Jets, Bills and Raiders stumbling into NFL season

Rex Ryan is frustrated, and you can hardly blame him. He watched rookie Geno Smith toss three interceptions in the last preseason game, and then he watched Mark Sanchez hurt his shoulder in preseason garbage time.

The Buffalo Bills have their own issues, with Kevin Kolb suffering another concussion that could keep him out for the season or possibly threaten his career. Meanwhile top draft pick EJ Manuel may not be ready for the opener against the Patriots as he heels from a knee injury. If he can’t play, then the Bills will have to start Washington State undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel.

The Raiders look like a complete mess, and they’re so desperate that they’re considering having Terrelle Pryor start week one. Pryor hasn’t looked terrible but he still a very raw passer. Matt Flynn has a sore elbow, which doesn’t help a guy who has had another mediocre preseason.

The NFL is very hard to predict, and often you’ll see teams suddenly turn things on in week one. But you have to be skeptical with these three teams, and when we look at the odds for week one, you have to consider picking their opponents, even considering the larger spreads.

Buffalo is currently a ten-point underdog at home against the Patriots. Considering the problems at the quarterback position and that cornerback Stephon Gilmore has been lost with a broken left wrist, things look pretty bad for the Bills. The question is whether you want to lay ten points with the Bills playing at home.

The Raiders are on the road against Andrew Luck and the Colts as a 9-point underdog, and this one seems like a gift. I suspect the line might move even more in Indy’s favor, as Andrew Luck looks like he’s getting even better as he enters his second year. I love the Colts here.

The Jets are a home underdog as Tampa Bay is giving them three points. I would wait to see what happens at quarterback here. If Sanchez is healthy I would avoid it, but if Geno Smith has to start, then Tampa might be an interesting bet.

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How much longer until T.O. tries to ruin Trent Edwards’ life?

Zero receptions, 0 yards, 0 touchdowns. That was the stat line for Terrell Owens in the Bills’ 27-7 loss to the Saints on Sunday.

For the season, T.O. has five catches for 98 yards and one touchdown, which are rather pedestrian numbers for one of the best receivers in the league.

Don’t think for a second that Owens is going to let this fly. He figured that when he signed with the Bills this offseason, that he would be the center of their offense. But so far, he isn’t even quarterback Trent Edwards’ fourth option in the passing game.

When asked about Edwards’ decision-making following the loss, T.O. said: “I don’t want to answer that, because whatever I say you guys are going to turn it into however you want to say it.”

Don’t worry T.O., because we can still read between the lines. You’re pissed off and don’t like the play calling. You don’t think Edwards is making wise decisions and you want to have a bigger role in the offense.

Eventually, Owens will say all of this himself. If Tony Romo couldn’t keep him happy, then Edwards sure as hell won’t. I don’t blame the Bills for taking a shot on him in the offseason (what did they have to lose?), but they’re about to see the real T.O. emerge soon if he continues to be a ghost in their offense.

As for the Saints, it was nice to see Pierre Thomas rush for 126 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. As long as he’s healthy, he needs to be a part of their offense, especially on a day where Drew Brees (16 of 29, 172 yards, 0 TDs) looked human.

Hopefully Sean Payton won’t shelve Thomas once Mike Bell is healthy again.

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