New England quarterback Tom Brady passes during the Patriots’ narrow escape against Buffalo in last week’s season opener.
The Jets and Patriots are very similar teams. Both come off last-second wins on field goals. Both have key injuries that will test their depth. Both are tied with Miami atop the AFC East.
New England is nothing like the Jets, regardless of those likenesses, and the 12-point spread favoring the Patriots shows that.
The Patriots (No. 5 in the AP Pro32) pretty much own the Jets (No. 26, AP Pro32), winning the last four matchups and 17 of 22. New England has won 11 straight division games.
The Patriots have Tom Brady, and even with a pedestrian receiving corps that could be missing top target Danny Amendola (groin injury), he knows how to pick apart a Rex Ryan defense.
And in a short week, how intricate can Ryan get? Still, Brady doesn’t expect any simplified schemes from the Jets.
“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. Part of the veteran responsibility (is) that we have to kind of convey that message to everybody. So we’re cramming a lot in, but that’s what we have to; I mean, that’s what they’re doing, too.”
Brady has a TD pass in 49 consecutive games, second in NFL history to Drew Brees’ string of 54. Getting to 50 should be relatively easy Thursday night, but covering that big spread could be more challenging. New England barely will.
No. 12 (tie) Detroit (minus
1) at No. 24 Arizona
Lions could prove they are for real with another win. We think Cardinals are more real.
UPSET SPECIAL: CARDINALS, 24-23
No. 31 Cleveland (plus
6½) at No. 15 Baltimore
Ravens have licked their wounds from Denver debacle for a long time ...
BEST BET: RAVENS, 30-13
No. 16 St. Louis (plus
7) at No. 8 Atlanta
Falcons licking their wounds, too.
No. 1 San Francisco (plus
3) at No. 3 Seattle
Should be nasty, physical — and very, very loud.
No. 25 San Diego (plus 8)
at No. 12 (tie) Philadelphia
After the Chargers ran out of gas against Houston, what now against breathless Philly?
No. 21 Tennessee (plus
9) at No. 4 Houston
Texans’ offense will test Titans’ new D more than Steelers could.
No. 18 Miami (plus 3)
at No. 9 Indianapolis
Colts got sloppy vs. Raiders last week, must clean it up.
No. 23 Carolina (minus
3) at No. 28 Buffalo
Bills should be 1-0. They will be 1-1.
No. 19 Washington (plus
7½) at No. 6 (tie) Green Bay
If there’s a good loss, Packers had it last week. Now, a good win.
No. 27 Pittsburgh (plus 7)
at No. 14 Cincinnati
Imagine Steelers 0-2 already. Going to happen ...
No. 11 Dallas (plus 2½)
at No. 17 Kansas City
Getting tired of picking home teams this week. Still ...
No. 32 Jacksonville (plus
5½) at No. 30 Oakland
And more tired ...
No. 6 (tie) New Orleans (minus
3½) at No. 29 Tampa Bay
Ah, finally, a road victory.
No. 2 Denver (minus 4½)
at No. 20 New York Giants
And another as Peyton goes 3-0 vs. Eli.
No. 22 Minnesota (plus
6½) at No. 10 Chicago
And yet another as Vikings avoid 0-2 division start.
Against spread: 5-10-1. Straight up: 10-6.
Best Bet: 0-1 against spread, 1-0 straight up.
Upset special: 0-1 against spread, 1-0 straight up.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.orgMORE IN Sports WireSteve Stricker never felt more alone in front of so many people. Full StoryFOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots have been mediocre in splitting their first two games. Full Story
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