Let’s take a look at this week’s Thursday Night Football Matchup
Tom Brady and The Low-Octane Patriots Offense
Only a year removed from leading one of the most productive offensive seasons in NFL history, Patriots faithful are nervous with their Hall of Fame quarterback’s rhythm with his new receiving corps. The lone bright spots on the Patriots offense in their ugly win over the Bills on Sunday were Shane Vereen and Danny Amendola. Vereen was one of 2 running backs to rush for 100 yards, and Amendola made some clutch plays to convert important third downs.
Going into the Thursday Night matchup, Amendola is out with a groin injury and Vereen is out with a broken bone in his hand.
Why the Jets Defense will have a great day
We’ve established that Tom Brady will be on an island with plenty of time to throw, but no one to throw to. The Patriots are rife with inexperienced receivers and the Jets are so deep at corner that people in dimly-lit coffee houses are writing poetry about them. The three former first-round picks starting at corner for the Jets should make Brady’s job very difficult, but that’s not the story of the game.
The Patriots will have to rely on running back Stevan Ridley to produce on offense, but Jets showed against the Buccaneers on Sunday that their run defense is for real. Mohammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson led a defensive front that held Doug Martin to just 2.7 yards per carry.
How the Jets offense will make enough plays to pull out the win
The Patriots base package pass rush from big Vince and their outside linebackers look impressive. However, the Jets showed against the Buccaneers that they can hold their own against a straight forward pass rusher. Blitz pickup was the lone weakness, so the Pats will have to commit additional rushers to beat the o-line and hope that Geno doesn’t make more plays with his legs.
The Patriots secondary will be enough to remove Holmes from the game, but Geno has showed that he can get the ball to his other targets and test the strength of the defense without putting the ball in dangerous position.
If Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell can get the game going, the offense should be able to create enough points for the defense to hold onto a win.
Tune in this Thursday and look for the Jets to make a real shot at stealing one from the Pats early. I think if Geno leads this game and comes out with a W, the starting job is his and his alone.