For some teams, they start the rookie QB when it's clear said QB is the quality starter and he's a viable rookie of the year type player. Geno Smith isn't exactly that player. The best you could say about his preseason performance was "inconsistent". The real reason they're starting him is that the Jets don't have many options: Sanchez hurt, and... I have no idea who the Number 3 guy on the roster is right now.
2) The Bucs still have no idea just what our own secondary is capable of.
Keeping Revis out for the preseason kept him healthy, but it's kept the rest of us in the dark. How will the passing D fare against a rookie QB? Are we going to chew up Smith like a pez candy or is he gonna come out and look like Peyton Effing Manning?
3) The Bucs will face a serious pass defense in the Jets.
Which is where I'm hoping Doug Martin is fully healthy and capable of making 35 carries this Sunday. Every time Freeman steps back into the pocket I am going to cover my eyes.
4) Things I consider about football games in general: I always give the home team a touchdown advantage (either a +7 for their offense or a -7 for their D). In considering this game, I'm giving the Jets a -7 for their D, meaning that's one TD less we'd figure the Bucs can score.
If I give each of their primary weapons - Martin at RB, Jackson and Williams at WR, give Freeman one more TD as the QB - a TD each that's 28. Putting in the -7 means we better see 21 points at least out of the Buccaneers offense to even feel good about the odds of winning.
5) The best thing about going into this away game is that the Jets are more dysfunctional at the moment than the Bucs. God help us if we head into this game completely rusty like our teams have been in previous starting games (especially vs. Detroit back in 2011).
Here's hoping 2013 isn't a total embarrassment, kids.