We don’t like to get bogged down in the numbers after one game, but in this case, some of the results are far too delicious to pass up.
For instance, among starting quarterbacks only Matt Cassel threw for fewer yards (68) last week than Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (74) in Monday’s loss to the Ravens. Then again, Dustin Keller was responsible for the lack of No. 75 all on his own.
The Jets ran the ball only 21 times against the Ravens, partly due to the fact that they couldn’t convert a first down to save their lives, partly because head coach Rex Ryan inexplicably insisted on having the aforementioned Sanchez throw the ball just as many times.
“I’ve got a big concern with the New York Jets, and that’s the quarterback, and that’s a huge concern,” former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi said earlier this week on ESPN’s NFL Live. “As you saw in the offseason, all the confidence that Rex Ryan has, it exudes to his team.
“But when Sanchez gets going and things are going well, I think he’s a great quarterback. His attitude is infectious. He’s a leader of that team. But when things go bad I think he tanks it. Right now I see Mark Sanchez as a front-runner, and that’s not something that you want at that quarterback position.”
When things go bad he tanks it? Maybe the Jets really are the Miami Heat of the NFL.
This week’s picks:
Globe staff: Split down the middle (Pats by 1 ½).
Peter King, Sports Illustrated: Jets 16, Patriots 13. “Rex Ryan wants to win the game so bad I swear he’d suit up and put the big-boy pads on and replace Kris Jenkins if the rules would allow. It’d be more valuable, though, if he could channel his intensity into the head of Mark Sanchez.”
ESPN.com staff: Seven out of eight go with the Patriots.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: Patriots 26, Jets 16. “The Jets are now a desperate team. They can’t afford to go 0-2 with two home losses. That makes this a must. But I don’t trust Mark Sanchez against a Bill Belichick defense. They don’t scare down the field. The way to beat the Jets is to attack them through the air. Tom Brady can do that. And he does.”
CBS Sports staff: Patriots across the board.
Vinne Iyer, Sporting News: Patriots 20, Jets 14. “The Jets are coming off a physically draining Monday night loss. Brady and the Patriots’ offense are rolling early, just in time to handle Rex Ryan’s blitzes. Darrelle Revis can’t shut down both Randy Moss and Wes Welker.”
Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk.com: Patriots 35, Jets 13. “During an offseason of incessant Jets chirping, the Patriots have remained largely silent. Apart from Tom Brady’s acknowledgement that he hates the Jets, the Pats have avoided the trash talk. Instead, the Patriots have saved it for the field, and the Jets may have a hard time saving themselves as the Pats make the only kind of statement that truly matters in football.”
Gregg Rosenthal, ProFootballTalk.com: Jets 20, Patriots 16. “What goes up in the NFL usually comes down. And vice versa. An overconfident team loses one week, gets ripped, and plays hungry the next time out. Last year, Rex Ryan called the Jets’ Week Two game against the Patriots the team’s Super Bowl. This one is far more important. The Jets know they can’t go 0-2 at home to start the year. The Jets defense still looks great. The offense can find a way on the ground. Don’t crown the Patriots yet; this will be a season-long battle.?
Dave Goldberg, NFL FanHouse: Patriots 24, Jets 17. “With this kind of early schedule, Rex and his lads should have been a lot quieter. Bill Belichick with extra incentive? Tom Brady berating New England fans for not being as loud as Jets fans? Tom solves the fan problem, throws at Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson just as Joe Flacco did last week and drops the “champions” before the fact to 0-2.”
Peter Schrager, Foxsports.com: Patriots 27, Jets 24. “I received a few good texts as the big-mouthed Jets were being shut up and shut down during their season- and stadium-opening loss Monday night. Two of the better ones? ?J-E-T-S: Just Exciting Till September? and ?The Sanchize? More like The Sanch-eckdown?. Hey, I wasn?t sold on this new-look Jets offense from the start. Thomas Jones was an underappreciated workhorse, Leon Washington was a talented do-everything guy and Alan Faneca, though a bit long in the tooth, still had some good run blocking left in the tank. NFL Films and HBO truly deserve Sports Emmys for their masterful work in presenting the Jets offense as something worth being even mildly scared of this summer. OK, I?m done ranting. The Patriots win on a field goal in the final seconds Sunday. Now, I?m gonna go eat a #$*#@ snack.”
USA Today staff: Eight out of nine pick New England.
Pete O’Brien, USA Today: Jets 12, Patriots 10.
Greg Cote, Miami Herald: Patriots 24, Jets 21. “Close call for the GOTW committee, but how can you deny Bill Belichick vs. Rex Ryan and also Randy Moss vs. Darrelle Revis in a game of such interest and import to Miami and Dolfans? Moss feels underappreciated; Revis calls Moss a “slouch.” I think Randy will be highly motivated. Also you gotta love Tom Brady striding into this stadium after saying he “hates” the Jets. Add in NYJ’s desperation after losing last week and Pats’ recent series dominance — including an 8-1 run on the road vs. Jets — and you have early season intensity to the max. No result would surprise, and Planes are sexy as a home-dog pick, but series trend makes me like English.
Yahoo! sports staff: Two out of three pick New England.
We like: Patriots 21, Jets 14. Patriots attack early, then withstand Jets offense awakening from its slumber in the second half. It will be too late.