New York Jets (1-5) at New England (4-2), 8:25 p.m. (CBS) Gillette Stadium. The AFC East takes center stage this Thursday night when New England hosts the New York Jets in Foxboro to open week 7’s play.

New York had its first lead in a game since week two when they led at Green Bay before losing to the Packers when they led 7-3 after one quarter of action. That lead was short-lived as Peyton and the Broncos scored 14 second quarter points unchallenged to pull away with a 31-17 win in the Meadowlands.

“We might be counted out but we’re not dead,” says Jets head coach Rex Ryan. “We’re going to fight our tails off. We’re a resilient bunch. As I told our team, a team that doesn’t quit is hard to beat. Our guys, we’re not quitting. We’ve just begun to fight.” GangGreen was held to 31 yards on the ground and QB Geno Smith (2 TDs) was sacked four times in front of the home crowd. Denver and the J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! were a combined 12-30 on third down tries (Denver 7-16, New York 5-14) and the clock favored Denver at 33:34, while the Jets held the ball for 26:26.

New England led Buffalo 23-14 going into the final 15 minutes of play in upstate New York before the Pats ran away with things and came out on top 37-22. Neither team rushed for over 100 yards in the contest (New England had 50, Buffalo had 68) and Bills QB Kyle Orton was sacked five times in the contest at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Meanwhile, Tom Brady was… well, Tom Brady, throwing for 361 yards and four TDs with no interceptions, while his defense forced three turnovers. The Pats were 7-15 on third down tries and held the ball for 30:20, while Buffalo was 8-15 (1-2 on fourth down) and the Bills held the pigskin for 29:40.

New England aims for its second consecutive victory against a divisional opponent after the road win against Buffalo, led by quarterback Tom Brady, who passed for 361 yards and four touchdowns. The performance marked Brady’s 11th career game with at least 350 passing yards and four or more touchdown passes, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino for the third-most such games in NFL history.

“It was a good win for us yesterday and I thought all three phases of our team contributed,” Pats head coach Bill Belichick told the Boston Globe. “We’re able to move on to the Jets here quickly and we need to do that. We have to really put our foot on the gas pedal and open it up full throttle and get into the Jets.”

Since 2002, Brady has compiled a 6-0 record on Thursday, including a 2-0 mark against the Jets. His 1,700 passing yards on Thursday rank third in the AFC and his 13 touchdown passes on Thursday rank second in the conference during that span. Brady has also passed for at least two touchdowns in four of his six Thursday starts.

Brady’s career passing numbers as a starter on Thursday:
RECORD: 6-0
YARDS: 1,700
TD PASSES: 13
PASSER RATING: 108.0

Belichick went on to say “The Bills are tough so it was a good win for us. We need to move on to the Jets quickly. They played very competitively against a very good football team in Denver. I’m sure we’ll get that same type of play from them on Thursday night.”

“Obviously, we are frustrated. Five losses in a row has everyone frustrated,” says Jets quarterback Geno Smith. “But we’re optimistic. We’re always looking forward, and just have to prepare for this week. We’ve got a short week against a tough New England team on the road. It’s another test. We better be able to step up to it.”

The Jets head into Thursday night with the fifth-most rushing yards in the AFC (727), led by the running back tandem of Chris Ivory and Chris Johnson. Ivory leads the team with 325 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Ivory rushed for 104 yards in the Jets’ overtime win against the Patriots last season. Johnson, who is second on the team with 200 rushing yards, is second in NFL with 8,165 rush yards since entering the league in 2008.

Since Ryan became head coach in 2009, the Jets have rushed for more yards (1,367) against the Patriots and are tied for the second-most rushing touchdowns (seven) than any opponent against New England (including postseason). Ryan is 4-7 vs. New England, while Belichick is 21-11 vs. GangGreen.
This week’s game marks the third consecutive season and the fourth time in seven seasons that the two teams will play on Thursday. Two of the previous three Thursday night matchups between the teams have been decided by three points.

