Patriots vs. Jets: 3 things to watch for Thursday night

Tom Brady and the Patriots went 2-0 against the Jets last season. Credit: Getty Images
Tom Brady and the Patriots went 2-0 against the Jets last season. Credit: Getty Images

When the Patriots take the Gillette Stadium field Thursday (8:25 p.m., WCVB-5, NFLN) for the first time this regular season, they’ll do so without some key players on offense.

Just three days ago, the Pats squeaked by the Bills, 23-21, but not without the depth of their offense taking a big hit.

Shane Vereen broke a bone in his wrist that required surgery and forced the Patriots to put him on short-term IR.

Danny Amendola re-aggravated a groin injury, and while he eventually returned and played extremely well, he may have made the injury even worse in the long run.

And rookie tight end Zach Sudfeld pulled a hamstring, leaving the Patriots with just one tight end in Michael Hoomanawanui as Rob Gronkowski is still recovering from forearm and back surgery.

How the Pats adjust to these injuries is one of a few things to look for this week.

1. Who steps up on offense?
The Pats can still make due with who they have. Vereen’s role grew once Stevan Ridley was benched for fumbling. The team will probably put the ball back in Ridley’s hands again Thursday night, and assuming he doesn’t fumble away his second chance, the running game should be OK. Julian Edelman was also a huge factor Week 1, and having been with Tom Brady for five seasons, should see the ball even more this week. Kenbrell Thompkins saw 14 targets last week, and while he only hauled in four of them, it’s clear Brady likes looking his way.

2. Quick turnover
After Sunday’s less-than-stellar performance, you can bet Bill Belichick would have loved to work on a few things in practice. But playing Thursday didn’t allow for it. The team had a walkthrough on Tuesday, and an off-day Wednesday. In order to improve, they’ll have to really hit the books hard against a Jets team looking to prove everybody wrong.

“We’re going to need to be better than we were last week,” Brady said. “There’s a lot to prepare for in a very short amount of time, so we’re trying to get everyone to understand that.”

3. Another rookie QB

Bills rookie QB E.J. Manuel threw two TDs, wasn’t sacked, and didn’t throw an interception against the Patriots defense. They’ll face another rookie QB Thursday in Geno Smith. With a banged up offense, it’s a perfect opportunity for the Pats defense to take charge and prove they can win a grind-it-out, low-scoring game. My, how times have changed.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.