NFL Week 2 Thursday Preview: New York Jets vs. New England Patriots

NFL: AFC Divisional Playoff-New York Jets at New England PatriotsWeek 2 kicks off with a bitter AFC East rivalry as the New York Jets travel to Foxboro Stadium to take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Both teams enter this contest at 1-0 as the Jets got a little late help in their 19-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while the Patriots looked less than impressive in their 23-21 comeback victory over the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots are the definitive favorite on paper, but there are a lot of factors at play in this game.

The Patriots did not look great in their game against the Bills. Outside of Danny Amendola, the Patriots passing game left much to be desired. RB Stevan Ridley was also a disappointment in Week 1 and Shane Vereen took over the run game to the tune of 101 yards. The Pats will be without both tonight as Vereen was placed on IR-Recall list due to a broken wrist and Amendola will miss tonight’s game due to a groin injury. The Pats are also still without star TE Rob Gronkowski.

This Jets defense is no slouch either as they gave up only 250 yards last week in shutting down the Buccaneers. Led by CB Antonio Cromartie and DT Sheldon Richardson this group will make life tough on Brady and the Pats offense especially with all of the injuries.

On the other end, Bill Belichick is a master at disguising schemes and blitzes and facing a rookie QB in Geno Smith, this could be a long day for Smith. Expect LB Jerod Mayo to wreak havoc everywhere on the field and terrorize Geno Smith into an interception or two.

With both teams decimated on offense, this game will come down to the defenses. Both Belichick and Rex Ryan are masters at game planning and mixing up coverages to confuse quarterbacks. But when one of those quarterbacks is Tom Brady, the edge tends to go in his favor. Expect the Patriots to prevail in a low-scoring, relatively close game.