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Before the 2023 NFL Season, the week two matchup between the New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys was going to be one of the most anticipated games early in the season. After one week, the hype is not dead, but it is certainly high.
The Cowboys might be better than originally thought, thanks to the stellar play of their defense in the dominant 40-0 road win over the New York Giants. The Jets, on the other hand, lost quarterback Aaron Rodgers to an Achilles tear for the season four plays into the introduction of the Jets’ offense in the 22-16 overtime home win over the Buffalo Bills.
This game will have the potential to be one of the defensive games of the week.
|New York Jets
|O 38.5 (-110)
|U 38.5 (-110)
Going into the 2023 NFL Season, the defenses of the Cowboys and Jets were going to be two of the biggest reasons why they would be serious playoff contenders in their respective conferences. On the other side of the ball, the offenses had potential, but there were glaring red flags that could derail their season late in the year.
The Cowboys’ defense had an incredible start to the season by dismantling the Giants’ offense. Dallas held New York to only 171 total yards and forced the Giants to turn the ball over three times. Outside linebacker Micah Parsons accounted for three total tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss, and two quarterback hits. His constant pass rush tormented the Giants’ offense. Defensive end Dorance Armstrong and defensive tackle Osa Odighizuwa each accounted for two sacks and at least two tackles for loss. The Cowboys accumulated seven sacks, 10 tackles for loss, eight pass breakups, and 12 quarterback hits.
The Jets’ offensive line is going to have to prepare for a battle against the high-volume pass rush of the Cowboys. This offensive line was one of the biggest question marks for the offense going into the season. With Rodgers out, the Jets are turning back to former second-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft Zach Wilson, to see if he has matured and can lead a talented Jets team to a great season.
The Jets’ defense looks to be better than last year’s talented unit that averaged 18.6 points allowed per game, fourth best in the league. The Jets forced Bills quarterback Josh Allen to turn the ball over four times, with three of them being interceptions. They will have a solid chance to make things difficult for Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott on Sunday.
Zach Wilson has had a tough offseason. He had to listen to Jets fans and the players beg for Aaron Rodgers to come to the team and take over Wilson’s job. Wilson trained as a backup and now has to prepare as if he is going to be the starter since the end of the 2022 NFL Season. Wilson is coming back as a starter at a horrible time as he will face the Cowboys’ elite pass rush and stellar secondary, led by cornerback Trevon Diggs and Stefon Gilmore. There is not a lot of hope for Wilson to lead the Jets to victory, he just has to not lose the game for them.
Head coach Mike McCarthy looks to utilize first-string running back Tony Pollard as much as possible. If the Cowboys have a tough time finding a passing rhythm against this tough Jets' defense, they will look to Pollard the ball through the passing game. Pollard is one of the best options on the team to be a solid pass-catcher in the backfield for quarterback Dak Prescott.
Micah Parsons continues to pick up where he left from his incredible 2022 NFL Season with a dominating performance against the Giants last week. Parsons and the Cowboys’ will look to dominate a Jets’ offensive line that gave up 42 sacks last season. Parsons is a player that can average well over a sack a game. This is a game where can account for multiple sacks.
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Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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