9: Patriots vs. Jets
Dates: Thursday, Sept. 12, at 8:25 p.m. ET and Sunday, Oct. 20, at 1 p.m. ET
Compelling story line: This rivalry was once one of the most intense in the AFC, but it seems like ages ago that the Jets were 3-2 in a five-game stretch against Brady and Belichick. The Patriots have swept the Jets, 4-0, the past two years, but the playing field will be a bit more level in the first meeting. Both teams will be coming off short rest in Week 2 with a game on NFL Network's “Thursday Night Football.” They will still be trying to figure out each other and themselves.
Tom Brady has struggled with the Jets defense in the past, most notably in the AFC Divisional playoff game the Patriots lost, 28-21, but over the past two years, he has completed 66.7 percent of his passes and has compiled a 112.4 passer rating with nine touchdowns and just one interception.
Interesting stat: Three of the past five meetings have been decided by 9 or fewer points. The other two were decided by 21 and 30 points.
Bold prediction: Geno Smith will start at least one of the two games for the Jets.