The New England Patriots were able to escape with a 23-21 win over the Buffalo Bills yesterday, and they won’t have much time to prepare for another rival and rookie quarterback. Thursday’s game against the New York Jets should end up being another win for the New England Patriots, but the Bills game showed us that we shouldn’t chalk up a game as a free victory. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers learned that too, and they were actually upset by the Jets. Geno Smith showed a lot of promise against the Bucs, and I thought he played better than E.J. Manuel. Not only did he have worse players around him at receiver and RB, but Smith was also asked to do more and improved as the game went on.
Tom Brady and Jerod Mayo are two star, veteran players in this league who will both undoubtedly give the myriad of younger players some important lessons as we head into Thursday’s fixture against the Jets. Brady said this of facing the Jets during this morning’s interview on Dennis and Callahan, “It’s a quick turnaround, there’s no doubt about that. And it’s mental just as much physical. There’s natural body soreness from the first game of the year. We ran 95 plays yesterday; most teams run 65-70. We ran a lot of plays. A lot of guys here are going to have to work hard to get the right kind of rehab this week, the right kind of treatment so that you’re body physically is prepared, and spend as much time mentally to get ready for the Jets, which are a very difficult scheme. We’ve got our hands full. We’re going to try to put everything we can into it. Then after that we have 10 days to prepare for the next team.
“There’s give and take. If you can win the game, then it’s a big positive for the team. So, hopefully we can draw from our experience in this last game. No matter what situation we’re in, we’ve got to make the plays at critical moments to win the game. That’s what we have to do, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
The Patriots ran a ridiculous amount of plays against the Buffalo Bills, and 95 is just a mind-boggling number. Brady attempted 52 passes himself, and I expect him to clear 40 attempts against the Jets, unless if the Patriots are able to get a big lead early. The Jets are stronger in run defense and pass defense, as I’m still not sold on their secondary. Antonio Cromartie is excellent, but Dee Milliner still has some work to do and the safeties have issues. Danny Amendola should have a strong game against the Jets, but the Jets could luck out if no receiver on the Patriots can test the Jets deep.
“Hands full”? That quote seems to be common among veteran players on the Patriots, because Vince Wilfork also used that before the Bills game to describe his feelings of facing C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson.
Now here’s what star linebacker Jerod Mayo said of the New York Jets on Mut & Merloni, “The Jets have a good team. They’re 1-0 as well. We enjoyed the Buffalo win the length of that flight [home] yesterday. We’re moving on. All of our focus now is on the Jets.”
“I love playing against the Jets. It’s always a good game. They play football the way it’s supposed to be played — power running scheme. They have a new quarterback now that can run around a little bit. So, we’ll see what they bring in.”
The “they’re 1-0 as well” line is filled to the brim with athlete-speak, but it’s a line that rings true; the Patriots haven’t accomplished more than the Jets yet. In fact, it can be said that they’ve accomplished less, given that the Jets defeated a better team (or so I think). It’s great to hear that Mayo is excited for this rivalry game, and the Jets-Patriots games always bring out a ton of excitement from players, fans, and coaches on both sides of the coin. The Jets rushing attack is much-improved with Chris Ivory in the fold, but I think Jerod Mayo and the New England Patriots run defense can handle them.