NFL New England Patriots

5 New England Patriots Who Will Shine In Week 2

1 of 6

5 New England Patriots Who Will Shine In Week 2

5 New England Patriots Who Will Shine In Week 2
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots escaped their opening week game against the Buffalo Bills with a win. It wasn't a pretty win, but it was a win. Now they open the Week 2 slate of games on Thursday night against the New York Jets.

The Jets also squeaked out a win in the their first game. They too had no business getting the victory, but somehow both teams find themselves with notches in the win column heading into their meeting.

The Patriots offense struggled at times to move the ball against the Bills. The passing game, typically the strength of the New England team, struggled to get anything going down the field. Quarterback Tom Brady still has what it takes to be dominant, but he just doesn't have anyone to throw the ball to.

Danny Amendola was one of the few bright spots for the Patriots passing attack, but he finds himself on the sidelines instead of the slot this week. Not that it should surprise anyone that Amendola is sitting out. The other receiver who did have a good game — Julian Edelman — will be asked to pick up the slack this week.

The defense had a better showing than the offense against the Bills. They only gave up 21 points, despite the offense spotting the Bills good field position on more than one occasion. They aren't a dominant defense by any stretch, but they should have their way against Geno Smith and the anemic New York offense.

The Jets and Patriots always play good, hard-fought games when they get together. This week should be no different.

These are the five New England Patriots who will have big games on Thursday night.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

2 of 6

5. Aqib Talib

Aqib Talib
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Aqib Talib didn't play particularly well in Week 1. This week, he gets the chance to grab one, or two, of Geno Smith's eventual errant passes.

3 of 6

4. Tommy Kelly

Tommy Kelly
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots signed Tommy Kelly to help generate pass rush up the middle. He started to do it in Week 1, and this game will be the one that the world finds out who he is.

4 of 6

3. Stevan Ridley

Stevan Ridley
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Stevan Ridley spent the second half of the game against the Bills on the sidelines because he couldn't hang onto the ball. His replacement, Shane Vereen, looked good but will spend all of this game on the sidelines. The Patriots will need the running game to carry the offensive load against the Jets, and LeGarrette Blount looked like he was running in quick sand last week.

5 of 6

2. Chandler Jones

Chandler Jones
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Pass rush will be the key to the Patriots defense on Thursday night. If they can generate pressure without blitzing additional rushers, Geno Smith will undoubtedly throw a couple of balls in the direction of the New England defenders. Chandler Jones is the most dangerous individual pass rusher on the team. Unless the Jets dedicate two blockers to him, he'll make Smith's night a very long one indeed.

6 of 6

1. Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Someone has to be the guy to catch passes from Tom Brady. It won't be Amendola, he'll be watching from the sidelines. Last week the most reliable receiver was Julian Edelman. He may not be a deep-ball threat, but he can work the underneath zones and make tough catches when needed. Moving the ball will be an issue for the Patriots this week. They'll look for Edelman to be the guy to help them make first downs.

Related Links:

Five Key Players For The New England Patriots Tonight

Short Week Will Benefit New England Patriots More Than New York Jets

New England Patriots: Five Storylines To Watch In Week 2