Bill Belichick is 4-0 facing rookie quarterbacks up in Foxborough, but Geno Smith is no ordinary rookie. The Jets second round draft pick showcased his poise and resiliency on the team's final drive marching to within Nick Folk's field goal range. The Jets placekicker would knock through a 48-yarder that brought the MetLife Stadium crowd to its feet and captured the attention of the league. For Thursday night, Smith matches up with a vastly improved Patriots defense capable of creating turnovers in a hurry. It will be imperative for Smith to take care of the ball if he hopes to lead his team to victory in a hostile environment.
Limited to just one reception for 14 yards against Darrelle Revis and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers secondary, Holmes has one game under his belt after suffering a LisFranc injury at the beginning of last year. The Jets will need their top receiving target to step up in a big way especially with slot receiver Jeremy Kerley missing the contest due to a concussion. Critics contend that Holmes is still not fully healthy, although the receiver insists that he can make a major impact on the game. New York will need Holmes to be the dynamic force he was during his first two seasons with the team in order to raise the confidence level of its young gunslinger.
In his brief NFL career, Ridley is a Jet killer slicing and dicing them in the running game and gaining extra yardage on the perimeter off passing plays. Likely without tight end Rob Gronkowski, running back Shane Vereen, and wide receiver Danny Amendola, Ridley could be the focal point of New England's offensive attack. The Patriots may opt to go run-heavy on Thursday night and Gang Green will need to keep a close eye on Ridley to ensure he doesn't run loose at Gillette Stadium.