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Game 2 preview: Jets at Patriots

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff  September 12, 2013 08:00 AM

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Just four days after opening their season against the Buffalo Bills, a 23-21 win, the Patriots welcome the New York Jets for their home opener at Gillette Stadium Thursday night in a nationally televised game on NFL Network.

The team enters Thursday's game with concerns over injuries at key positions on offense, including wide receivers Danny Amendola (groin) and Aaron Dobson (hamstring), as well as tight end Zach Sudfeld (hamstring). Amendola is listed as doubtful for Thursday's game after aggravating his injury against the Bills, despite finishing the game. Dobson and Sudfeld are listed as questionable.

The team will have to fill the gaping hole left by Shane Vereen, who operated as the team's third-down running back and filled in for starter Stevan Ridley when he was benched for fumbling. Vereen will miss the next eight weeks with a broken bone in his left wrist.

Former Jets running back Leon Washington could replace some of Vereen's snaps. But he's listed as questionable for the game with a thigh injury.

The Jets are coming off a season-opening 18-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kicker Nick Folk nailed a game-winning 48-yard field goal with 2 seconds remaining to lift his team while rookie quarterback Geno Smith (24 of 38 for 256 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 47 yards rushing) made his debut.

The Patriot swept their season series with the Jets in 2012 for the second straight year and are 19-9 against their AFC East rival since Bill Belichick took the helm of the team. New England leads the all-time series 55-52-1 and are 28-5 at Gillette Stadium against division opponents.

Belichick is 6-2 when coaching on Thursday, including a 49-19 win over the Jets on Thanksgiving last year.

Here are the details for today's game:

Kickoff: 8:25 p.m.

Records: Patriots 1-0; Jets 1-0.

TV/Radio: NFL Network/WCVB-TV (Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock, Alex Flannagan); 98.5-FM The Sports Hub (Bob Socci, Scott Zolak) and Westwood One Sports (Ian Eagle, Trent Green, Ross Tucker).

Projected starting lineups:
Based on information distributed to the media, practice observations, and injuries for each team.

Patriots offense: WR Julian Edelman, LT Nate Solder, LG Logan Mankins, C Ryan Wendell, RG Dan Connolly, RT Sebastian Vollmer, TE Zach Sudfeld, WR Kenbrell Thompkins, QB Tom Brady, RB Stevan Ridley, TE Michael Hoomanawanui.

Patriots defense: NT Vince Wilfork, DT Tommy Kelly, DE Chandler Jones, DE Rob Ninkovich, LB Dont'a Hightower, LB Jerod Mayo, LB Brandon Spikes, CB Aqib Talib, CB Kyle Arrington, S Devin McCourty, S Steve Gregory.

Jets offense: WR Stephen Hill, LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson, LG Vladimir Ducasse, C Nick Mangold, RG Willie Colon, RT Austin Howard, TE Jef Cumberland, WR Santonio Holmes, QB Geno Smith, FB Tommy Bohanon, RB Bilal Powell.

Jets defense: DE Muhammad Wilkerson, NT Kenrick Ellis, DT Sheldon Richardson, OLB Antwan Barnes, WLB Demario Davis, MLB David Harris, OLB Calvin Pace, CB Dee Milliner, CB Antonio Cromartie, S Antonio Allen, S Dawan Landry.

Read this, watch that

- Gronkowski and Amendola are listed as doubtful against the Jets.

- Patriots place Shane Vereen on injured reserve with a designation to return.

- Adam Kaufman writes that the Patriots must hand Stevan Ridley the ball.

- In Boston Sports Live, Chris Gasper and Gary Washburn discuss whether the Patriots are ready for the Jets on a short week.

- Follow today's game and comment on the action in our live blog. Updates start around 6 p.m.

Zuri Berry can be reached at zberry@boston.com. Follow him on Twitter @zuriberry.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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