For the first time in the 2013 season, two rookie quarterbacks will square off in an NFL game. E.J. Manuel and the Buffalo Bills are in New York on Sunday to visit Geno Smith and the Jets.
Both signal callers enter the contest at 1-1 through the first two games of their career. However, they haven’t exactly performed on the same level.
Manuel has done his best to prove that he was worth being the first quarterback taken off the board on draft night. He’s a last second field goal away from winning his first two games as a starter. His 95.9 passer rating ranks in the top 10 and his 68.2 completion percentage is fourth in the NFL. Against the Carolina Panthers, he engineered a last-minute drive and threw a touchdown pass with two seconds left to give Buffalo their first win of the season.
Smith picked up a win in the opener, but his play has been far from stellar. His 55.2 passer rating is the worst among all quarterbacks that have started two games. He threw several key interceptions last week when the Jets had a chance to upset the New England Patriots.
Before the start of the season, many experts predicted the Jets to finish with one of the worst records in the league. However, they’re now expected to win two of their first three games. With the game at MetLife Stadium, New York is a 2.5-point favorite, according to the betting odds at most Las Vegas casinos.
The contest is set to begin at 4:25 p.m. ET. CBS will carry the game on TV, but viewers that don’t get it in their market can watch a live stream online with a subscription to NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
Prediction: Neither team was expected to do much coming into the year, but both have proved that they are good enough to keep most games close. At this point in their young careers, Manuel appears to be much more NFL-ready than Smith. The Jets defense should give them a chance to protect their home field, but the Bills have enough to steal a road win.
Final Predicted Score: Buffalo 20, New York 13