FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — One picture-perfect pass started the New England Patriots toward an ugly win.
Tom Brady threw a 39-yard touchdown to a wide-open Aaron Dobson on the game’s first series before both offenses played as sloppily as the second-half weather, and the Patriots got by the New York Jets 13-10 on Thursday night.
Brady had trouble connecting with his rookie-filled receiving corps, while Jets rookie Geno Smith was sacked four times when he took too much time to throw.
The Patriots (2-0) managed just nine first downs after leading the NFL in points and yards last season.
The Jets (1-1) cut the lead to 13-10 on Bilal Powell’s 3-yard touchdown run with 5:05 left in the third quarter. But Smith threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter, two to Aqib Talib and one to Alfonzo Dennard. Talib’s second with 38 seconds left sealed the victory.
With wide receiver Danny Amendola, tight end Rob Gronkowski and running back Shane Vereen all sidelined, Brady was without three of his top offensive players. He was left with just two tight ends and four wide receivers, three of them rookies.
In the second half, the teams had to deal with a torrential downpour that started at intermission.
On the 17 possessions in the first half, there were 11 punts, a lost fumble, one missed field goal, three field goals and a touchdown.
Jets: Mark Sanchez’s season might be over before it begins, but he’s not going down without a fight.
The New York Jets quarterback has a right shoulder labral tear. Sanchez plans to attempt to avoid season-ending surgery with a rigid rehabilitation program, but there is no guarantee he’ll be back on the field in 2013.
Sanchez saw Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion Wednesday in Gulf Breeze, Fla., and the noted orthopedist confirmed the shoulder tear, according to multiple reports. The 26-year-old quarterback delayed the operation in an effort to play later in the year, then have the surgery following the season.
The injury occurred in the fourth quarter of the Jets’ Aug. 24 preseason game against the Giants, when Sanchez was playing behind an offensive line made up of reserves.
Sanchez told NFL Network that he’s not angry with the Jets, but he believes he earned the right to play with a better August performance than rookie Geno Smith.
“What I’m really disappointed about is that I got hurt because I won the competition,” he said.
Bucs: Quarterback Josh Freeman recently missed a meeting for a team photo, but says it was an isolated incident that hasn’t been a distraction for the team. The fifth-year pro said he overslept and did not show up on time for a photo shoot on Labor Day. He later was not selected as a team captain, but doesn’t think the vote was related to the unexcused absence.
Seahawks: Some of the loudest NFL fans are attempting to become the loudest in the world Sunday against the division rival 49ers. Seattle fans will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for loudest roar at a stadium, which was set in 2011 in Turkey at a soccer match. The record is 131.76 decibels.
Chiefs: Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles was back at practice after missing the previous day’s workout with a bruised thigh muscle sustained in last week’s win over Jacksonville. Coach Andy Reid said that he expected Charles to play Sunday against Dallas.
Lions: Defensive tackle Nick Fairley missed his second practice in a row with a shoulder injury. He had a promising start against the Vikings with 1.5 sacks before leaving the game injured. C.J. Mosley would start alongside Ndamukong Suh if Fairley isn’t active.
Packers: Tight end Jermichael Finley took a step toward playing against Washington, returning to practice after flying to Minnesota for treatment on his injured toe.
Jaguars: Could be without both starting cornerbacks against Oakland. Veteran Alan Ball left practice after injuring his groin. Fellow starter Dwayne Gratz already has been ruled out for at least three games with a badly sprained right ankle.
Saints: Signed defensive end Jay Richardson, bolstering their line following a left knee injury to end Tyrunn Walker.