Nick Folk kicked a 43 yard field goal with 2:06 left in the game to tie the score at 23 apiece. The ensuing kickoff the Jets coverage team came charging down the field at Patriots kick returner Devin McCourty. Earlier In the game McCourty returned a kickoff for 104 yards for a touchdown, but this time Jets fullback Lex Hilliard had different plans in mind. Hilliard dropped his shoulder pads into McCourty and the ball squirted out. Jets safety Antonio Allen dove on the ball for the recovery to give Gang Green the ball in the Patriots' red zone. New York's offense was unable to capitalize on the Patriots mistake because Sanchez was sacked on third down for a ten yard loss.
Folk hit another 43 yard field goal to put the Jets in the lead with 1:37 left in the game. Unfortunately for the Jets this was not the final score of the game because Stephen Gostowski kicked a field goal to force overtime as time expired. Gostowski eventually nailed a 48 yard field goal to put New England ahead to stay in overtime. Unsung heroes such as Hilliard and Allen kept them in the game until the end, but the Jets luck eventually ran out in overtime and the Patriots held on for the win.
Most critics will say that the sack in overtime would be this week's key mistake for the Jets. Sanchez dropped back and sat in the pocket too long, eventually getting sacked and fumbling the football. The game changer was not the Sanchez fumble, but it came early in the second quarter when the Jets were down by one possession. Sanchez received the snap and tried to hand the ball off to running back Shonn Greene. The ball bounced off Greene and into the Jets' end zone. Sanchez had to kick the ball out of bounds for a safety to avoid a Patriots' touchdown.
New England's defensive lineman Vince Wilfork bull-rushed offensive guard Matt Slauson to disrupt the play. Greene saw Wilfork in his face right away and never received the exchange cleanly from Sanchez. This was pivotal at the time because the Jets fell behind by two possessions. This mistake, along with a few others over the course of the game, were deciding factors for the Jets' defeat.
"It really stinks because we played hard the whole game," said Sanchez following the loss. "We had some real opportunities down in the red zone. We said it early in the week, you can't kick field goals against this team. You got to get seven points."
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
The Jets drove down to the Patriots one-yard line during their first possession of the day. Sanchez hiked the ball and Greene pounded his way into the end zone for the first score of the contest. What made this play so special was head coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano lined offensive tackle Jason Smith up at fullback. The decision from the sidelines paid off. During the touchdown Patriots' linebacker Brandon Spikes came crashing through the hole Greene was running through, but Smith laid a vicious block that knocked him out off his feet. Greene was able to squeeze through for a touchdown. In the last 22 contests with the Patriots, the Jets only scored one opening drive touchdown. It was a welcomed change for the Jets to have the early momentum in such a big rivalry game.
The Patriots did not win this game, the Jets beat themselves. Turnovers and bad penalties were the reason behind this week's loss. The defense kept the Jets in the game and gave them a chance to win. Sanchez said it best, Gang Green cannot afford to kick field goals, they have to punch the ball into the end zone and put seven on the board. Kicker Nick Folk had four field goals on the day, including a 54-yarder which is tied for the sixth longest field goal in franchise history. The Jets gained momentum on their first drive when Greene scored from one yard out. But, the Jets took a step back on the ensuing kickoff when they gave up a 104-yard return to Devin McCourty. The rest of the game was a dog fight, the Jets showed resilience coming back to take the lead in the fourth quarter and forcing overtime.
Sanchez will be remembered for his fumble that ended the game, but he played relatively well. He completed 28 of 41 passes (68.3%) for a season-high 328 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley stepped up with seven receptions and 120 yards and Keller had his best game since coming back from his injury with seven catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. After executing the rushing attack well last week, the ground game proved to be inconsistent with a poor performance.
Next week the Jets will host the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannenhill has the Dolphins riding a two-game winning streak. The Dolphins have played sound defense during the win streak holding the Cincinnati Bengals to 13 points in Week Five and the St. Louis Rams to 14 points the following week. Miami enjoy its bye this week and sits at 3-3 on the season. The Jets won a close overtime battle during Week Three in Miami. Safety LaRon Landry had an 18 yard interception return for a score and the Santonio Holmes, who is out for the season with an ACL injury, had a game high nine catches for 147 yards.
The Dolphins missed a field goal attempt in overtime that could have won the game. The Jets had a chance to win only to have Randy Starks blocked the field goal attempt by Nick Folk, but Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin called a timeout. The next snap Folk drilled a 33 yard field goal to win the game.