• Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

Tonight the New York Jets head to Gillette Stadium, in Foxboro, Massachusetts to take on their arch rival; the New England Patriots. This is the Jets first division game of the season, and it comes on a National Broadcast to open up the ‘Thursday Night Football’ season. Kickoff is 8:25 pm.

Rookie quarterbacks facing Patriots coach Bill Belichick for the first time are 24-64. This does not bode well for Geno Smith as it will diffidently will be his biggest test yet. Smith must be able to protect the ball, as the Patriots have a knack for creating turnovers. The Patriots enter tonight’s match-up forcing at lease one turnover in 28 consecutive games. Under Rex Ryan, the Jets are 0-6 when losing the turnover battle, but are a surprising 3-0 when they are equal or win the turnover battle. With a rookie quarterback who threw 3 interceptions in the week 3 PRESEASON loss to the New York Giants (and a needless safety), and committed 2 another turnovers against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the season opener, ball security is a must. It is one thing to overcome turnovers against the Bucs, but if the Jets lose the turnover battle tonight, they almost certainty will lose the game as well.

If Smith gets the win tonight and stuns the Pats, it will go down as their biggest ‘W’ since defeating New England 28-21 in the 2010 AFC Divisional Playoff game. This is also Smith’s first test of the intense rivalry between New York and New England, as well as his first road game in the NFL. Smith had this to say about facing Coach Belichick for his first time, “I embrace the challenge. I know Coach Belichick is one of the masterminds in this league. [I have] a ton of respect for him and his team. I expect everything, every single look. I’ll appreciate it because it’ll help me out in the future. … I’m going to prepare myself for pretty much anything because that’s what you can expect coming from that team.”

On the bright side, the Patriots will be without Rob Gronkowski as well as Danny Amendola (he is a game time decision, but is highly doubtful). The Pats also played a rookie quarterback in EJ Manuel last week, and just managed to survive with a last second field goal. This has to be some encouraging sings for the Jets, as almost everyone in America are picking the Pats to win.

The Jets must get after Brady early and often if they want to win this divisional showdown. When Brady is protected and has time in the pocket, he is virtually unstoppable. But as the Baltimore Ravens proved in last years AFC Championship game, as well as the New York Giants in both Super Bowl match-ups, when Brady is under constant pressure, he is prone to mistakes just like anyone else. Coming off a short week, and an emotional victory, the Jets should be fired up right out of the gate. If the Jets secondary cannot cover man-on-man against the depleted Patriots receiving corps to create pressure on Brady, than they might be in for a long night. However, if they can, and do produce constant pressure, look for the Jets defense to come up with some turnovers and possibly a huge victory.

On another note, it has been reported that backup quarterback Mark Sanchez suffered a partial tear in his right labrum. Sanchez will opt to rehab the injury as to not end his season with surgery, but in all likelihood, Sanchez may have played his final game with the Jets. Even if Sanchez does rehab the injury, it is certain he will need off-season surgery to repair the tear in his labrum. This news comes after Sanchez’s visit with Dr. James Andrews.

Justin Lerner: PureSportsNY

By Vernon McKenzie

Graduate of New Institute Of Technology with a BA in Communications with a focus on Television Radio. Owner and Executive Producer of PureSportsNY

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