Line: Patriots -12.5

This game features two teams that have had one of the biggest rivalries in the NFL. Prior to week one, they appeared to be two teams headed in 2 completely different directions. After week one the futures of both teams were not quite as clear. The Patriots went into Buffalo as double digit road favorites and needed a drive late in the game to get out of Buffalo with a win. Playing without Tight End Rob Gronkowski, quarterback Tom Brady was without any receiver that he had spent any significant time with on the field. The running game was stalled and overall it was not an encouraging performance. The Jets were four point underdogs at home against a Tampa Bay team that is not even projected to make the playoffs. The Jets battled throughout a physical football game and managed to pull out the win. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith showed the ability to make plays with his strong arm as well as on the run. The Jets won the game on a last second field goal that was aided by a long Smith run that was followed by a 15 yard late hit penalty. Head Coach Rex Ryan was more involved in the defense that he had been in recent years and in showed in the unit’s performance.

The Patriots have many injuries going into Thursday night’s contest. Gronkowski is unlikely to play as he works his way back from multiple offseason surgeries. Running back Shane Vereen was lost until at least week 10 with a broken bone. Wide receiver Danny Amendola pulled his groin and is highly doubtful to play. The Patriots were barely able to beat a weak Buffalo team with Amendola leaving many people in New England left to question what this team is truly capable of. They still have Tom Brady on offense, Vince Wilfork on defense, and Bill Belichick on the sideline so they can never be counted out. It is safe to say however that the 47 players in uniform for the Patriots on Sunday will represent the weakest team they have put on the field in well over a decade.

The Jets were thought of as one of the 3 worst teams in the NFL in most pre season publications. Well apparently they didn’t get that memo and they a much better team than people are giving them credit for. Smith was not spectacular on Sunday but he showed a lot of poise for a man making his first NFL start. They are going to need to continue his develop his game as well as improve the running game if they want to continue to win games. Veteran Tight End Kellen Winslow missed the majority of last season; however he played extremely well and became a go to target for his quarterback. The defense has always been the team’s strength under Ryan and it looked the best it has in years on Sunday.

With the injuries they have suffered the Patriots look like they are ripe for an upset. With the way they played in week 1 it looks like the Jets are a team that is capable of pulling off the upset. Things aren’t always what they seem.

Pick: Patriots - 12.5

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