Smith (right) hopes to join Sanchez (left) among Jets rookie quarterbacks who've defeated the Pats in their debuts against them.
With Mark Sanchez likely having taken his last snap for the New York Jets following news that his injured shoulder will require season-ending surgery, Gang Green is squarely under the control of rookie Geno Smith. The second-round pick from West Virginia hopes to continue a long tradition in the New York-New England rivalry tonight in Foxborough. Of the four rookies who have started for the Jets/Titans franchise against the Patriots, three came away with victories in their first meetings with the Pats.
•November 14, 1965 The glamour boy from Tuscaloosa, “Broadway Joe” Namath was outgained 275 yards to 180 by Babe Parilli, and while both threw two touchdown passes, the veteran was picked off three times while Namath was spotless in New York’s 30-20 win at Fenway Park.
•October 14, 1973 Schaefer Stadium played host to an ugly contest that saw Jets rookie Bill Demory complete just one of seven passes for 11 yards. But the entire scoring output for the Pats came on a Will Foster fumble recovery in the Jets end zone in New York’s 9-7 win.
•November 11, 1976 Starting in place of a hobbled Joe Namath at Shea Stadium, fellow Alabama alum Richard Todd connected on four of his six throws, but unfortunately two of those went to Patriots. Namath managed to get in the game but was not effective, getting picked off himself five times in a 38-24 New England victory.
•September 20, 2009 There was so much promise in the Jets, their new head coach, Rex Ryan and rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez, especially when he led a second half comeback to defeat the Patriots 16-7. In that game Sanchez out-dueled Tom Brady, completing 63.6% of his throws with a touchdown compared to Brady’s 48.9% with a pick.
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He has also authored or made contributions to many books, including the Sports Illustrateds 100 Fenway: A Fascinating First Century.
Now living in Marblehead, hes focusing his attention on the Boston sports scene, specifically delving into the numbers affecting the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins, with the goal of informing and entertaining real fans. You can follow him on Twitter at @SabinoSports.