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Written by Steven Smith on September 10, 2013

New England Patriots vs. New York Jets Free Pick 9/12/13: Steve's Free NFL Football Pick Against the Spread
Photo by: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots will be hosting the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football.

The New York Jets, fresh off their upset win over the Tampa Bay Bucs, head to New England on Thursday night to face-off against Tom Brady and the Pats.

The New England Patriots earned a win in their week one outing against the Buffalo Bills, but it was far from pretty. Gronk’s injury, Hernandez off the team and Welker now with the Broncos had a significant impact on this game. Brady did not look like himself. The timing between Brady and his receivers was not there, and while the Pats will surely work this out as the season goes on, I am concerned about the Patriots having to play again on a short week, with so little time to work out their chemistry issues. Newly-acquired Danny Amendola is filling Welker’s duties on the Pats, and did have a nice game, as Amendola finished the day with ten receptions for 104 yards. Amendola briefly left the game with an apparent groin injury (haven’t we seen this before), but quickly returned and continued to be somewhat effective. Shane Vereen had a nice day at the running back spot for the Pats, carrying the ball 14 times for 101 yards, but Vereen broke his wrist in the game and is reportedly out for around four weeks. The Patriots will get better as Brady establishes a rapport with his new found weapons, but I just don’t know if it will happen as soon as Thursday.

The New York Jets are 1-0 after their upset victory over the Bucs on Sunday. With all the QB talk in New York this past off-season, the Jets went with rookie quarterback Geno Smith on Sunday. Smith was far from perfect, and still has plenty of wrinkles to iron out to be sure, but the rookie did play well against a solid Tampa Bay defensive unit. Smith finished the day with 256 yards and a score, while also throwing one pick and losing a fumble. One thing that is surprising is the fact that Smith was the leading rusher on the day for the Jets. Now, the Jets don’t have a solid stable of backs, but Smith was not known as a rusher in college and to see the rookie rack up 47 yards against the Bucs defense was a bit of an eye-opener. This is not to say that Smith will be running around like Robert Griffin anytime soon, but it does add a dimension to this offense, which frankly needs all the help it can get. Defensively, the Jets were solid once again, holding the Bucs to just 65 yards on the ground and making Freeman look bad, as the Tampa QB finished the day with a QBR of just 22.5 (ouch).

The Jets have not faired well on Thursday Night football, going 0-2 overall, and 0-2 against the number in the past three seasons. This will be just the second game on Thursday night for the Pats in the past three years and the they hold a 1-0 overall record, and are 1-0 ATS.

I hate doing it, but I have to lay this number with the Pats here. New York has to travel to New England, with a rookie quarterback on a short week. Belichick should have a field day with Smith. Yes, I know Manuel had success against the Patriots, but the Bills had ample time to prepare and coach up Manuel on making quick decisions and designing plays to limit his mistakes. The Jets just don’t have that time, and even if they did. I don’t trust Ryan to put Smith in that kind of situation. I know there are some chemistry issues with the Patriots right now, but even with that being the case, the Jets are just in such a bad spot here, so the Patriots should win and win convincingly.

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Steve's Pick: New England -12


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