Gridiron Guide: Jets will cover big spread in Week 2 matchup with Patriots

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Geno Smith looks to pass during the first

Geno Smith looks to pass during the first half of a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Sept. 8, 2013) Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

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John Boell Newsday sports writer John Boell

Boell has worked in the Newsday sports department in various capacities since 1999. In 2010, he became Newsday's


Time: 8:25 p.m.

Line: Patriots by 12; O/U: 43 1/2

TV: Ch.2, NFL; Radio: ESPN

One of the things I took away from the opening week of the NFL season: I respect the resiliency of Jets fans.

It took just one game -- and a helpful push from Tampa Bay linebacker Lavonte David -- for the Jets faithful to be energized by their team's improbable, come-from-behind win (and cover) against the Bucs.

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While some were pleasantly surprised by the play of first-year QB Geno Smith -- especially on the last-minute drive -- I was more impressed with the play of the Jets' defense against running back Doug Martin.

Traveling to Foxborough on a short week is tough, but the Jets will face a banged-up Pats team. They're without running back Shane Vereen, and there's a strong chance wide receiver Danny Amendola won't play, either. But the last time I checked, they still have Tom Brady.

Although the Pats didn't cover at Buffalo last week, they are 11-6-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 18 AFC East games. During that stretch, they're 16-2 overall against the division.

The Jets are 6-6 ATS in their last 12 trips to Foxborough. However, the road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five series meetings and 21-8-1 ATS in the teams' last 30 contests.

But the biggest number to look at here is the spread itself. For a divisional game, I think it's too big. I don't think the Jets will open 2-0, but they'll keep this one close enough.

The pick: Jets

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