Final, Patriots 13-10: This is the ugliest win imaginable. There is no such thing as an uglier win. It even ended with a fight after Aqib Talib danced to the sideline following a game-clinching interception.
The Patriots have nine days to review the tape, and that may not be enough time for Bill Belichick to go ballistic on his team for this effort.
The defense was all right, at best. The offense was atrocious, outside of Julian Edelman, who was as much of a savior as he could be. We’ll have more on this ugly, ugly win here on NESN.com tonight.
Fourth quarter, 1:08, Patriots 13-10: At this point, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Jets kick a last-second field goal to tie this one up. That’s the way the game as been going. And the Patriots don’t deserve to win this one.
The Patriots got one first down on their drive when they needed two. And they ran the ball on third-and-11 when a first down would have clinched the game.
Jets ball at the 29.
Fourth quarter, 2:00, Patriots 13-10: It feels like this game has been 13-10 for an eternity. The Patriots are very slowly not making their way down the field. It’s third-and-11 with two minutes left. A minor miracle may need to occur for the Patriots to convert.
Fourth quarter, 3:31, Patriots 13-10: The Patriots have a chance to clinch the game if they can move the ball this drive. Alfonzo Dennard came up with a clutch interception. Geno Smith’s pass was brutal, but Dennard cut the route perfectly for the pick.
It’s third-and-five for the Patriots on the 36-yard line. A first down would got a long way right now.
Fourth quarter, 6:07, Patriots 13-10: I feel like I’m in the movie Groundhog Day. Every drive is a three-and-out. And the Patriots just went deep on third-and-five.
This is a rough game. It’s incredible that the Patriots are still winning.
Fourth quarter, 7:27, Patriots 13-10: Anyone know what the record is for three-and-outs in a game? This game has been filled with them. Chris Ivory was wide open on third down, and the ball just slipped right out of his hands.
The Patriots have the ball on the Jets’ 48.
Fourth quarter, 8:29, Patriots 13-10: The Patriots finally converted on third down, but it didn’t really get them anywhere. Tom Brady has completed just 45.7 percent of his passes. That’s not good.
The Jets have the ball at the 22-yard line.
Fourth quarter, 11:13, Patriots 13-10: Whoa. Something good happened to the Patriots? Kyle Arrington tipped Geno Smith’s pass, and Aqib Talib hopped in for the interception.
Alfonzo Dennard has had a down performance after last week’s gem. He suffered an ankle injury this week.
The Patriots have the ball at the 11-yard line.
Fourth quarter, 14:46, Patriots 13-10: Another unsuccessful drive for the Patriots. Tom Brady couldn’t connect with Kenbrell Thompkins on third down, and the Patriots punted again. The Jets have the ball on the 15-yard line.
This is ugly football tonight. That’s the result of the early Thursday night game.
End third quarter, Patriots 13-10: The Jets only had one solid drive in them. They went three-and-out on their last possession.
The Patriots got six yards in their first two plays before the quarter ended. They now have 15 minutes to hold off the Jets. A touchdown here would help.
Brady has tried relying on other receivers. It’s just not working.
Third quarter, 2:35, Patriots 13-10: No surprise on that drive, except that the Patriots actually got a first down. New England had to punt again.
Lots of drops from the rookie receivers tonight. An extraordinary amount of drops from the rookie receivers tonight.
Tom Brady is probably past the point of frustration at this point.
Third quarter, 5:05, Patriots 13-10: This half is going quite a bit quicker than the first so far, though we have seen some lightning flashes.
The Jets had no problem moving the ball on the Patriots in the rain. This defense may be very tired after playing just four days ago.
Geno Smith has had two impressive games in a row. Some teams may be regretting skipping him in the first round.
Third quarter, 10:17, Patriots 13-3: Another Patriots drive, another three-and-out. And I just saw a lightning flash. This one could get delayed.
The Patriots’ offense has been very, very rough.
Third quarter, 11:41, Patriots 13-3: Outside of a deep completion from Geno Smith to Clyde Gates, the Jets were not able to get anything on that drive. Rob Ninkovich brought some pressure on second down, then completely stuffed Bilal Powell on third down.
The Jets pinned the Patriots on the four-yard line.
End half, Patriots 13-3: That was a rough effort from Stephen Gostkowski on the 43-yard field goal attempt. It was hooked so far left it looked blocked, but it wasn’t.
The Patriots probably had more down moments than up in the first half, but they still lead 13-3. We’ll be back for the second half.
Second quarter, :19, Patriots 13-3: The call on the field, for now, is a diving touchdown catch from Kenbrell Thompkins. It looked like the ball moved, though. We’ll see where this goes. Get ready for some updates.
