Oct 20, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) and New England Patriots running back Brandon Bolden (38) celebrate a touchdown by Bolden against the New York Jets during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Ok, fine. The Patriots should have been able to win the game and not have a call lose them the game. However, that is a tough pill to swallow. In over-time, Nick Folk missed a 56 yard field goal that would have given the Patriots the ball close to midfield.
However, rookie Chris Jones was called for pushing his teammate into the pile, a 15 yard personal foul. That was the second ridiculous personal foul call of the day that cost the Patriots. This one cost them the game. If calls like this can decide games, they shouldn’t even bother play the games. It’s ridiculous.
The good news for the Patriots on this day is that Rob Gronkowski took a beating, and it appears his arm held up just fine.
It only took 1 play to feel the absence of Jerod Mayo as Dont’a Hightower trailed in coverage on a play where Geno Smith dropped in a nice long ball 25 yards down the field.
2 plays later, Aqib Talib was missed as Arrington trailed in coverage and safety Steve Gregory tackled Kyle Arrington instead of the receiver after a completion, which resulted in a Jets first down.
On the next two plays, the absence of Vince Wilfork was felt when Chris Ivory ripped off runs for 8 yards and then another for 3 yards to pick up a first down.
A Jet offense that hadn’t scored a touchdown in its previous 14 possessions, looked like a top offense in the league marching through a depleted Patriot’s defense. Kyle Arrington got undressed by Kerly on a simple out in the end zone.
Question for Bill Belichick? Why does Kyle Arrington start at corner? Rookie Logan Ryan or safety Devin McCourty surely could hold up better than Arrington. Arrington’s value is in slot coverage. Since he’s been on the team he regularly gets smoked play after play as an outside corner.
Rob Gronkowski’s first catch was a short pass out to the right, and he got tackled by 3 defenders. He took a shoulder pad to the upper left arm, and a helmet directly on the left forearm. He got up and was fine. That is a HUGE plus as if his arm was not healed completely, it would have been damaged on that hit.
Brady drove the team down the field, and Gronk had a 20+ yard seam pass that he took down to the 2 yard line. Brandon Bolden then scored to tie the game.
The Jets went to the wild cat on the next drive having newly signed Josh Cribbs take the snap and just run it up the middle into the soft part of the Patriots defense. Five more runs later right up the middle, it was 3rd and 3 from the Patriots 35, and Geno Smith made a strong throw to David Nelson for 15 yards and a first down.
Then rookie lightning struck! Geno smith looked left, turned right and threw a short pass that Logan Ryan easily stepped in front of to take it to the house, and just like that, a struggling defense put points on the board.
The Patriots defense on the next drive played great on first down and second down, but on 3 consecutive third downs, including a 3rd and 20, Jeremy Kerly was wide open each time and picked up the first down each time. Kyle Arrington was covering, or trying to, but clearly has no ability to stay close to Kerly in man coverage.
At the Patriots 22 yard line, the Jets failed to pick up a 3rd down conversion for the first time on the day. They were previously 6 for 6 on 3rd down conversions. The Jets made the score 14 – 10 with a simple field goal.
The rest of the 2nd quarter was much more in the Patriots favor, with some tough run defense by Brandon Spikes, a great punt return by Julian Edelman to set up a scoring drive where Ridley broke a run to the outside and scored from 20 yards out. The Jets had to punt three consecutive times, in large part due to a defensive change where Marquise Cole came in to man up on Jeremy Kerly, sending Arrington to the bench. With 54 seconds left and three time-outs, the Patriots struggled to get into field goal range, and sack on Brady popped the ball loose around mid-field but Vollmer fell on it and allowed the Patriots to punt it away with just 18 seconds left to take a 21 – 10 lead into the locker room at half time.
The second half started in disaster for the Patriots as Brady got the ball knocked of his throwing hand leaving the Patriots at 2 and 17 after Brady fell on the loose ball. It appeared he may have hurt is hand a bit, and on the next play, Brady threw a pick-six. The ball was thrown right to the defender on man coverage. This is very odd as Brady couldn’t have been fooled by the coverage. The ball came out clean and when they showed Brady on the sideline after the play, he wasn’t favoring his hand at all. So apparently he just made a Geno Smith like decision throwing the ball directly to the opponent.
When the Patriots got the ball back, on 3rd and 1 Ridley chose not to jam it in behind the left guard where he had a solid surge from the line, and instead broke to the outside and got stuffed for a loss of 1 yard and the Patriots punted.
On a horribly underthrown ball by Smith to Cumberland, Gregory got a pass interference call because he never looked for the ball and ran into Cumberland at the 32 yard line as Cumberland pulled up to try and work his way back to the duck. The ball came loose on the next play when Chandler Jones ripped it out of Geno Smith’s arms, but the Jet’s recovered. A sack by Chris Jones pushed the ball back making it 3rd and 22 and the Jets had to punt on 4th down, pinning the Patriots at the 10 yard line.
Patriots punted back to the Jets after going backwards on a first down sack of Brady. New England had less than 150 yards of offense at this point and if the Jets offense could get things going, the momentum and field position was clearly in their favor.
