Recapping the Jets' Monstrous Win Against the Patriots
Jets’ place kicker Nick Folk remained perfect on the season, drilling a 42-yard game-winning field goal to lift his team back into the win column.
Folk had previously missed a 56-yard attempt that seemingly granted the Patriots stellar starting field position for a potential game-winning drive. Future Hall of Fame quarterback grabbed his helmet and began to step toward the turf, but was stopped in his tracks by a controversial penalty flag.
Patriots’ rookie defensive lineman Chris Jones was flagged for aiding a teammate forward in seeming attempt to block the kick. It was an unusual mishap that ultimately cost the Patriots a clear-cut opportunity to win the game.
Jets’ rookie quarterback Geno Smith remained inconsistent, chucking a pick six on a screen pass in tight coverage that put the Patriots up seven in the first quarter. Smith connected with slot receiver Jeremy Kerley for an opening drive touchdown though. He also ran for a score, which gave the Jets a three-point lead in the second half.
The Jets outgained their arch-nemesis for the second time this season, racking up 383 total yards while the Patriots failed to eclipse the 300-yard marker.
New York efficiently dominated the clock, wearing down the Patriots’ defense. The Jets held the ball for over 46 minutes, enabling a resurgent run game that had been stagnant over the previous two weeks.
The emergence of Chris Ivory spurred the Jets game-winning drive in overtime. Ivory averaged just 3.1 yards per carry, but bulldozed his way through the Patriots’ banged-up defensive front to put the Jets into field goal range.
Ivory collected 104 rushing yards on a whopping total of 34 carries. He was initially projected to be the Jets’ lead back in training camp, but was hampered by a mild hamstring injury and heard his number called just four times in each of the team’s past three games.
Smith was mostly effective against tight man-to-man coverage, completing 17 passes on 33 attempts for 233 yards. His favorite target on the day was Kerley, who saw 10 balls come his way. He reeled in eight of them, averaging over 12 yards per reception.
The turning point of the game didn’t happen on offense for the Jets though. It happened on the Patriots’ opening drive of the second half, who were nursing an 11-point cushion and had a chance to claim a three possession lead.
But safety Antonio Allen cut tight end Rob Gronkowski’s route over the middle of the field, intercepting Brady and taking the ball to the house for a crucial touchdown. Gronkowski was open on the play, but Brady delivered the pass a split second too late, which allowed Allen to gain a step.
It was the Jets’ first interception since Week 1 against the Buccaneers. It was also just the team’s fourth takeaway all season. The Jets didn’t win the turnover battle on Sunday, but they matched the Patriots’ total. Smith did a solid job of securing the football after a massive gaffe in the first quarter.
New York ran 89 plays in the game, the most they’ve run all season. In the past two weeks, the Jets totaled 46 and 58 offensive snaps respectively, an incredibly low number of plays that limited the team’s ability to score points. The Jets reached the 30-point mark for the second time this season and ultimately managed to eek out the win, despite a late game-tying drive by Brady and Co.
Gang Green’s defense stymied Brady for the most of the second half, disrupting Brady’s rhythm and timing by forcing pressure on him in the pocket. The Jets recorded four sacks in the game, but constantly hurried Brady, an absolute must when facing the Patriots.
The Jets revitalized their playoff hopes by beating New England, but have two tough matchups forthcoming. New York plays the Bengals (5-1) on the road next week, followed by another difficult test at home against the Saints (5-1).
The Jets’ win arguably earned head coach Rex Ryan a reprise, who ended the possibility of a tailspin in Week 7.
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