Update: Thompkins’ hands slid down the ball — no catch. Weird way to put it by the ref.
Second quarter, 2:00, Patriots 13-3: Tom Brady chucked it deep to Aaron Dobson on third-and-one. That was a head-scratcher. Dobson was open but couldn’t track the ball.
Brady is not having his best night, but he also has no trust in his receivers other than Julian Edelman. The Jets have the ball at the five after a great punt from rookie Ryan Allen.
Second quarter, 3:15, Patriots 13-3: Chandler Jones brought some more pressure on third down. The second-year player was in at defensive tackle again on third down. He’s very productive from that spot.
New England’s defense hasn’t been quite as strong as it was against the Bills, though it’s allowed less points so far. Go figure. The defense is definitely bringing more heat against Geno Smith.
Second quarter, 5:05, Patriots 13-3: Is that enough pressure for you, Patriots fans?
New England brought the heat on three straight plays. Geno Smith evaded the pass rush twice but couldn’t avoid rookie Michael Buchanan on the third play. Buchanan was playing defensive end on third down with Chandler Jones at defensive tackle.
It was Buchanan’s first career sack and also New England’s first sack of the season.
On the Patriots’ ensuing drive, Kenbrell Thompkins was hit on a long pass from Tom Brady. New England couldn’t move the ball for another first down. Stephen Gostkowski hit a field goal to put the Patriots up 13-3.
Brady looked ticked on the sideline after Aaron Dobson didn’t see the ball coming at him in the end zone.
Second quarter, 7:18, Patriots 10-3: That was a terrible drive for the Patriots. Ridley was driven back four yards on the first play, then Aaron Dobson dropped two passes. The Patriots punt the ball just 45 seconds later.
Jets have the ball at the 34.
Second quarter, 8:07, Patriots 10-3: Kyle Arrington wound up with another series-ending play. He broke up a pass intended for Clyde Gates at the last second. He had no help from Steve Gregory over the top as Devin McCourty was forced to play down at CB with four receivers split out.
The Patriots’ defense bent but did not break on that drive. The Patriots have the ball on the 20-yard line.
Second quarter, 13:26, Patriots 10-3: The Patriots got away with one on that drive. Julian Edelman looked very close to fumbling, but he just got his second foot down as he let go of the ball.
A holding penalty by Logan Mankins knocked out a first down from Julian Edelman, who Brady is really keying in on. The Patriots had to punt. Marquice Cole inadvertently let the ball touch him at the 22. The punt would have been inside the 20.
End first quarter, Patriots 10-3: The quarter ended with a nice open-field tackle by Kyle Arrington. Rookie Duron Harmon, in for Steve Gregory, also made a nice open-field tackle. Joe Vellano is in for Tommy Kelly. Vellano has really struggled so far on his NFL snaps.
Update: Jets are challenging the spot of the ball.
Update, take two: The play was upheld. Jets get charged a timeout and punt.
First quarter, 1:49, Patriots 10-3: There’s good news and bad news. The good news is Kenbrell Thompkins caught a pass, turned the right way and picked up some yards after catch. The bad news is neither he, nor Stevan Ridley on the next play, picked up the first down.
Patriots had to punt.
First quarter, 4:10, Patriots 10-3: The call on the field is a touchdown from Geno Smith to Clyde Gates, but it looked like the ball hit the turf before the reception was complete.
The Patriots rushed just three on the third-and-seven play inside the red zone. Smith had all the time in the world to deliver the pass.
The biggest play of the drive came on a huge completion from Smith to Santonio Holmes as Chandler Jones and Michael Buchanan hit the Jets signal caller from the front and back. Both hits were high, so New York got a 15-yard penalty out of it.
Update: The receiver did not have control, the ref says. The Jets will have to kick the field goal.
Update, take two: The first and second field goals were good. The first one was called back for holding, though. Patriots lead 10-3.
First quarter, 7:17, Patriots 10-0: Ugly three-and-out possession by the Patriots, but they still get three points out of it.
Patriots lead 10-0.
First quarter, 10:17, Patriots 7-0: That was the shortest drive of all. Stephen Hill beat Aqib Talib for the catch, but the Patriots cornerback forced the ball out. Devin McCourty recovered it and brought it back to the eight-yard line.
The Patriots opened in a base defense with Arrington in and Dennard out. That’s an odd choice with the Jets sticking four wide receivers on the field.
First quarter, 10:51, Patriots 7-0: Another very short drive. This game is going to have to go by a little faster if both teams want to avoid the oncoming storm.
