Sep 8, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) passes to running back Shane Vereen (34) as Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams (95) rushes during the fourth quarter at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Patriots beat the Bills 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Week 2: New York Jets take on New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football

Tonight on Thursday Night Football we’ll see Tom Brady and the New England Patriots go up against rookie Geno Smith and the underdog New York Jets.

Brady and the Patriots nearly dodged a bullet last week as rookie E.J. Manuel and the Buffalo Bills were close to upsetting the future hall of fame quarterback and his dynasty.

Tonight Geno Smith, who performed well against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will look to play spoiler against the Patriots.

Last week I totally counted out the Jets against the Buccaneers early on. Although during the off-season, I knew that Smith would be the right quarterback under center for the Jets.

A factor that could come into play tonight is the protection for the rookie. Smith went down five times against the Buccaneers defense and should go down a couple more times against this Patriots defense.

In his debut win against the Buccaneers, rookie Geno Smith completed 24 of 38 passes for 256 yards with one touchdown and interception.

Tom Brady completed 29 of 52 attempts for 288 passing yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Obviously tight end Rob Gronkowski will not play tonight, but neither will Shane Vereen (injured reserve) or Danny Amendola. So the healthy players who will line up tonight with Tom Brady are going to have to step it up and have the performance of a lifetime if they want to walk away with a victory.

Vereen leads the Patriots with 101 rushing yards on 14 attempts with backups Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount only picking up a total 61 rushing yards on a combined 16 carries.

So with some key weapons being out of the lineup for Tom Brady for an undisclosed amount of time, will he be able to avoid a loss against another rookie quarterback? Or will Geno Smith pick up one of the biggest wins in his young career?

Tags: Geno Smith New England Patriots New York Jets Tom Brady