Thursday Night Football Preview
The Thursday night game for week 2 has the Jets traveling to Gillette Stadium to face one of their main rivals, the Patriots. On paper, this looks like an easy game to predict, as you would expect the Patriots to slaughter the Jets. However, New England didn’t look so great last week against the Bills, and the Jets were much more competitive against the Bucs than expected. Add in the injury concerns on offense for the Pats, and this might be closed than you think. Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski are probably out for tonight. Shane Vereen is out a few months after wrist surgery as well. This leaves Stevan Ridley as the primary (only?) running back left, since LeGarrette Blount is not very good. Likewise, the receivers are thin, with Julian Edelman and Kenbrell Thompkins as the last men standing. To make matters even worse, preseason hype machine Zach Sudfeld is nursing a hamstring injury and didn’t catch a pass last week. Expect to see Tom Brady throwing a lot to Edelman, and Thompkins will probably be matched up against Antonio Cromartie, which is no easy task. Thompkins wasn’t very impressive in his NFL debut, but he did see a ton of targets, so he could be due for a bounce-back game. Ridley is also out of the dog house by necessity, but rushing yards may be hard to come by against what is turning out to be a very formidable Jets defensive line.
Geno Smith didn’t have as bad of a debut as anticipated, but it still wasn’t great. It will be very interesting to see how he does on the road in a hostile environment. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was erratic in this game, and he is down one of his few receivers in Jeremy Kerley. Santonio Holmes is still far from 100% and Stephen Hill has a lot of talent but is still too raw to be a consistent contributor. This leaves Kellen Winslow as the main receiving option most likely, but you have to wonder how he will be physically on a short week since his knees are shot. I don’t expect much from the Jets running game tonight, but I’ve been wrong before. I would think that this is prime opportunity to start the New England D with confidence, although I thought the same thing last week and they were average at best. I expect the Pats D to play much better at home and create a few turnovers. Just like last week, I would steer clear of any Jets offensive skill players. The game might be close, but the Patriots should pull it out.