Brady missed Thompkins badly on a throw to the sideline. LeGarrette Blount got some action on a three-yard run, and Edelman couldn’t get enough to get a first down on third-and-seven.
Marcus Cannon was playing right guard on that series with Dan Connolly being looked at on the sideline by trainers. It’s nice to have a reserve like Cannon.
First quarter, 11:56, Patriots 7-0: That was a quick drive. Jets went three-and-out as Geno Smith missed on a couple of throws.
The Patriots started in their nickel defense. Dont’a Hightower was starting over Brandon Spikes.
First quarter, 12:54, Patriots 7-0: The Patriots showed some trickery early. Aaron Dobson, lined up at H-back, ran right past the Jets’ defense for a 39-yard touchdown. Stevan Ridley and Julian Edelman were involved heavily early.
That may have been Dobson’s first NFL snap. What a debut.
First quarter, 14:55: Kenbrell Thompkins, Julian Edelman, James Develin, Stevan Ridley and Michael Hoomanawanui are the starters at the skill positions.
8:26 p.m.: We’re about to get started here. The Jets won the toss and deferred. The Patriots will receive the kickoff.
8:20 p.m.: There was just a Boston Strong tribute here at Gillette Stadium. Very emotional moment as some of the victims came onto the field wearing Patriots No. 1 jerseys.
7:57 p.m.: I’ve received some questions asking whether Kenbrell Thompkins is starting. Judging by pregame warmups: yes, along with Stevan Ridley, Julian Edelman, James Develin and Michael Hoomanawanui.
7:43 p.m.: With Jay Z’s “Public Service Announcement” blasting, Tom Brady ran out onto the field. He’s throwing passes to the receivers now.
7:37 p.m.: Some of the skill position players are out on the field now. Julian Edelman, Kenbrell Thompkins and Leon Washington are back catching punts. Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce and Matthew Slater are also on the field in full uniform.
If anyone has any pregame questions, shoot them to me on Twitter at @DougKyedNESN and I’ll answer them here.
7:00 p.m.: The Patriots’ inactives have been announced. Sudfeld, Amendola and Gronkowski are inactive, as expected. Brandon Bolden, Steve Beauharnais, Will Svitek, Chris Jones are also out.
That means Aaron Dobson and Leon Washington are active. Duron Harmon is set for his NFL debut.
6:50 p.m.: It may not mean a whole lot, but Aaron Dobson and Nate Ebner are out on the field stretching early. They missed last week’s game with injuries.
Dobson could get a lot of targets tonight if he’s active. The Patriots could not be more shallow with receiving targets.
6:30 p.m.: As was already suspected, Zach Sudfeld will be inactive tonight, according to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe.
That means the Patriots are down to Michael Hoomanawanui and Matthew Mulligan at tight end. Sudfeld tweaked his hamstring during New England’s Week 1 matchup against the Bills.
The Patriots are also likely to be without Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola, according to multiple reports. Unknowns are going to have to step up for Tom Brady.
5:35 p.m.: We’re down here live at Gillette Stadium. There’s not much going on at this point, but the new Patriots end zone logo looks pretty weird, huh? The cursive was a classic look.
It will be interesting to see how Geno Smith performs in his second NFL game. He looked surprisingly good against the Buccaneers, staying away from turnovers and showing off his underrated speed.
The Jets may face a bigger challenge in this New England defense, though. They looked like a Top 10 squad on Sunday afternoon, and that was with good, but not great, performances from Vince Wilfork, Devin McCourty, Jerod Mayo, Brandon and Dont’a Hightower. If those guys are on the top of their game, watch out.
Here’s the view tonight:
8 a.m. ET: The Patriots did not have long to review the win they squeaked out over the Bills.
Just four days later, New England will battle its bitter rivals under the lights of Gillette Stadium. Some familiar faces will be gone from the rivalry, though. The Jets are without Mark Sanchez, Darrelle Revis, Bart Scott and Dustin Keller. The Patriots have lost Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker, Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead (and likely Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola, as well).
But the head coaches are still in place. And that’s where much of the bitterness resides in this feud.
Muhammad Wilkerson already guaranteed a victory for New York. And if the Jets are going to start the season 2-0, Wilkerson is going to have to be a major factor. The Jets defensive end is one of the best players in the league who many have not heard of. He’s a dangerous interior pass rusher and can cause havoc in the run game.
On the offensive side, Geno Smith will have to play even better than he did against Tampa Bay. Smith impressed with his arm and legs against the Buccaneers.
For the Patriots to win, players who had rough games in Week 1, like Kenbrell Thompkins and Stevan Ridley, will have to step up. Thompkins’ NFL debut wasn’t as brutal as some have made it out to be, but he did have his fair share of issues. Fortunately for the Patriots, all of the problems he displayed are fixable.
