The New England Patriots and New York Jets played in one of the most competitive games of the day. The Jets pulled out a huge 30-27 overtime victory, sending them to 4-3, just one game behind the Patriots in the AFC East.
The Jets came out of the gates firing on all cylinders. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith led the Jets on a 12-play, 80-yard drive capped by a 12-yard touchdown pass from Smith to wide receiver Jeremy Kerley. Kerely, who had eight catches for 97 yards, missed the first meeting with a concussion.
The Patriots quickly answered with an 80-yard drive of their own. Brandon Bolden, who started at running back, finished off the drive with a one-yard run. Tight end Rob Gronkowski (back, arm), who made his season debut, had three receptions for 42 yards on the opening march down the field.
On the Jets’ second drive, Smith again looked to be in rhythm, but reverted back to a rookie. After marching 60 yards down the field, Smith made a key mistake, throwing an interception that rookie defensive back Logan Ryan returned 79 yards for a touchdown, giving the Patriots a 14-7 lead.
After another productive drive ended in a field goal for the Jets, the teams exchanged punts. On the Jet’s punt, Julian Edelman made a fantastic 38-yard return, setting the Patriots up at the Jets’ 28. Stevan Ridley converted a fourth-and-one and went 17 yards for a touchdown three plays later.
In the third quarter, the Jets defense took over. After opening the second half with a sack, the safety Antonio Allen picked off Brady on the half’s second play, returning it 23 yards for a touchdown.
After three consecutive punts, the Jets started on the Patriots’ 48-yard line. Facing third-and-14 on the Patriots’ 24-yard line, Smith scrambled 14 yards for a first down. Two plays later, Smith again got out of the picket, rushing eight yards for a touchdown, giving the Jets a 24-21 lead.
After another Patriots’ three-and-out, the Jets got a 21-yard punt return from the newly acquired Joshua Cribbs returned Ryan Allen’s punt 21 yards. Four plays later, Nick Folk connected on his second field goal of the day, extending the lead to 27-21.
In the third quarter, the Jets outscored the Patriots 17-0 and held their offense to negative yardage before until the last drive of the quarter. On that drive, that ran into the fourth quarter, the Patriots got to the Jets’ 21-yard line. On third-and-three, Brady had Gronkowski open for a touchdown, but there was miscommunication and the Patriots had to settle for a Stephen Gosokowski field goal, cutting the lead to three.
The teams traded punts for the rest of the quarter. With just over two minutes to play, the Patriots forced a Jets’ punt and Ryan Quigley pinned the Patriots on their own eight-yard line. Brady drove the Patriots 65 yards, but couldn’t get the ball in the end zone. The Patriots tied the game on a 44-yard field goal by Gostkowski with 19 seconds to play. After the kickoff, the Jets took a knee, sending the game to over time.
The Patriots won the overtime toss and elected to receive. After a quick first down, the Jets forced another Patriots’ punt. The Jets took over on the 20 and calmly continued to run the ball right down the Patriots’ throat, picking up first down after first down on the ground. The Patriots, clearly missing tackles Vince Wilfolk and Tommy Kelly (they were also with linebacker Jerod Mayo, who is out for the season, and cornerback Aquib Talib), looked helpless on the drive. The Jets kept the ball on the ground and couldn’t gain any yardage on third-and-five. Folk missed a 56-yard field goal, but the Patriots were flagged for “pushing the opponent into the pile,” a penalty.” Three plays later, Folk connected from 42 yards out, giving the Jets the win (After the game, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick unsurprisingly disagreed with the call).
Smith finished the game, completing 17 of 33 passes for 233 yards with a touchdown passing, a touchdown rushing and an interception. His counterpart, Brady, had another tough day. He was 22-of-46 for 228 yards with zero touchdowns and an interception.
Chris Ivory was a workhorse for the Jets, leading the team with 104 yards on 34 rushes. As a whole, the Jets had 177 yards on the ground while limiting the Patriots to just 90 yards.
Although there were some obvious communication issues, Gronkowski had eight receptions for 114 yards in his return.
The Patriots will host the Miami Dolphins next week while the Jets will be in Cincinnati to take on the Bengals.