The previous three Thursday games between the Jets and Patriots:

DATE: FINAL SCORE – Site
November 13, 2008: New York Jets 34, New England 31 (OT) – Meadowlands
November 22, 2012: New England 49, New York Jets 19 – Meadowlands
September 12, 2013: New England 13, New York Jets 10 – Foxboro

The Patriots lead the series 54-52-1 and have outscored GangGreen 2,422-2,260. The two clubs split last year’s contests and both teams won their games in their home parks.

In the first meeting in Foxboro in week two, New England took a 13-3 lead to the break and held on to win 13-10. Despite the 3-point loss, GangGreen did manage to outrush New England 129-54. That was the good news. The bad? Geno Smith was sacked four times and threw three interceptions in the game. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! turned the ball over four times in the game, while going 6-18 and held the ball for 34:00. The winning Pats were 4-18, keeping the ball for 26 minutes.

Five weeks later in the Meadowlands, GangGreen got revenge on Brady and the Pats, taking a 30-27 overtime win in the process. Pats K Steven Gostkowski sent the contest into overtime with a 44-yard field goal with 16 seconds left in regulation. After New England punted in the overtime on their first possession, Jets K Nick Folk sent the home crowd happy, connecting on a 42-yard field goal in the extra period. New York trailed 21-10 at the half and then took the lead in the third quarter, scoring 17 third quarter points unchallenged before the Pats’ rally that sent the contest into overtime. Again, the Pats were held under 100 yards rushing in the contest, tallying only 90, while New York had 177 and both Brady and Smith were sacked four times in the AFC East affair in upstate New Jersey. On third down conversions, the Pats were a disappointing 1-12 (1-1 on fourth down tries) and kept the ball for 23:40 to New York’s 46:13, with GangGreen going 11-21 on third down.

In the first meeting in week two in Foxboro, New England was favored by 11 1/2 and the over/under was 44. Neither team reached the over/under, scoring only 23 points and the Pats missed the spread with their 3-point win. In the second meeting in the Meadowlands, New England was again the favorite, this time by 3 1/2 and the over/under was 43 1/2. While the Pats and GangGreen did manage to cover the over/under with 57 points, the Jets won the game but barely missed the spread.

The oddsmakers in Vegas like the Pats as a 9 1/2-point favorite with a 46 over/under. The J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS! are struggling and could not only miss the post-season if they don’t get their ducks in a row, Rex Ryan might find himself out of a job. The Pats are beginning to be the Pats of old after their struggle in Kansas City three weeks ago. After all, these two teams don’t exactly like each other, so expect this one to be a lot tougher than the experts think. GangGreen will throw everything at Brady and the Pats but the home team prevails in this one, even though New England may not cover the 9 1/2.

Broadcast Information: CBS and NFL Network at 8:25 PM ET: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson (Field reporter). Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Boomer Esiason, Laura Okmin (Field reporter). SIRIUS: 88 (WestWood 1), 93 (New York Jets.), 92 (New England). XM: 88 (WestWood 1), 225 (New York Jets), 226 (New England).

Injury Report

New York Jets
OUT: LB Trevor Reilly (knee), WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle)
DOUBTFUL: S Josh Bush (quadricep)
PROBABLE: TE Jace Amaro (knee), G Willie Colon (knee), WR Eric Decker (hamstring), T Breno Giacomini (back), LB David Harris (shoulder), DT Damon Harrison (ankle), RB Chris Johnson (ankle), C Nick Mangold (shoulder), WR David Nelson (ankle), CB Darrin Walls (knee)

New England

OUT: S Nate Ebner (finger), T Cameron Fleming (finger), LB Jerod Mayo (knee), RB Stevan Ridley (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: CB Brandon Browner (ankle), LB Jamie Collins (thigh), G Dan Connolly (concussion), DE Dominique Easley (shoulder, knee), DT Dont’a Hightower (knee), WR Matt Slater (shoulder), C Bryan Stork (concussion)
PROBABLE: QB Tom Brady (ankle), DE Chandler Jones (shoulder), S Devin McCourty (shoulder)

Weather: Overcast with a 70 percent chance of rain and 64 degrees.

Broadcast and Injury information courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Dons Bets and USA Today, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel.

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