Thursday, September 12, 2013
Top things to know: Jets at Patriots
By ESPN Stats & Information
Getty Images, USA TODAY Sports
Rookie Geno Smith (left) faces off with three-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady (right) tonight.
The New York Jets and New England Patriots kick off Week 2 in an early-season battle for the AFC East lead.
Here are five stats to keep in mind entering tonight’s contest:
1. Tom Brady's 5-0 career record on Thursdays is the best in NFL history. Brady also has another active streak of note: He has thrown a touchdown pass in 49 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in NFL history.
Brady trails Drew Brees for the record, whose 54-game streak came to an end in Week 13 last season.
2. With Shane Vereen ruled out and Danny Amendola not expected to play, Tom Brady will be without two of his top three targets from Week 1.
When targeting those two and Julian Edelman in Week 1, Brady went 24-of-33 with two touchdowns. When targeting all other Patriots receivers, Brady went 5-of-19 with an interception.
3. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Patriots are the first team since the merger in 1970 to face rookie quarterbacks in Weeks 1 and 2 of a season (EJ Manuel and Geno Smith).
As Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick is a perfect 4-0 with an average margin of victory of 23.5 points when hosting rookie quarterbacks.
4. Geno Smith started and won in Week 1 as a rookie for the Jets. The last rookie to start and win his team's first two games was his teammate Mark Sanchez, who defeated the Patriots in Week 2 of the 2009 season.
Elias tells us that Smith can join Sanchez on the list of rookie quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era to start and win each of their team’s first two games of a season: Greg Cook (1969 Bengals), John Elway (1983 Broncos), Ryan Leaf (1998 Chargers) and Joe Flacco (2008 Ravens) comprise the rest of the list.
5. The Patriots have won 11 consecutive division games dating back to the 2011 season, the longest current streak of its kind for any NFL team. Since the merger, the longest winning streak by an NFL team against division opponents is 15 by the Dolphins from 1972 to 1973 (Source: Elias).
The Jets also hope to snap their five-game losing streak to the Patriots. They have only had two losing streaks longer than five games to the Patriots in franchise history -- seven from 2003-06 and six from 1994-97.