Tale Of The Tape: New York Jets At New England Patriots
- QuarterbackGeno Smith had his moments in Week One, including his late first-half touchdown pass to Kellen Winslow and also leading the game-winning drive. Smith showed a bit of patience against the Bucs, but he remains a work in progress who needs to show greater consistency, accuracy and confidence.The Patriots love to get their prime-time opportunities against the Jets, and they certainly have the perfect triggerman to take advantage of the Jets’ secondary in Tom Brady. While Brady did put on a Peyton Manning-like show in Week One, he is clearly in command of the Pats’ pass-first offense and his accuracy and command gives him a big advantage.
- OffenseThe Jets would like to make things easier for Smith by giving him a decent running game, but that does not seem likely with Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory. Winslow has the ability to get open on third down and in the red zone, while Jeremy Kerley has decent hands and can run decent routes. However the Jets need Santonio Holmes to step up and become a consistent gamebreaker.The Patriots are not the well-oiled machine they were in previous years due to the absence of Wes Welker. They need one of their wideouts to step up, and they are hoping it will be injury-prone Danny Amendola (groin). Julian Edelman got off to a good start in Week One with two TD receptions, but he does not appear to be a star. Stevan Ridley wants to make up for a poor fumble against the Bills.
- DefenseThe Jets are going to be competitive on defense, but that’s not enough with a substandard offense. Linebacker David Harris had seven tackles in Week One and he also forced a fumble. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson had a sack against the Bucs and could be a decent pass rusher.The Patriots are vulnerable in the secondary, as Stevie Johnson of the Buffalo Bills burned this unit in Week One. However the presence of Aqib Talib makes the Pats somewhat tougher and the Jets don’t have the outside weapons to take advantage. DT Vince Wilfork is a wrecking crew who can destroy the run and get after the quarterback.
- Special TeamsWith the Jets lacking a big-time offense and playmakers on defense, they need special teams to provide them with a big advantage. That’s not likely to happen. Robert Malone is an ordinary punter who lacks a big leg and Nick Folk is about the same as a field goal kicker even though he hit the game-winner against Tampa Bay. The Jets are just ordinary as a return team with Kerley handling punt and kickoff returns.Stephen Gostkowski has the leg strength and demeanor to make clutch field goals for Bill Belichick, as he proved once again in Week One vs. the Bills. The Pats chose not to bring back veteran punter Zoltan Mesko and they paid a price in Week One as Ryan Allen was ordinary. Edelman can be explosive as a return specialist.
The Patriots have several issues of their own after turning the ball over three times in Week One against the Bills, but they have too much firepower for the Jets and they are not going to slip up in their home opener. New England pulls away in the second half. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor