There is no love lost between the Jets and Patriots, even if the two rivals are on opposite ends of the AFC spectrum. We break down Thursday’s AFC North grudge match with our betting tale of the tape:
Even though the Patriots lost plenty of weapons this offseason, are still without TE Rob Gronkowski and just lost WR Danny Amendola and RB Shane Vereen to injuries, they’re scoring attack is still light years ahead of the Jets. Tom Brady may have found Wes Welker 2.0 in WR Julian Edelman.
Geno Smith was a pleasant surprise for Jets faithful against the Bucs in Week 1. The rookie completed 63.2 percent of his passes and did a little damage on the ground as well. In fact, he pretty much did all the heavy lifting for New York’s ground game, which rushed for only 43 yards outside of Smith’s contributions.
Edge: New England
New York’s defense was opportunistic in the win over Tampa Bay, picking off one pass and recovering one of its three forced fumbles. It will need to generate those turnovers if its wants a shot at upsetting the mighty Pats on the road. New England is minus its top TE weapons and Jet CB Antonio Cromartie should be able to limit Edelman.
New England faces its second straight rookie passer after giving up two TDs to Bills first-year QB E.J. Manuel in Week 1’s 23-21 nail-biter over Buffalo. The Patriots did limit the Bills to just 150 yards passing but couldn't come up big in the red zone and failed to register a single sack.
Edge: New York
The real edge in this matchup is New England kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who nailed all three of his field goal attempts, including the game winner with five seconds left, versus Buffalo.
New York kicker Nick Folk was just as accurate, going 3 for 3 versus the Bucs. However, Folk has been shaky at times and connected on only 77.8 percent of his FGs last season. He did go 4 for 4 his last time playing at Gillette Stadium.
Edge: New England
"Rex (Ryan) is to a degree a game-plan coach. He defends you the way that they feel they need to do that. How they defend you and how they defended the team before or the opponent after is all based on how he sees the matchups and what he wants to do. There's certainly going to be some in-game adjustments that we'll have to make, I'm sure, in all three phases of the game based on how they specifically want to try to attack us." – Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
"I'm not saying I'm guaranteeing it, but I'm saying if we do our jobs and follow our game plan, I don't see why we wouldn't be 2-0. We had a good game plan in the first game and we won, so why wouldn't I feel that way for this game? I'm here with these guys every day and I see all the hard work that myself and everybody else on this team is putting in. We can be a dominant defense." – Jets DE Mo Wilkerson.