Week 2 Preview: Jets vs. Patriots

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Week 2 Preview: New York Jets (1-0) vs. New England Patriots (1-0)

When: Thursday, September 12, 8:30 PM

Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

TV/Radio: NFL Network/98.5 The Sports Hub

Just four days following their victorious season opener, the Patriots will keep it in the division, as they will play host to the Jets. This is the first meeting between the two since the infamous Mark Sanchez butt fumble last November. Like the Patriots, Rex Ryan and company began the year with a step in the right direction, inching out a last second victory over the Buccaneers.

A banged up New England squad will look to avoid disappointment against a New York team riding the wave of rookie quarterback Geno Smith. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will be forced to dig deep considering they will be without a few of their top offensive options. Danny Amendola and Zack Sudfeld are both listed as doubtful. Shane Vereen is out.

The question is whom does New England turn to. Julian Edelman is coming off of a 7-catch game and figures to be Brady’s go to man with Amendola nursing a groin issue. Added pressure falls on rookie wide receivers Kenbrell Thompkins, Josh Boyce and Aaron Dobson. Whether or not they can settle in and adjust to the NFL style of play could dictate how the game is won.

You better believe Rex Ryan will dial up the pressure if he senses any kind of vulnerability in the Patriots passing attack. With that being said, Stevan Ridley must have a bounce back performance. Ridley is almost guaranteed to get the bulk of the touches out of the New England backfield with Vereen inactive. Running to establish the pass may be the way to attack New York in this one. We all know how explosive Ridley can be when on the field.

Look for Belichick and the defense to dial up a multitude of various fronts and coverage packages with the hopes of confusing Geno Smith. Gillette Stadium will be loud and what better opportunity to exploit the unproven signal caller than the primetime stage of Thursday Night Football.

New York’s run game was vastly in effective in week 1. In facing a dominant New England front all signs point to be that area doing no different. Mixing in blitzes and spying Smith from time to time should keep him in check and allow themselves an excellent chance to force key turnovers.

With everything aside, still the main storyline is how the Patriots plan to approach this game offensively. They have few options to choose between and we could be in store for an old-fashion slugfest. Though as history will tell us, Bill Belichick tends to have some sort of trick up his sleeve when all seems to be in doubt. It’ll be test for both squads coming on short rest.

They keys to victory are simple tonight. The Patriots defense must limit the Jets, allowing Tom Brady as many drive opportunities as possible. The more time spent on the field, the better chance of growing chemistry with his young targets. Protecting Tom Brady goes without saying. He’ll need a strong pocket as extra patience will be needed (he also took a beating against Buffalo). Lastly forget about punishing Ridley, Bill. He’s a game breaker and when running with confidence adds an invaluable dynamic to the offense.

My Prediction: Patriots defeat Jets, 24-13

Frank O’Laughlin – Senior Contributor – TitleTown Sports Network

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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