Thursday, September 12, 2013

Week 2 AFC East game picks: Jets at Pats

Publisher Nick St. Denis, associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior contributor Sean Donovan pick Thursday's divisional clash between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets.

Nick's take:
The Jets' defense is good enough to keep Gang Green in any game, and a short week before facing a depleted Patriots offense is just what the doctor ordered. If New York can find a way to get its still-developing run game going against Vince Wilfork & Co., the Jets have a real shot at this one. Geno Smith could do some damage against the Patriots' annually-poor pass defense, but New England has a way of making rookie quarterbacks pay. Bill Belichick is 14-4 against first-year signal-callers.
Prediction: Jets 21, Patriots 20

Dan's take:
The Pats are awfully banged up on the offensive side of the ball, and you can bet Rex Ryan will exploit that as much as he possibly can with different pressure packages. Quarterback Tom Brady definitely didn't look like himself until it counted last week against the Bills (76.4 QB rating), and the Pats' running game will now have the added pressure of an absent Shane Vereen. The Jets' offense still needs another week or two to really get things running smoothly (particularly on the ground), but the defense keeps this one real tight.
Prediction: Patriots 23, Jets 17

Sean's take:
New England escaped Buffalo with a win, though it was much closer than they hoped due to a gritty Bills defense and some unforced turnovers. Expect Ryan's Jets to turn the defensive heat up a notch higher but for Brady's offense to eliminate the mistakes. The Patriots turn in a workmanlike, disciplined performance and start the year 2-0 in the division.
Prediction: Patriots 24, Jets 10