Jets vs. Patriots: 3 things to watch

Gronkowksi broke his arm against the Colts on Sunday.

The Jets’ season very much rests on this Thursday night’s game against the Patriots.

A win and the 4-6 Jets would take a big step toward making a legitimate push for the postseason, while a loss would mean they would have to play perfect football for the five remaining games to have a chance of sniffing the postseason. There is hope for the Jets who played the Patriots to a 29-26 road loss in Week 7.

Three things to watch …

1. Patriots living life without Gronk

With Rob Gronkowski undergoing surgery on Monday to repair a broken forearm, the Jets catch a bit of a break with the Patriots offense losing one of their prime targets.

He is always a matchup problem for a Jets linebacker corps that is aging and slow, and there are question marks as to who will replace him. Tight end Aaron Hernandez is still recovering from an ankle injury and might make a limited impact on Thursday night, which means that the Patriots could well turn to Visanthe Shiancoe. Shiancoe is a veteran with a proven track record as an outstanding target, but he has failed to register a catch in the two games he’s played this season.

2. Jets try to get over the ‘Hill’ at receiver

Rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill was expected to go through some growing pains, but the learning curve has certainly been steep.

It isn’t an issue of the physicality of the NFL, as Hill has been tremendous in his blocking and has certainly gotten open on his routes. It also isn’t the playbook, as he has a good grasp of it.

The bottom line is Hill is having a hard time holding onto the ball, with several big drops, including one in the fourth quarter of the Jets’ loss in Foxboro several weeks ago.

“One thing I know for sure is we’re going to keep throwing to him and I think this young man is going to realize, by the way, you can play this game,” Rex Ryan said.

3. Winning the battle of time of possession

One reason why the Jets hung in the game at New England several weeks ago was their ability to systematically move the ball down the field and win the battle of the clock.

The numbers weren’t gaudy, but the Jets rushed for 106 yards and seven first downs in that game, meaning they did just enough to keep the chains moving. In doing so, they kept the ball out of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s hands and limited their ability to score points. In that overtime loss, the Jets held the ball for 35:49, four minutes more than the Patriots. If they can do that again, they have a chance to win.

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…


Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…


Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…


New York joins accord to strengthen popular vote…

New York State joined a nationwide effort that would gives the state's 29 electoral votes for president to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.


Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…


'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.


TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…


Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.


Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…


Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.


NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?


Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…


How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…


Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.


Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.