New York lacks the firepower to reach end zone consistently
Rookie Geno Smith is the starting quarterback by default with Mark Sanchez still sidelined with a bad shoulder. As opposed to last year’s crop of first year quarterbacks which enjoyed a great deal of success, Smith is playing with a more limited series of options.
The running back tandem of Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory will not send scouts scurrying to find additional tape on the runners.
Santonio Holmes is just another pass catcher at this point of career and the Jets will be without receiver Jeremy Kerley, who suffered a concussion and is doubtful to play on a short week, which is why New York signed Ben Obomanu on Tuesday.
Rookie quarterbacks thrown to the NFL wolves usually have a challenging time to begin with and being able to be productive in the red zone is often an acquired skill against this level of competition.
Take a look at our Opening Betting Odds Report for this matchup.
It’s not the Brady Bunch we remembered
After being the latest NFL team to find ways to confound opposing teams with the utilization of two tight ends, New England is starting over, at least for the time being. With Aaron Hernandez having traded is blue and grey togs for a solid orange outfit and Rob Gronkowski recovering from multiple offseason surgeries, Tom Brady is forced to deal with Michael Hoomanawanui and Zach Sudfeld (might not play with a hamstring) covering those spots. Last week the new duo accounted for one reception.
Brady instead ended up forming a quick bond with Danny Amendola and these two led New England to the second half comeback. But Amendola suffered a groin injury during the Buffalo battle and while he the gutted it out in the second half, the short week might have not have him making the field on Thursday night.
This leaves Julian Edelman as the top target for the Patriots and he will mostly matched against the Jets top cover corner Antonio Cromartie.
Check out Jeff Grant's Jets vs. Patriots Thursday Night NFL Pick article for a play on the first hal total.
Turnovers can quickly change totals positively or negatively
Third-year running back Stevan Ridley’s recurring ball-security issues landed him in Bill Belichick’s doghouse, putting the ball on the ground twice against the Bills. However, with his replacement Shane Vereen breaking a small bone in his wrist, he was placed on injured reserve, which means he's out for at least eight weeks.
This makes Ridley the guy for the Pats. Fumbles are normally less costly to teams than interceptions, but where they occur could take points off the board for teams or swiftly add to opponents totals. New England needs Ridley’s talents, he just has to follow the techniques he’s be taught to hold on to the ball to help his club.
I have painted a rather gloomy picture about this confrontation going past the NFL odds number of 43.5. Whatever value was on offer for our NFL picks has also been sucked dry with the number down 1.5 points.
With the adjustment, you have to surmise the situation is close to 50-50 and the recent history of this series has the OVER 8-1-1, with the last seven all surpassing the number.
Nonetheless, I just cannot find many big plays in this matchup and more uncertainty than positive flow and each defense has the necessary tools to lock up the other.
Let’s make New England 26-13 for the final score.Free NFL Pick – Play Under 43.5