Jets make sense with big start

  • By: David John (Twitter: @SLifeDaveJohn)
  • Last Updated: September 11 2013, 17:30 BST

David John says that the New York Jets should be backed getting a big start on the handicap in New England.

Geno Smith: Will get by with some help from his friends
Geno Smith: Will get by with some help from his friends

New York Jets at New England (0125BST)

The Jets and the Pats have drawn the short straw in as much as they have to get over the trials and tribulations of their opening games and prepare for the next one on a short week.

The scenario is far from ideal for both.

The Jets are trying to gameplan with rookie quarterback Geno Smith adjusting to life in the pros, while the Patriots are dangerously thin at receiver having picked up a handful of injuries in the victory over Buffalo.

And you can expect a physical encounter too with very little love lost between the pair as their AFC East rivalry has continued to smoulder over the years.

Jets offensive lineman Willie Colon summed up the atmosphere quite tidily: "We hate 'em. They know it and we are going to get 'em."

Both left it very late to notch the all-important opening win with the Jets particularly fortunate after Lavonte David's late hit on Smith when out of bounds giving them the chance to set-up the clinching field goal from Nick Folk.

But it was more than a satisfactory display for Rex Ryan's team considering their off-season travails at the quarterback position, Mark Sanchez's shoulder injury finally taking a tricky decision on who will start out his hands.

Smith got better as the game went on and his team-mates are sure to rally around him while he overcomes the inevitable teething problems as he settles into the role.

The Bill Belichick defense he faces is not as fearsome as in years gone by but that does not mean he will not feel bamboozled at some stage or another.

The layers have priced up the game with the Patriots up to 12-point favourites - which rather underestimates their opponents in my opinion.

Their defense limited dangerous Tampa running back Doug Martin to just 65 yards, while they sacked quarterback Josh Freeman three times and kept him under plenty of pressure throughout Sunday.

Lets face it, Freeman is no Tom Brady but the future Hall of Famer looks like now being shorn of wide receiver Danny Amendola with tight end Rob Gronkowski still sidelined as he recovers from various ailments.

Rookie receivers Kenbrell Thompkins, Josh Boyce and Zach Sudfeld all struggled while dual threat running back Shane Vereen broke his wrist - that leaves Stevan Ridley at the latter position and he has become prone to fumbling rather too often lately.

I think the Jets defense will be more than a match and although I doubt Smith will be lighting up the scoreboard, the Jets look competitive on the night with a very handy start.

Julien Edelman did step up to the plate on Sunday with a couple of touchdown catches and this Wes Welker-style player is likely to be Brady's main target once again with his options so limited.

He is a generous evens for a touchdown anytime and that looks well worth an investment too.

  • Preview posted at 1630 BST on 11/09/2013.