Ryan L. Fox
Some say that the New England Patriots-New York Jets rivalry is essentially the hammer versus the nail, especially during the Brady-Belichick era. However that’s the fans and media talking. The Patriots players and coaches, on the other hand, know that they always expect a fight out of Gang Green. This past Sunday in the Meadowlands, the two teams met and fought for the early AFC East Divisional lead. It was a tough game with some big plays, big hits, and calls that made you wanna rip your hair. But in the end, only one team was able to raise the flag of victory and they wore red, white, blue, and silver.
Like in Tampa Bay back in Week 5, things started to get off on the wrong foot for the visiting Patriots. After deferring to the second half, the allowed the Jets first possession. Jets QB Luke McCown drove his team down the field on a 13 play drive that saw 4 3rd down conversions and ended with a 1-yard dart to TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
After an exchange of punts, the Pats were running the ball right down the Jets’ throats. However on 1st and 10 on the Jets 27, Pats RB Mike Gilislee fumbled the ball and Jets DB Buster Skrine recovered on the Jets 22. McCown drove his team down the field and capped the drive off with a 31-yard TD pass to WR Jeremy Kerley to go up 14-0.
After getting the ball back on their 7 yard line, Pats QB Tom Brady orchestrated a 9 play, 93-yard drive down the field that was capped off with a 1-yard run by RB Dion Lewis to cut into the Jets’ lead, making it 14-7. However the next time the two times the Pats had the ball, it ended with frustration. The first time saw Tom Brady getting intercepted by Skrine on the Jets 22 and then K Stephen Gostkowski missed a 47-yard field goal wide right with 1:11 remaining in the first half.
But where the offense struggled, the defense made plays. Cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted a McCown pass on the Pats 37 and then Tom Brady drove his team down the field in under 30 seconds, hooking up with TE Rob Gronkowski for a 2-yard toss to tie things up at 14-14 going into halftime.
When the Pats got the ball back to begin the second half, it was Brady-to-Gronk for the second time on a 33-yard TD pass to make it 21-14. The Jets tried to answer back with a score but on 4th and 1 on the Pats 34, McCown was intercepted by SS Devin McCourty. The Patriots closed the third quarter out with the ball and then opened up the 4th quarter with the ball on the same drive. However they could only muster a 28-yard Gostwoski field goal to make it 24-14.
Again the Jets drove down the length of the field, desperate to get within a score. But on 2nd and goal from the Pats 4, McCown seemingly hooked up with TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins for what would be that crucial touchdown. But upon further review, the referees not only deemed that Seferian-Jenkins didn’t have control of the ball when he went down but he also fumbled the ball out of the end zone. Even though video evidence showed that wasn’t the case, the refs controversially awarded to the Pats.
After stopping the Pats, the Jets could only muster a 28-yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro to make it 24-17.Then on their last chance to try and send the game into overtime, McCown’s pass to Kerley fell incomplete. The Pats escaped for the second week with a victory, this time to the tune of 24-17 over the Jets.
Top Performing Pats
QB Tom Brady: 20-for-38 for 257 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
RB Dion Lewis: 11 rushes for 52 yards, 1 TD
WR Brandin Cooks: 6 catches for 93 yards
TE Rob Gronkowski: 6 catches for 83 yards, 2 TD
SS Devin McCourty: 5 tackles (4 solo, 1 assist), 1 INT
CB Malcom Butler: 4 tackles (4 solo), 1 INT, 3 passes defended
LB Kyle Van Noy: 7 tackles, (6 solo, 1 assist), 2.0 sacks
LB Dont’a Hightower: 7 tackles (6 solo, 1 assist), 1.0 sack
The Big O
Gotta show some love to the Pats’ offensive line. They opened up holes for the likes of Dion Lewis and Mike Gilislee to run through and allowed Brady to stay on his feet. Major props to them after two weeks of letting their Hall-of-Fame QB get rocked.
What Were They Seeing?!
This was ultimately the most controversial call of the game. With a little over 8:30 remaining in the 4th quarter and down 24-14, the Jets were at the Pats 4-yard line and needed a touchdown. Luke McNown rolled out and connected with TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins for what would be that crucial touchdown. It was good…until they reviewed it. As it turns out, ASJ momentarily lost control as he went to the ground and began to slide out of bounds. Normally that would be called incomplete.
Here’s the controversial part.
For some odd reason, the referees deemed that even though video evidence showed ASJ regain control of the ball as he was sliding out of bounds…they said he fumbled into the end zone for a touchback and awarded the ball to the Pats. Even though the Jets forced the Pats to punt on the ensuing possession, it took time and killed whatever momentum the Jets had to win.
Fox Fist Bump
This week, it goes to none other than….RB Dion Lewis. The little guy came up big in this one. After being limited to under 10 offensive touches per game for the first few games, Lewis exploded with 11 carried for a game-high 52 yards and a touchdown. The box score didn’t show it but if you watched, you saw that Lewis fought for every single yard. He kept churning his feet, spinning out of tackles. It was beautiful.
Gruden Butt Slap
Let me tell you something about this guy Kyle Van Noy. He had 7 tackles and 2 sacks, with one sack that grounded one Jets drive and another adding some turbulence to another. They should start calling him the Kyle Van Daminator or Kyle Van Diesel with the way he’s been playing.
Turd in the Punch Bowl
The replay official on that ‘Seferian-Jenkins fumble’ in the fourth quarter. Everybody and their grandma saw that clearly the ball didn’t get fumbled into the end zone yet they got it through their pea-sized brains that he did. Terrible, absolutely terrible.
Play of the Game
Read More WBOB