East Rutherford, N.J. - Ryan Fitzpatrick finished the day 22-of-32 for 269 yards and two touchdowns with a quarterback rating of 115.2, but being stripped by Chris Long and turning the ball over with 1:56 to go in the game will forever haunt him as the New York Jets fall to division rivals New England Patriots. On the other side, Tom Brady didn't play like he normally does, having 20 incompletions, but his 286 yards and two touchdowns got the job done as his team moves to 9-2 while the Jets fall to 3-8.
"I've been saying it all year we're talented," said Quincy Enunwa postgame. "We just haven't had the greatest breaks all year."
The defense for the Jets was strong all game, from beginning to end. Two straight incompletions for Brady before a pass completed to Dion Lewis went for ten yards and a first down. Head coach Todd Bowles challenged the ruling on the field and the call was reversed, forcing the Patriots to punt. On the Jets first drive, Fitzpatrick completed two passes to Brandon Marshall for 20 and 13 yards. The Jets eventually settled for a Nick Folk 51 yard field goal to go up 3-0.
On the next four drives, the Jets forced the Patriots to punt twice while having to punt once. On the fourth drive, the Jets started on their own 21. Starting with a pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins for nine yards, Fitzpatrick found Enunwa deep on the right side for 40 yards, putting his team on the opponent 30. After a timeout following a Marshall 11 yard catch, Bilal Powell had two rushes going for 11 yards. He ended the quarter with a wildcat play going for six yards to put the ball on the Patriots one yard line to start the 2nd quarter. On the first play of the quarter, Fitzpatrick hit Marshall in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. This was Marshall's first touchdown since Week Five.
On the next drive, the Patriots took it all the way to the Jets 10 yard line before settling for Stephen Gostkowski 28 yard field goal to be down a touchdown. On the following drive for the Jets, Fitzpatrick found Robby Anderson for 25 yards, in which Anderson did some moves to get more yards. However, Malcolm Butler punched the ball out of Anderson's hands, recovering it at the 50 yard line. On the Jets four yard line, Brady fumbled the initial snap but recovered to find Malcolm Mitchell in the end zone to the tie the game up at 10. On the drive, Brady passed to Julian Edelman for 18 yards, making him the 5th player in NFL history to throw for 60,000 yards in his career. Brady also won his 200th career game tonight.
"Anytime you get a turnover, it's critical," said Bowles about the fumble. "Robby has to take care of the ball a little better than that. It ended up costing us at the end."
The next two drives came down to special teams. Chipping away with the run game paired with a 21 yard play to Enunwa, the Jets set up Folk for a 54 yard field goal, a play he's made in the past. The line fell apart and the Patriots were able to break through for the block with the two-minute warning coming up. The Patriots did the same, bringing it to the Jets 21 yard line with six seconds left when Gostkowski missed a 39 yard field goal wide left.
The Jets opened up the half going three-and-out, punting it away. The Patriots drove down the field and took a 13-10 on a 29 yard field goal. In a 3rd quarter that only had four drives, both defenses forced each other to punt and the teams would go into the 4th quarter with the Patriots holding onto a three point lead.
On the Jets drive starting from their own 27, Fitzpatrick went 5-of-6 for 68 yards, culminating in a 22 yard touchdown to Enunwa in the corner of the end zone. Originally ruled an incomplete pass, Bowles challenged for the 2nd time in the game and the play was reversed to a touchdown, as Enunwa's butt was in before his elbow went out of bounds. "I came into this season hungry," said Enunwa. "I've just tried to make sure that when I go out there I do exactly what I know I can do." Enunwa finished with five catches for 109 yards and that touchdown, his first 100-yard game of his career. On the next drive the Patriots hit a 41 yard field goal to bring the game 17-16.
The Patriots forced the Jets to punt on the next drive and took control of the ball with five minutes to go. Brady hit Edelman for 24 yards and then Lewis for 16 yards. After two straight incompletions, he found Edelman for six yards and his team faced 4th-and-4. Brady hit James White with a quick four yards to convert and keep the drive going. On the next play, he scrambled out of the pocket to find Chris Hogan deep for 25 yards to put his team in the red zone. Brady would find Mitchell for the eight yard touchdown. Mitchell finished the day with five catches for 42 yards and his teams only two touchdowns. The Patriots went for two and converted, but it was reversed after further review, with White not fully crossing the plane with the ball.
The Jets would take over down 22-17 with 1:56 to go in the game. Fitzpatrick completed his first pass to Jalin Marshall for five yards. On the next play, Long came in and stripped Fitzpatrick, thus sealing the game. "We come out and we're in the game in the first half and then in the second half we're not clicking," said Brandon Marshall. "It was disappointing not to be able to correct that."
"I think you just have to challenge everybody's professionalism," said Fitzpatrick on if the team can stay together to finish on a high note. "We're here to put our best effort in and I think we owe that to the team, we owe that to the coaches, we owe that to our teammates."
Calvin Pryor: concussion protocol.
Steve McLendon: sore hamstring.