By: Randy Cruz (@cruzr83)
This game was labeled as a "Rivalry Renewed", between AFC East rivals the New England Patriots and the New York Jets.
Both teams walked into Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts undefeated on the young NFL season, looking to gain an early edge in their division standings.
The Jets, coming off a victory over the Buccaneers at home, wanted to come into Patriots territory and get a big victory on the road. The Patriots, coming off a road victory over the Bills, came into the game missing many of their key play makers.
New England wasted no time getting on the board when Tom Brady, completely faking out the Jets defense, threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Dobson with 13 minutes left in the first quarter. That would be Dobson's first ever touchdown pass.
As that touchdown happened, Brady would join Drew Brees as the only players in NFL history to throw a touchdown pass in 50 straight games.
The Jets were looking to get on the board the following possession, as Geno Smith threw a beautiful 50-yard pass to Stephen Hill, which was then fumbled by Hill and recovered by Devin McCourty who took it down to the Jets 10-yard line. A great defensive stance was displayed by the Jets, holding the Patriots to a field goal, extending the lead to 10-0.
The next Jets possession would turn into points on a field goal by Nick Foles with 4:10 left in the first quarter. Initially, it was a Geno Smith touchdown pass to Clyde Gates but was then called back due to Gates not maintaining possession of the football while in the end zone.
The same thing would happen to the Patriots to end the half, as Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass to Kenbrell Thompkins but Thompkins as well didn't maintain possession in the end zone. The Patriots were in field goal range, but Stephen Gostkowski missed a 43-yard attempt wide left. Patriots led 13-3 at halftime.
As the second half start, the rain started to pour in Foxborough, which started a parade of dropped catches by both teams. Tom Brady, who rarely shows emotions on the field, was seen angry with his wide receivers on the bench as the first half ended. Any pass Geno Smith and Tom Brady threw in the second half was either dropped or miraculously caught. The game was ugly the rest of the way as neither team sustained any consistent rhythm to their play.
Enforcing more of a running game in the second half, the Jets finally got their first touchdwon of the night as Bilal Powell scored on a 5-yard run with 5:05 left in the third quarter, making it a 13-10 game in favor of the Patriots.
With 11:14 remaining in the fourth quarter, Geno Smith threw his first of three interceptions. The Jets were in New England territory as Kyle Arrington broke up Smith's pass and was recovered by Aqib Talib.
On a completion in the fourth quarter, Tom Brady would break another record as he passed Drew Bledsoe to move into 7th place on the NFL all-time completions list with 3,840 for his career.
With the score pretty much at a standstill at 13-10 in favor of the Patriots, the next two possessions for the Jets would prove to be costly. At the 4:25 mark in the fourth quarter, Geno Smith threw his second interception of the night, followed by his third interception with :40 seconds remaining in an effort to get into field goal range to tie the game up or even a touchdown score to take the lead.
For his second game in the NFL, Smith did show flashes of being a rookie. He did make some good plays in the first half. His wide receivers let him down with a couple dropped passes, but also at times, Smith held the ball too long, not making a move fast enough when needed to. There were also times when Smith didn't have options to throw and could've ran the ball for a couple yards but decided not to. This is the learning process Smith will go through throughout the season and in due time, he'll learn to recognize when to run with the ball when the receiving options aren't there.
Final: Patriots 13, Jets 10.
Tom Brady finished 19 of 39 for 185 yards and 1 TD. Geno Smith in his second start finished 15 of 35, 214 yards, 0 TD's, 3 INT's (3 in the 4th quarter).
The Patriots (2-0) will take on the Buccaneers (0-1), while the Jets (1-1) will take on the Bills (0-1) in Week 3.