Snap Judgments: Jets shock Patriots in overtime, 30-27
|10.20.13 at 4:32 pm ET|
EAST RUTHERFORD — Nick Folk delivered a 42-yarder in overtime to help the Jets shock the Patriots 30-27 Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.
The field goal came after Folk missed a 56-yarder, but got a second chance after Patriots’ rookie Chris Jones was flagged for pushing his own player into the pile. The 15-yard penalty gave the Jets another chance they took advantage of.
After the game Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he disputed that Jones’ push came in the second-level of defenders, which would necessitate an infraction.
New England jumped to a 21-10 advantage, but New York struck back with an impressive 17-0 run in the third quarter to take command. The Jets took the lead late in the third when Geno Smith scored on an 8-yard scramble to make it 24-21. The Patriots were able to put together a game-tying drive at the end of regulation that ended with a 44-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski to knot the game at 24, but that set the stage for Folk’s heroics in overtime.
Smith looked poised and confident much of the afternoon against the Patriots, finishing 17-for-33 for 233 yards with one touchdown and one pick. Tom Brady struggled for part of the afternoon, finishing 22-for-46 for 228 yards with one interception. In his first game action of the year after an offseason of multiple surgeries on his arm and back, tight end Rob Gronkowski ended with eight catches (on 17 targets) for 114 yards.
Here are a few quick notes:
WHAT WENT RIGHT
‘¢ The Patriots were able to get some pressure on Jets quarterback Smith for most of the afternoon. As was the case the first time around, New England was selective when it brought extra pressure — with a signal-caller like Smith, you want to make sure you don’t overrun the play, because he can pick up extra yards with his feet. (He did on a third-quarter burst where he juked Marquice Cole for an 8-yard run on the way to the end zone.) But for the most part, the defensive front of Chandler Jones, Jones, Joe Vellano, Marcus Forston and Rob Ninkovich — who were in different defensive looks for much of the afternoon — were able to make him uncomfortable in the pocket. The Patriots had four sacks on the afternoon.
‘¢ Julian Edelman had a couple of impressive punt returns, including a 38-yarder in the first half that set up a touchdown.
‘¢ Gronkowski return to the field for the first time all season, and looked good out of the gate. The big tight end — who was wearing a big black wrap or sleeve on his left forearm — accounted for 42 of the 80 yards through the air on New England’s first scoring drive of the afternoon. It was evident just how much the Patriots offense missed Gronkowski, who also worked in as a blocker. (It’s worth mentioning that he wasn’t part of the Patriots extra-point team — he was on the end of the line as a blocker when he initially suffered his forearm injury against the Colts last November.)
WHAT WENT WRONG
‘¢ This was not Brady’s finest hour. Coming a week after he led another improbable come back against the Saints, the quarterback struggled at times against the Jets, particularly in the second half. He missed a handful of passes — it was debatable as to whether or not that was on the receivers or the quarterback himself — but they bad connections, nonetheless. His second-half pick six gave the Jets some life when they needed it most.
‘¢ The Patriots had breakdowns across the board in the third quarter — Brady was getting knocked around, and the Jets were able to get New England into a lot of long-yardage situations, which meant more pressure on the quarterback, particularly off Brady’s blind side. Through that stretch, it was easy to see how the Jets have been able to make their bones as the best first-down defense in the league. They exposed a lot of New England’s weaknesses. On defense, New England was unable to slow down New York on the ground or through the air — Cole and Dont’a Hightower struggled with their responsibilities on a number of occasions, including a missed tackle by Cole at the goal line against Smith. LeGarrette Blount bobbled a kick return attempt, and Josh Cribbs had a nifty 21-yard return, which set up a third-quarter field goal. Just a total team effort.
‘¢ The defense has to figure out a way to play without Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo — both of whom are out for the rest of the season — and Aqib Talib, who missed this game because of a hip injury. While the Patriots were able to cobble together multiple defensive fronts to disguise the fact that they were without Wilfork, there were breakdowns in pass coverage when it came to Hightower. In addition, even though Logan Ryan was able to come away with a first-half interception of Smith, there were major problems at times in the secondary when it came to penalties, communication and tackling.
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