The New York Jets travel to Foxborough, Mass., to take on the New England Patriots.
Both teams are (1-0) after winning their matchups Sunday, and playing for the AFC East lead.
We preview tonight’s game and what will decide the outcome.
QB Geno Smith’s play might be the difference of a close game and a blowout win by the Patriots. Smith took 5 sacks Sunday against the Bucs, some of the sacks were his lineman’s fault, and some of it was his. Smith has a tendency to hold on to the football for too long, not wanting to give up on a play, which leads to defenses getting to him, or him making a mistake. Geno Smith’s play reminds me of Jeff Driskel, the Florida QB. They both love to run, and are good at, but when it comes to passing, they leave plenty of room for improvement. Smith, like Driskel, holds on to the football for too long wanting to make a play, leaving the defense plenty of time to pressure him. He also doesn’t like to simply throw the football away so no matter the trouble he is, he will force the ball into traffic which can lead to turnovers because he wants to make a play. Sometimes a QB just has to take a sack or throw the ball away and live for another down. The Jets offense will struggle in the game tonight, and for the entire season, and their redzone offense will be just as bad. I don’t think the Jets offense will score a lot tonight against the Patriots, and I think the Pats defense will force some turnovers. If that happens, this game could get ugly fast.
The Patriots offense is a question mark just like it was in week one against Buffalo. Difference is no Danny Amendola to help bail out the Patriots passing attack which could make life difficult and frustrating for the offense. Julian Edelman will be the lone receiver that is familiar with Tom Brady the most, and could have a big night, but if he can’t get free from whoever is covering him then New England might have trouble moving the ball. The key to me is the play of Kenbrell Thompkins. If he is going against Dee Milliner, the rookie corner the Patriots want to attack the most, then he might have a breakout game. If Aaron Dobson is against Milliner or anyone but Cromartie then I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a big game in his debut. I’m looking forward to Dobson making his first appearance this season for the Patriots. The question I have about Dobson is will New England try to go deep to him? New England doesn’t really like to go deep, but they haven’t had a legit deep threat so now with Dobson seeming like he is that, will they use him? If anything Dobson might have a lot to do with the Patriots redzone offense tonight.
Stevan Ridley will be back as the starter tonight, in large part due to Vereen’s injury that has him sideline for the next few weeks. Ridley is a great runningback, the only knock on him is he has a bit of a fumbling problem, which is horrible. He fumbled against the Bills when he slipped and the Bills returned it for a touchdown. He didn’t see the field for the rest of the game, and rightfully so. Tonight his fire should be lit to play better and I expect a better game for Ridley.
The Jets defense sacked Freeman 3xs and provided plenty of pressure in the QB’s face while slowing down the run game. The Jets love to blitz and they will plan on that tonight against a Patriots line that struggled to pick up blitzes in their narrow win versus Buffalo. The Jets defense can keep this game close if they get to Brady, you don’t always have to sack him, but you need constant pressure in his face to make him uncomfortable. The line was most disappointing in the Bills game so they have to show up tonight to help out the offense and provide Brady with time to work his magic.
The Patriots defense for the second week in a row is tasked with stopping a tight end. Last week they did a good job at slowing down Bills tight end Scott Chandler, and this week they will need to slow down Kellen Winslow. Winslow was the main target for Geno, who was most comfortable throwing to Winslow, and threw a TD strike to the tight end. The Patriots defense will need to step up again to slow down a good tight end which has a been a weakness of the defense the past few seasons.
The game is tonight at 8:25 p.m. on the NFL Network.