as the most consistent player for the Bills throughout the last three years. He’s shown massive leaps as a player and as a leader, and the Bills’ investment in the University of Wyoming alum has paid off. Allen and the Bills have yet to reach the Super Bowl in each of the last three years despite very promising starts in all of those seasons. Offseason talk was filled with a possible disgruntled Bills player in Stefon Diggs, although the superstar wide receiver has since shut down those rumors.
After his freak accident involving cardiac arrest after an in-game collision with Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, Bills player Damar Hamlin rocketed to national notoriety. The great medical staff on the team saved his life and really showed everyone what this game is about. Hamlin worked tirelessly to get back to where he was, and after some doubt, he retained his spot on the 53-man roster. This Monday will be the first time he returns to the field in what should be an emotional moment for not just him and his teammates, but all NFL fans as well.
When we start to think of the 2023 New York Jets, the only thing that comes to mind is that feeling of a brand new, squeaky clean car, thanks to the presence of top quarterback and one-time Super Bowl victor Aaron Rodgers. After weeks of back and forth between the Jets and Green Bay Packers, the two teams finally worked out a deal to send likely future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers to his new home. Rodgers has completely changed the culture of everything in New York and has forced everyone to take their game to the next notch. By his standards, the 2022 season wasn’t kind to Rodgers as he struggled to develop and connect with the younger receivers in Green Bay. This is not currently expected to be an issue in New York. Rodgers’ top weapon is the second-year player out of Ohio State, Garrett Wilson. Wilson had a monster rookie year with a lot of inconsistent quarterback play, so combining him with Rodgers raises a massive problem for all defenses in the NFL. Rodgers also brought over two of his favorite veteran wide receivers in Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard, who have played with Rodgers for years and understand the demands of the quarterback.
It goes without saying that the goal of both of these teams is to win the Super Bowl. Anything short of that for either team would be a disappointment, especially considering the quality of the players present. These two teams will have to go through one another to get to the playoffs, which is why this game will prove crucial even though it’s the first one of the year. In a game that could go either way, it will certainly help the Jets to have their home fans behind them as they look to gel as a team right in front of our eyes, although Bills Mafia is also known for their dedication in travel. The battle of New York and New Jersey should create a great atmosphere of fans from both sides.