Tonight we will be a treat yo self night. Every time the Patriots match up with the Jets on Thursday night, it’s fun to watch. Whether its an overtime thriller like it was in 2008 with Matt Cassel at the helm, or a clinic on thegame of football as it was on Thanksgiving night in 2012. Tonight, it should be more than that. Tonight should be officially known as Treat Yo Self 2014.
So what exactly will we be treated too tonight? The Jets are a 24 hour soap opera and the Patriots look like a tea
m on a mission that is finally putting it together. I will get this out of the way now, Jerod Mayo is done for the season and potentially has played his last game as a Patriot. He could take the good old “Patriots discount” next offseason if he wants, but there is no way Bill Belichick will take that 10+ million dollar cap-hit for a player coming surgery on his torn patellar-tendon. Mayo could agree to restructure, he seems like that type of player, but it will be interesting to watch.
The loss of Stevan Ridley hurts me as a fan and a human being. The guy was 25 years-old and in the final year of his rookie contract. Patriots fan follow Belichick’s lead in chastising his habit of fumbling at the absolute worst times, but at the end of the day he was a running back with the perfect running style for this offense and the skill set to be a stud. The guy rushed for 1,200+ yards in 2012, his sophomore season as a 3rd round pick. I hope to see him back in a Patriots uniform next year and for a few after that. (And i wouldn’t mind seeing someone overpay Shane Vereen.) Now he is entering free agency as a guy who will get half the money he deserves because he is coming off ACL and MCL reconstruction.
But anyway, tonight will be a treat yo self night for these four reasons.
Darelle Revis will be a man on a mission.
First game against the Jets? I smell a swift kick to the nuts coming their way. It will be directed at Jets owner Woody Johnson, someone who just didn’t appreciated Revis the way he should have. This offseason during the few hours that he was a free agent he never got a call from the Jets. He was interested, Rex Ryan was interested, but Woody Johnson wasn’t. t And a pick six is on the horizon. What better night than Ty Law Appreciation Night for Revis to take it to a whole new level?
As a whole it seems that Rob Gronkowski doesn’t get the respect he deserves across the league. Injury prone is the word that is usually attached to him, but man is he a force on the field. For me he is a top 5 target in the NFL. Few players have the ability to stretch a defense in the ways that Gronk does.
Vince Wilfork doing his thing
If you don’t take a few plays every night to appreciate Vince Wilfork every game you should start too. The guy eats double teams for a living. That doesn’t mean he can’t get moving when he needs too though. One of the last true nose tackles in the NFL, a dying breed, but he can do it all. He and opposing center Nick Mangold are not strangers either. Expect some trash talk, and a classic battle between two seasoned veterans.
With so many questions about the Patriots backfield i can’t picture Brandon Bolden sliding in to get the bulk of the carries and i don’t know if they view Vereen as an every down back. If Gray is on the 46 man roster game tonight he won’t be riding pine. I can see him coming out of nowhere with the Patriots bringing back some of that power running style they used with good old Lagarrette Blount. At 5’10” and 225 pounds Gray will not be easy to bring down in the rain, especially with James Devlin leading the way.
Patriots 31 Jets 3. I hate picking big Patriots wins, but tonight is going to be one. The Jets are a team with serious problems that go deeper than the roster, and i’m not sure the familiarity of division rivals will matter. It should be a fun game to watch.