Week 1 of the NFL season is one of the most important weeks of the year. Teams show off their newly acquired talent, rookies take the stage for the first time, and some coaches begin their tenure. The hype can also be built up for Week 1, as it’s easy to preview even when it’s over a month away.
This year, the spotlight is shining brightest on the New York Jets, who debut quarterback Aaron Rodgers. And it happens to be on Monday Night Football against division rival Buffalo. The New York Giants also face a rival in the Dallas Cowboys in prime time.
How Did the NY Teams Fare in Week 1 of the 2022 Season?
Last season, the New York Giants started off the season with a win against the Tennessee Titans. The missed field goal by the Titans as time expired helped the Giants gain confidence for the rest of the year. The Buffalo Bills opened up 2022 with a dominant victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night. Meanwhile, the New York Jets fell to the Baltimore Ravens by 15 points.
This year, both opening contests for the New York teams take place at MetLife Stadium on consecutive evenings.
NFL Week 1 Preview: Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants (+3.5)
Both teams enter 2023 with new veteran weapons they want to put on display. For the Giants, the addition of Darren Waller excites the organization. Waller provides a red zone and downfield target for quarterback Daniel Jones and is one of the best on-paper targets the signal caller has had in his career.
For Dallas, the addition of Brandin Cooks adds speed on the opposite side of star receiver CeeDee Lamb. While quarterback Dak Prescott threw 15 interceptions last season, Cooks provides an underneath and over-the-top target to limit those turnovers.
The Cowboys brought a majority of their defense back, including signing cornerback Stephon Gilmore and extending defensive back Trevon Diggs. Meanwhile, the Giants added linebacker Bobby Okereke.
The recent past between the two squads has not been too friendly to the Giants. The Cowboys have won 11 of the last 12 matchups between the two organizations. Plus, the last Giants win in the rivalry came in January 2021.
NFL Week 1 Preview: Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets (+1.5)
The Jets open up 2023 with the most hype it has had in recent memory. At one point in 2022, New York was sitting at 6-3, but finished the season outside of the playoffs. With questions at the quarterback position, the Jets signed Aaron Rodgers, and he has a big test right away in the Bills.
Buffalo is coming off a season where it won the AFC East and was the Super Bowl favorite for most of the campaign, but the Bills fell to the Bengals in the second round of the playoffs. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs are back to lead the offense, and edge rusher Von Miller is back and healthy.
The Jets and Bills are fighting in a competitive AFC East, but in previous seasons, the Bills have controlled this matchup. New York has just one victory in the last six contests against Buffalo. That singular Jets win came last November, when they took down the Bills 20-17.
The line is a little tighter in this matchup than the Giants and Cowboys contest. Given the hype around Rodgers in this Jets offense with AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson and the return of running back Breece Hall from injury, the Jets could come away with a big Week 1 victory. On the other side, Buffalo boasts one of the most complete rosters in the NFL, and is a clear-cut Super Bowl contender.
DraftKings‘ line is appropriate, and with such a marginal line, this is essentially an even-money wager. With the experience and chemistry that Buffalo has developed in recent years, it is safe to think that they can come away with a big season opening win despite playing on the road. However, do not be surprised if Aaron Rodgers plays at an MVP level as he dons the Jets green on Monday Night football in front of a national audience.