The Teams: New England Patriots (1-0) vs. New York Jets (1-0)
The Terms: Regular Season Week 2
The Place: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
The Time: 4:15pm
The Channel: CBS
3 Burning Questions:
- How will the Patriots respond? Losing an MVP quarterback in the first week of the season to a year long injury is something no team has ever had to endure. If anyone can respond in a positive manner, it’s this Patriots organization. We’re down a Brady, but up a Belichick. The Pats now will truly have to play well in all three phases of the game to secure victory. There may be a new quarterback taking snaps, but it’s the same great wide receivers, the same deep running backs and the same veteran defense that could still see the Patriots make the playoffs in 2008. Going into a hostile environment as underdogs to their rivals brings no greater test to a teams mettle. I think they’ll rise to the challenge.
- Will we see preseason Matt Cassel or regular season Matt Cassel? I think we’re going to see the regular season Matt Cassel. Pats haters like to point out that last week Cassel performed well against a terrible team in the Kansas City Chiefs. Well looking at the roster for the “Mean Green” I’m not seeing a whole lot that has me shaking in my boots. I see a lot of high priced players who haven’t proven they can get it done week in, week out. Mangini knows Cassel from his time with the Patriots but never as a starter with the first team offense. With an entire week to gameplan with his new QB, Belichick will have the upper hand in the coaching matchup (as if there were any doubt) and will put Cassel in situations where he has the most chance for success.
- How will the Patriots handle Brett Fav…r-ah: I’m a Brett Favre hater. I can’t stand his ‘swagger’, his ‘gun slinging’ attitude or the media’s love for him (sounds a lot like Barack Obama, but no politics here). Last week he led a team that barely beat the MIAMI DOLPHINS and the only reason they won it because Favre threw up one of his patented jump balls on fourth down and just like always, some lucky receiver happened to be in the right place at the right time to haul it in for a TD. The Patriots should pressure the daylights out of him and force him into the jump balls. Mike Vrabel and Adalius Thomas had some success rushing the QB against the Chiefs and I see a lot of the same this week. They’ll get to Favre and force him to throw for at least two interceptions. That’ll wipe that redneck grin off his face.
A lot of people – including Pats fans and yours truly – felt after Brady went down that the season is done and the Pats were in the crapper. After the initial shock however, most of us loyal fans settled down and realized how much talent is still on this team. Cassel played well last week but today will be a bigger test. He needs to assert himself early and needs a strong running game to back him up. Even if the offense struggles I just don’t see a lot of talent on the other sideline. If Favre starts to make some mistakes it could all unravel for the Pack..I mean Jets. The Pats defense should be able to control the line of scrimmage and the offense will control the clock and I see the Patriots coming out of week 2 with a relatively easy win.
Patriots 24, Jets 10
Tags: Adalius Thomas, Bill Belichick, Brett Favre, Eric Mangini, Matt Cassel, Mike Vrabel, Patriots, Tom Brady