The 2020 NFL season is finally upon us. After a long offseason that left us in question whether there would be a season at all, we’ve made it to the opening kickoff. We can talk about actual football now and get the gameday traditions back up and going. For the Bills first game of the season, there is one matchup that I want to take a close look at. This matchup may be a huge advantage for the Bills on Sunday. This week’s Thursday Thought: Jets Cornerbacks Can’t Hang With the Bills Receivers.
Going into the 2020 season expectations for both the Jets and Bills couldn’t be more different. The Bills are coming off a 10 win season and have their eyes set on winning a division title this season. While for the Jets, they appear to be a team that will struggle in 2020.
One of the biggest holes for this Jets roster is at cornerback. They have players who are experienced veterans at the position but they don’t have any playmakers. Pierre Desir is likely their best cornerback on the roster. He’s in his seventh season in the league and has been a solid player. However, thrust into the top spot, going against other teams number one receiver may be too much to ask of him.
Opposite Desir, they have Blessaun Austin who is a second-year player out of Rutgers. He was drafted last year in the sixth round and looks like a decent player. He’s nothing special but he’s a solid young player.
Meanwhile across the field from them will be the Bills receiving core. This is not a good matchup for the Jets. To start, Desir’s first matchup will be against Stefon Diggs. Diggs is a handful for most of the top cornerbacks in football. He is a tough cover in one-on-one situations which defensive coordinator Gregg Williams tends to do a lot with his corners, as he sends blitzes often.
However, if the Jets send safety help towards Desir’s way, that leaves a second-year player in Austin alone against John Brown, who’s coming off of a career year. Brown got the better against some pretty good cornerbacks last season, including Stephon Gilmore, which means trouble for Austin.
On top of all that, there’s still Cole Beasley in the mix. He’s someone who can cause issues over the middle with slot corners. Brain Poole for the Jets is a good slot cornerback. Nonetheless Beasley is one of the better slot receivers in football. It should be a good battle, but with so much attention going to Diggs and Brown, Beasley could take advantage of his one-on-one matchup too.
Overall, the Bills receiving core is one of the better groups in the AFC. They have veterans who can get open and separate at a high level. These receivers would be a tough matchup for a team with a strong secondary, but unfortunately for the Jets, they don’t have the best secondary. The Bills should try to expose this mismatch on Sunday.
Mitch Broder is a contributor for The Buffalo Fanatics. To contact him, email him at email@example.com or on Twitter @mitchell_broder