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 find someone to throw to.
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 three-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.