5 Things the New York Jets Must Fix to Beat the New England Patriots

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5 Things the New York Jets Must Fix to Beat the New England Patriots
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Geno Smith's NFL debut showed promise. However, he and the New York Jets barely managed a win.

NFL Week 1 saw the New York Jets eke out an 18-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While the result was cause for celebration, the way the Jets achieved it should have raised concern.

That's especially so because the Jets' Week 2 opponent is 2012's AFC East champion New England Patriots. The Patriots aren't about to gift-wrap the game and hand it to the Jets like Tampa Bay did in Week 1.

Sloppiness characterized Tampa Bay's play, from the helmet malfunctions on the opening drive to the penalties that ultimately caused defeat.

Their last penalty was their undoing.

The Buccaneers had a 17-15 lead with 34 seconds to go. The Jets began their final drive on their own 20-yard line. They moved the ball, but it seemed like too little, too late. Had Lavonte David not committed the personal foul that advanced the ball from the Tampa Bay 45-yard line to the Tampa Bay 30-yard line, time would have most likely run out on the Jets.

Being a source of doom and gloom is not my intention. The Jets showed some encouraging signs in this game. Geno Smith has improved since the Snoopy Bowl, although turnovers are still an issue. Except for wide receiver Vincent Jackson, the defense shut down Tampa's major weapons.

Jets tight end Kellen Winslow showed he can still play. He was the Jets' leading receiver, grabbing seven passes for 79 yards and a touchdown.

However, it was an uneven effort that barely produced a win. Even scarier, that squeaker of a win came against a team that was 7-9 in 2012, performed horribly in the preseason and wasn't picked to make the playoffs. What will the Jets do against better opponents?

It's only Week 2 and we're about to learn, as the Jets face New England.

Granted, the Patriots are undermanned. Wide receiver Danny Amendola, tight end Rob Gronkowski and running back Shane Vereen are injured. However, skill position players have come and gone in the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady era. It will be a bigger surprise if the Patriots don't find a way to compensate than if they do.

That means the Jets had better figure out how to fix the issues the Tampa Bay game revealed. Time is not on their side, as the short week gave them time for only one practice.

However, the Jets' chance to beat New England depends on their ability to make the improvements that Week 1 showed they need.

 

All game statistics and play-by-play from Fox Sports.

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