Bills

Biggest matchups to watch in Jets’ season opener at Bills, including Jamal Adams

The Jets open the 2017 season Sunday in Buffalo. 

Here are three key matchups to watch in this game: 

Bills QB Tyrod Taylor vs. Jets S Jamal Adams, Marcus Maye: Taylor has become a more savvy and cerebral quarterback with experience. This is his third year as an NFL starter. While he isn’t an elite quarterback in this league by any means, he could take advantage of the Jets’ rookie safety duo — Adams and Maye — if they are out of position. The Jets’ coaches have raved about Adams and Maye since the organization drafted them in Rounds 1 and 2. Now, it’s up to Adams and Maye to back up those compliments. 

Bills CB Tre’Davious White vs. Jets WR Robby Anderson: White, a rookie, is the Bills’ top corner, now that Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore are gone, with the Eagles and Patriots, respectively. The Bills drafted White 27th overall, and in this opener, he gets an intriguing matchup with the slender but speedy Anderson, who flashed as an undrafted rookie last year. How will Anderson fare against tougher coverage attention this year, now that Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker are gone, and Quincy Enunwa (neck) is out for the year? 

Bills DE Shaq Lawson vs. Jets RT Brandon Shell: During the preseason, Shell looked strong early on, but had some hiccups, namely in the Giants game, when Jason Pierre-Paul abused him. Lawson and fellow defensive end Jerry Hughes will test Shell and left tackle Kelvin Beachum in this game. Lawson, a first-round pick last year, will try to build off a rookie season in which he had just two sacks. Hughes is a proven pass rusher — 36 career sacks, including six last year and five the year before. He wants to recapture the production he had in 2013 and 2014, when he racked up 10 sacks both years. 

Big number: 5. That’s how many consecutive games the Jets had lost to the Bills before the Jets swept last season’s two-game series. Long winning streaks aren’t unfamiliar to this AFC East rivalry lately. From 2009-12, the Jets won six straight games against the Bills. The longest winning streak for either team in this series, which began in 1960, came from 1987-92, when the Bills won 10 straight meetings with the Jets. 

What Richardson trade means

Did you know? Jets coach Todd Bowles and new Bills coach Sean McDermott both became NFL defensive coordinators for the first time with the Eagles. Bowles in 2012 was the Eagles’ interim coordinator. He then took on that role full-time with the Cardinals in 2013. McDermott was the Eagles’ defensive coordinator from 2009-10. And then he served in that role with the Panthers from 2011-16. This is McDermott’s first head coach job, just as Bowles got his first head coaching job with the Jets in 2015. 

Darryl Slater may be reached at dslater@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @DarrylSlater. Find NJ.com Jets on Facebook.

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