Both the Patriots and the Jets entered Thursday night on the heels of scrappy victories on opening weekend. The Patriots scraped by the Buffalo Bills, and the Jets were handed a win over the Tampa Bay Bucs on a silver platter after Bucs LB Lavonte David put the Jets in field goal range with under a minute left thanks to a mindless penalty.
Both teams were also suffering from injury issues - it looks as though Jets QB Mark Sanchez needs shoulder surgery that would end his season, and a number of Patriots receivers are laid up with injury issues.
Rookie WR Aaron Dobson made his first NFL start, and less than three minutes into NFL debut he found himself in the end zone after the Jets defense bit hard on a play-action and Tom Brady found him uncovered deep. The 39-yard touchdown (on Dobson's first NFL catch) put the Patriots up 7-0 less than three full minutes into the game.
Rookie quarterback Geno Smith has been deputizing for Sanchez under center, and Smith did well to find Stephen Hill over the middle for a 33-yard gain with 10:17 remaining in the quarter. Unfortunately for the Jets, Hill fumbled the ball while being tackled, and the Patriots took over at the New York 18-yard-line.
The Jets held the Patriots to a field goal, but the Patriots had to feel good after extending their lead to 10-0 with less than six minutes gone by.
On the ensuing drive, Smith showed surprising poise. Unfazed by the aggressive pressure from the Patriots defense, he drove the Jets 80 yards in five minutes, taking hits on nearly every play but still managing an impressive 27-yard throw to Santonio Holmes.
Smith appeared to have thrown a touchdown pass on third down from the Patriots 9-yard line, but the play was overturned after replay officials determined the pass had been trapped against the ground. Nick Folk, who had been out on the field to kick the extra point, stayed out to drill a 37-yarder that put the Jets on the board and made it 10-3 with 4 minutes left in the quarter.
The Jets defense held, forcing a punt on New England's next drive, and at the end of the quarter the score is Patriots 10, Jets 3Back to the New England Patriots Newsfeed