Buccaneers vs. Jets: Geno Smith to start, Santonio Holmes appears to be ready

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Santonio Holmes and Darrelle Revis are ready to face off, with Geno Smith at quarterback for the New York Jets. Carl Nicks is unlikely to make it, however.

As has been apparent for quiet some time now, ever since Mark Sanchez injured his shoulder in the fourth quarter of a meaningless preseason game, rookie quarterback Geno Smith is likely to get the start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Smith completed 22 of 37 passes in the preseason for 246 yards, one touchdown, three interception and a Dan Orlovsky. He was sacked just once.

Preseason stats aren't everything, of course, and Smith's performance against the Giants was better than the three-interception, one safety performance would indicate. While the quarterback wasn't stellar, he demonstrated the ability to make accurate throws and run an offense with some semblance of competence. Whether he can do so in a real, regular season game remains to be seen, however.

Fortunately for him and unfortunately for the Bucs, it appears that their top wide receiver Santonio Holmes will be ready for the season opener, according to the New York Daily News. The Jets don't have much in the way of receiving targets outside of Holmes, with Jeremy Kerley and Kellen Winslow being the main targets. Meanwhile, all indications point towards Darrelle Revis being ready -- so seeing him take on Santonio Holmes should be interesting, to say the least.

The Buccaneers have refused to rule out the return of MRSA-stricken guard Carl Nicks, but the prevailing consensus around the league appears to be that it's not going to happen. That means Gabe Carimi is likely to man the left guard spot - one day after Yom Kippur.

The question now will be whether the Buccaneers can elevate their play from the abysmal performance we saw during the preseason. I have a hard time seeing the Buccaneers lose this game -- but I had a very hard time imagining the Bucs losing to the Jaguars in 2011 or the Eagles in 2012, and yet that's exactly what happened. On Sunday, the Bucs will have to show their true face -- and if it isn't up to snuff, this could be a very long season.

Head on over to Gang Green Nation for all your New York Jets news and analysis.

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