Patriots embracing opportunity to play rival Jets

Patriots embracing opportunity to play rival Jets
September 11, 2013, 9:15 pm
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The Jets are a long way from the team that went to back-to-back AFC championship Games but that hasn't diminished the intensity of their rivalry with the Patriots. The two square off again for the first time this season on Thursday night in Foxboro.

"It's awesome," said Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. "Boston vs. New York. It's been that way for a long time, long before me."

Patriots special teams standout Matthew Slater says "there's no love lost" between the rivals. "That's the beauty of it," he said.

This time, the Jets will have a different look as they come in with rookie quarterback Geno Smith at the helm.

"He showed a lot of maturity," in New York's season-opening win over Tampa Bay, said Patriots receiver Danny Amendola.

Smith's mobility presents a challenge to the New England defense, much as the quarterback New England faced in Week 1, the Bills' E.J. Manuel, did.

"They're both similiar in that they can extend the play," Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich said. The Pats hope to continue the run of sucess they've had against rookie QBs. They are 14-4 against them in the Bill Belichick era.