Where Each Team Is
Both teams are banged up worse than my 2000 Honda Civic. Both teams will be missing their most productive receiver/offensive non-QB player from the previous year.
The Jets defense will receive it's first real test of the season. Danny Amendola pulled his groin and then he liked so he returned to the game and pulled it again, but don't get too confident. I'd take on Josh Freeman and an army of Vincent Jackson clones before I would go against Tom Brady and one of those inflatable novelty clowns where you throw footballs through the mouth. It's a whole new ballpark (literally). Tom Brady, as much as it pains me to say it, could have Julian Edelman and a descendant of Air Bud and nothing else, and still embarrass even a good pass defense. Tonight may be his greatest test yet, throwing to a plethora of nobodies against one of the NFL's most prolific defensive teams.
On the plus side, Mark Sanchez won't be playing tonight, although we wish him a speedy and successful recovery.
Sister Site: Pats Pulpit
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA.
Field: Open air, artificial turf.
Coverage: NFL Network. >:(
Weather: Potential for showers and thunderstorms this evening. High today of 72.
Record: Pats lead the series 55-52-1.
What happened last time? The Buttfumble. The Buttfumble happened last time, lest you forget. The Jets also lost by 30 points, 49-19. Woof.
Who is favored? Patriots by 13.5. That's not a typo, as of Weds. night the Jets were the underdogs by a 13-point-freaking-five spread. This is even accounting for their injuries, too.
(Players designated "Probable" status are omitted)
Out: Mark Sanchez (QB) Shoulder, Quinton Coples (DE) Ankle, Jeremy Kerley (WR) Concussion.
Doubtful: Danny Amendola (WR) Groin, Rob Gronkowski (TE) Arm & Back. Questionable: Brandon Bolden (RB) Knee, Aaron Dobson (WR) Hamstring, Nate Ebner (S) Ankle, Duron Harmon (S) Hamstring, Matt Slater (WR) Knee, Zach Sudfield (TE) Hamstring, Will Svitek (T) Knee, Leon Washington (RB) Thigh.
Jets: Based entirely off of week one the Jets are offensively 23rd in points, 21st in yards, 24th in the air and 12th on the ground. In spite of the uninspired performances by the Jets RBs against a stout Tampa Bay defense, the Jets still managed to be among the better teams on the ground in week 1. Defensively, the Jets are 8th in points allowed, 4th in yards allowed, 10th against the pass and 9th against the run. The defense looks very promising but there will be the test of a future hall of fame quarterback throwing at the Jetss uncertain secondary this evening.
Patriots: On offense the Patriots are 17th in points scored, 7th in total yardage, 15th in pass yards and an impressive 3rd in rushing yards. The Patriots lost their lead RB to IR/recall last week, so Stevan Ridley will be called on to carry the weight of the team in his absence. Ridley has had turnover issues in the past and will be under a heavy microscope during the game.
On defense, the Patriots are 11th in points allowed, 9th in total yards allowed, 5th against the pass and 29th against the run. This is only one week and it was the Buffalo Bills to be fair, so don't get too worried, but that's an impressive defense for a rookie QB to face down in a potential shootout. If the push up front can improve and Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell can find holes and seams in the line, it appears the Patriots are ripe to run against all day, which the Jets may need to heavily rely on as Geno Smith learns the ins and outs of the game.
Attacking the Patriots
I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but the Jets need to run all day against the Patriots, and effectively. This doesn't mean that Geno Smith won't need to deliver on the filed because even if Brady was somehow traded to the Canadian Football League he would still find a way to win in the NFL. He did it last week and he'll do it several more times before his illustrious stupid freaking career comes to an end. Hope springs eternal that it won't happen tonight. If all goes well the new OC will deliver a balanced game that keeps pace with Brady & Co.
Kellen Winslow JR. and Stephen Hill, favorite targets of Smith, will have to bring their A-game as well.
Jets X-Factor: The Entire Front Freaking Seven
Mr. Bundchen cannot have all day to throw against the Jets secondary who look like they may have lost a step with the departure of Darrelle Revis and the possible regression of Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson. It should be noted that historically Vincent Jackson does well against top ranked cornerbacks.
The must be constant and effective pressure on Mr. Bundchen, or the Jets will lose. The defensive line looks capable and disruptive, and your hero (me) thinks that D line will only improve as the season drudges on. The real question will be whether the lines of Antwan Barnes, Calvin Pace, Demario Davis, and David Harris can both stop the run and bring legitimate pressure on blitzes to stop Tommy. Mr. Bundchen will have to spend more time on his back than me on fight club night if the Jets are going to win.
Patriot to Watch: Julian Edelman
I'd keep my eye on Julian. I don't trust him. I think he made eyes at my sister.
Seriously though, he's the only Patriot receiver left that anyone has ever heard of and one of Tommy's most very favorite targets. He may move around the field quite a bit given the fact the rest of the WR corps are a group of guys Bill Belichick picked up outside Home Depot.
Bro's Bottom Line
This could hurt very badly. Alternatively it could be a tremendous upset and accomplishment for the team under Geno Smith. I wouldn't hold my breath though. You'd probably pass out and miss at least a few plays. If the defense is as consistent with pressure and against the run then I like the Jets chances, but there will be very little in the way of room for mistakes for young Grasshopper Smith to make against the Pats, especially with the shootout potential if Brady has another productive game like he always freaking does.