FOXBOROUGH, Massachussets (AP) — New England quarterback Tom Brady threw a picture-perfect pass for a touchdown in the first series of the game before the game degenerated into a sloppy contest and the Patriots hung on for a 13-10 win over the New York Jets on Thursday.
Brady threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Aaron Dobson but that was as good as the game got.
From then on, Brady had trouble connecting with his rookie-filled receiving corps, while Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith was sacked four times when he took too much time to find someone to throw to.
The Patriots (2-0) managed just nine first downs after leading the NFL in points and yards last season.
New York got within three points in the third quarter, but Smith threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter, with the last of them coming with 38 seconds left to seal the home team's 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.
"We have a long way to go," Brady said. "No one is coming to (our) rescue and save the day, so we've just got to fight through it."
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.
Brady's connection with Dobson marked the 50th straight game in which Brady has thrown a touchdown pass. New Orleans' Drew Brees, whose streak has ended, holds the NFL record of 54.
Stephen Gostkowski's 21-yard field goal made it 10-0 to the Patriots before Nick Folk kicked a 37-yarder for the Jets after Smith's pass to Clyde Gates, originally ruled a touchdown, was changed to an incompletion after the replay.
New York (1-1) cut the lead to 13-10 on Bilal Powell's 3-yard touchdown run with 5:05 left in the third quarter.
The win was the Patriots' 12th straight against an AFC opponent and fifth in a row against the Jets.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org