In a shocking turn of events, both the New England Patriots and New York Jets are 1-0 as they head into a big AFC East battle in Week 2 of the regular season.
New York snuck by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the closing moment while the Patriots survived a scare against the Buffalo Bills. Jets vs. Patriots is sure to be a quality matchup with New York playing well, but here are the main things to watch on TNF.
Where: Gillette Stadium, New England
When: September 12, 2013, 8:25 PM ET
Watch: NFL Network
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket, Game Rewind
Jets Player to Watch: Geno Smith
It’s cheap to name the same player two weeks in a row, but rookie Geno Smith is the only player worth watching on the Jets roster if we are being honest. Last week he exploded onto the scene with over 250 passing yards and was the only reason the Jets were able to defeat the Buccaneers in New York.
Now Smith gets his first taste of going against Tom Brady. It’s a daunting task for any rookie, but especially one who is two games into his career and plays in New York.
Patriots Player to Watch: LeGarrette Blount
Yes, you read that right. Former Tampa Bay back LeGarrett Blount is the man to watch in New England. Starting back Shane Vereen went down with a serious injury in Week 1 is now on I.R. until Week 11 so it’s up to the other backs to step up in his absence.
Leon Washington will likely see passing-down snaps, but Blount is going to have to put in some quality work for the Patriots to have a well-balanced offense.
Matchup to Watch: Geno Smith vs. Pats Defense
It sounds obvious, but look at it this way—Tom Brady looked human last week and almost lost to a rookie quarterback in EJ Manuel. Further not helping things was the miserable state of the New England defense.
Manuel provided the blueprint for a rookie to follow against the Patriots. Should Smith improve upon it, New York may be able to stay competitive.
But not really.
New England is too talented to lose to this New York squad. The Jets aren’t as good as the Bills on both sides of the football. As intriguing as this matchup is as an upset special, it’s just not going to happen—especially in front of a national audience.
Patriots 35, Jets 10.