Thompkins has to have better field awareness, and he has to stop being so quick to hit the turf. Thompkins has impressive agility, but it doesn’t do him any good if he’s heading toward the ground as soon as the ball hits his fingers.
Julian Edelman and Thompkins are expected to start, as is Ridley, who will look to cure his fumbling issues, but it’s unclear who the No. 4 and 5 skill-position starters will be.
The Patriots could open in 21 personnel and start James Develin and Michael Hoomanawanui. They could open in 12 personnel and start Hoomanawanui and Matthew Mulligan. Or they could open in 11 personnel and start Hoomanawanui and either Josh Boyce or Aaron Dobson.
Vereen was placed on short-term injured reserve, so he’s gone until Week 11. Gronkowski (forearm/back) and Amendola (groin) are doubtful, so they’re, well, doubtful to play against Rex Ryan’s Jets. Brandon Bolden (knee), Dobson (hamstring), Nate Ebner (ankle), Duron Harmon (hamstring), Matthew Slater (knee), Zach Sudfeld (hamstring), Will Svitek (knee) and Leon Washington (thigh) are all questionable. Marquice Cole (hamstring), Alfonzo Dennard (ankle) and Ridley (shoulder) are probable.
For New York, it may be easier to list the players who aren’t probable in this game. Quinton Copes, Jeremy Kerley and Mark Sachez are out, while 18 players are probable. Some of the highlights in that list are Santonio Holmes, Nick Mangold, Sheldon Richardson, Kellen Winslow, Antonio Cromartie, Clyde Gates, Stephen Hill, Chris Ivory, Dee Milliner, Bilal Powell and Geno Smith.
Here are five trends I noticed while reviewing Buccaneers-Jets and Patriots-Bills to watch for in Week 2:
1. Geno Smith loves throwing to Kellen Winslow. The Patriots have struggled to cover tight ends in the past, but the linebackers and safeties performed well against Scott Chandler (for the most part) on Sunday. Winslow is a bit more of a threat with his athleticism. It will be a test for Steve Gregory, Jerod Mayo, Dont’a Hightower, Brandon Spikes and possibly Logan Ryan.
2. The Patriots’ secondary had its best game in years. That trend should continue at Gillette Stadium tonight. The Jets have an even weaker receiving corps than the Bills. Stephen Hill shouldn’t fool anyone with his rounded-off routes, and Santonio Holmes seems to have taken more than a few steps back since his best days with the Steelers. Aqib Talib and Dennard are an imposing pair on the edge, Kyle Arrington proved to be a playmaker and Devin McCourty is one of the best deep safeties in the league. Gregory had an impressive game in Week 1 that he must continue all season for this defensive backfield to carry forth. Expect a few turnovers from the Jets.
3. Wilkerson and Richardson have to stay out of the backfield. That burden will rest on the entire offensive line. Both players line up all over the line, and both players can’t be double-teamed. The Patriots’ offensive line had a down game against the Bills, but that group should never be too much of a concern. Nate Solder, Logan Mankins and Sebastian Vollmer are all Pro Bowl-level players, and Ryan Wendell had a solid season last year. Dan Connolly was good, but he’s not on quite the same level as the rest of that line. He’s still recovering from injury and didn’t have the best Week 1. Connolly (or Marcus Cannon) will have to boost that position.
4. The Patriots rarely blitzed EJ Manuel. That’s why there wasn’t much of a pass rush on Sunday afternoon. The Patriots likely won’t attack Smith too much with rushers, but they should blitz more than they did against Buffalo. New England has great pass-rushing linebackers. Expect to see them more, despite Smith’s quicks.
5. The Jets are still utilizing a wildcat. Yeah, you read that right. While every other team has turned to the read option, Ryan still thinks it’s a good idea to direct snap to a player who is in no way a passing threat. The wildcat was awful on Sunday against the Bucs. Expect it to remain awful if they run it in Foxboro — that is, unless they run up the middle when the Patriots are giving Vince Wilfork or Tommy Kelly a rest. Joe Vellano really strugged in his debut, winding up on the ground way too much. New England just acquired Chris Jones off waivers, and he may need to be thrown into the fire. At least the Patriots know he has studied the Jets.
Don’t forget, if you’re going to Thursday night’s game. There’s a new NFL-wide bag policy. Review the new rules.
We’ll keep you updated on the news from Gillette Stadium all day. Stay here for the latest happenings. Send any questions you have to @DougKyedNESN on Twitter, and I’ll answer them pregame.
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