Jets Ready For Brady-Less Patriots

The New York Jets are feeling pretty goof about their chances next Sunday against the division rival New England Patriots. Without Tom Brady at the helm, New York now has the upper hand.

Including a wild-card playoff victory in January 2007, New England has won 10 of its last 11 games in its so-called rivalry with the Jets.

But all of that was accomplished with Tom Brady at quarterback. But a left knee injury suffered by Brady in the first quarter of New England's opening-day win over Kansas City appeared serious, which means for the first time in a while, the Jets may have the edge at quarterback over their nemesis.

With there were some hiccups in Brett Favre's first game in a different shade of green Sunday, the cinch Hall of Famer was good enough to throw for 194 yards and two touchdowns in the Jets' 20-14 victory over Miami. His 38-year-old right arm was still strong enough to air out a 56-yard touchdown connection to Jerricho Cotchery for a 7-0 first-quarter lead.

Still, perfectionist Favre wasn't entirely happy with his first regular-season game since being traded from Green Bay, where he had built his legend through 16 mostly successful seasons.

"We ran the ball well and it opened up the deep ball to Jerricho," Favre said. "We probably could have taken some more chances during the course of the game like that. I'd be lying if I stood here and told you that I feel real confident in the passing offense right now."

Favre also partially blamed himself for the three sacks Miami had.

"They gave us a few protection problems," he said, "that really fall back on me."

Obviously, Favre and the Jets need to fix those now that it appears they will be the only team with a marquee quarterback when they host New England next Sunday. Longtime Patriots backup Matt Cassel stepped in for Brady against the Chiefs and guided New England to all 17 of its points, but he has never started a regular-season NFL game, or even a college game.

When Favre was asked about Brady's injury after the Jets win, he said he "just found out. I heard about that. That's terrible. Terrible. I guess it's an ACL or something. They've always overcome injuries and things like that, but that's pretty difficult, Tom Brady."

"That's sad to hear," Cotchery said when informed of Brady's injury. "You don't want to hear anything like that. I just wish him the best."

As for his own team's offense, Cotchery said, "We had opportunities to really close the game out, but we weren't able to do that. But the defense held up their end of the bargain. Next week we've got to make sure we hold up our end."

That might be easier to do now that they have a strong-armed quarterback who can make defenses wary of the long ball, and loosen them up for the run and shorter passes.

"When you have a quarterback who can throw the ball downfield, you have to respect that and that's what put the running game in a good situation," said Thomas Jones, who rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. "Now you don't have to worry about having nine guys in the box all the time. The safeties and corners have to respect that your guy can throw it downfield and it makes my job a little easier."

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