On 3rd and five, a blitz forced Smith to scramble right and heave the ball down field. Logan Ryan was in perfect position for another pick but stumbled down going for the ball, and David Nelson hauled it in. McCourty then saved a touchdown after ripping the ball away from Cumberland in the end zone who easily smoked Hightower in coverage. On 3rd and 14 from the 24, Smith scrambled and got a true home call after he was tackled a yard short of the first down, and made a final reach as he fell out of bounds, but it looked very clear that he was well short, yet they gave him the first down and there was no measurement.
Then Smith scrambled right, and Hightower could have closed and lit him up big time, but turned his back to Smith as he was running to the end zone. No idea what he was thinking on that play. The touchdown gave the Patriots the lead, and to Patriots fans, it’s very clear the New England defense is going to be very challenged the rest of the season without Wilfork and Mayo. That said, when Talib comes back healthy, they will be much improved against average teams like the Jets.
The Patriots got backed up again after Brady was sacked, again. He ducked under what would have been a thunderous hit. On third and 15, Brady threw a quick, inaccurate pass and the Patriots punted it right back to the Jets again, from their 5 yard line. Cribbs made a nice return to the Patriots 40, and it looked as if Danny Aiken, the Patriots long snapper, injured his left arm on the tackle.
Chris Ivory then went through a gaping hole and took it to the 22. The wheels are falling off for the Patriots. Their defense can’t stop anything the lowly Jet’s offense is throwing at them. However, an overthrow by Smith, and then an all-out blitz on third down, managed to slow down the Jets who extended the lead to 6 after a 37 yard field goal.
Logan Mankins was seen on the sideline very fired up, yelling at his line-mates, presumably scolding them for their inept play to this point in the second half. To this point in the second have, the Patriots have negative yardage and for the game to this point, about 130 yards of total offense. It is ugly folks.
Brady audibled to a run left and scampered for 12 yards, finally getting positive yardage on first down. A couple of quick hits to Edelman got another first down and Antonio Allen, who had a strong game thus far, was on the ground with an injured right leg.
As the fourth quarter commenced, the Patriots were able to move the ball down the field, but a pick by Gronkowski had a touchdown play to Bolden called back. On a 3rd and 3 play from the Jets 21, the Patriots went to the end zone for Gronk who was open, but appeared not to see the ball, which almost hit him in the face. It could have been the sun as Gronk was looking back into it. Gostkowski narrowed the Jets lead to 3.
Chandler Jones stopped a run play for 0 yards, and a ridiculous personal foul call on Jones as he leaned on the running back as he got back to his feet, pushed the ball out to the 35. A couple plays later, for some reason, Hightower had kind of given up on a short route in his coverage, and the Jets got the completion. Jerod Mayo is missed in a big way.
On the next play, a deep ball that would have been an interception by McCourty, was ruled offensive pass interference as the receiver shoved McCourty before going up for the ball.
The Patriots got the ball back and got a first down, but blew several chances. Brady threw left with Gronkowski uncovered, about 8 yards over the middle. Then on third down, Brady went for it all to Dobson, who had a half step on Cromartie. The ball was just out of Dobson’s reach. Dobson got slightly tangled up trying to separate and go for the ball, which appeared to make the ball a bit overthrown, when it might actually have been a perfect pass if Dobson kept his feet clean.
The Patriots, who were a dismal 1 for 10 on third down, now had the Jets at third and 6 with 5:42 left on their own 16 yard line. Smith had all day and found Kerly for a first down, making a very nice throw.
A big 3rd an 1 with the clock ticking down from 3:50, the Jets easily ran the ball up the gut to get a first down. A run for no gain, and then a deep ball that Dennard made a great play on, left it at third and 10. Smith went to Cumberland who appeared open, but Gregory got a hand on Cumberland’s arm and he wasn’t able to haul it in as he fell out-of-bounds.
A fantastic punt out of bounds left the Patriots with 92 yards to go for the win, with 3 time outs and 2:10 seconds on the game clock.
A first down draw from the shotgun to Bolden got the ball out to the 16, and the clock ran down to the two-minute warning.
The Patriots ran it again to pick up a first down, and then let 30 seconds click off the clock while throwing an incompletion. A sideline route to the Gronk got a first down with 1:27 left. The next play had Dobson wide open for a touchdown, but Brady threw the ball out-of-bounds. OUCH! That was a game winner if he makes the throw.
The next play was a short post to Gronkowski to the Jet’s 46 with 1:05 to play. Gronk fell on his left arm and signaled to the sideline, but appeared to be winded, and not injured.
On 2nd and 10, Brady had all day in the pocket, and found Edelman over the middle down to the 26. On first down, Brady floated one over the middle on what would have been a spectacular 1 handed catch by Gronk, who was behind the zone coverage, but he couldn’t make the grab. An incompletion left it at 3rd and 10, and Brady threw the ball away in the back of the end zone leaving it up to Gostkowski to drill a 44 yarder for the tie, and he did just that!
With 16 seconds left, a game that the Jets possessed the ball for 15 minutes more than the Patriots, went into overtime. The Patriots won the toss again, but unlike at the beginning of the game, the Patriots elected to get the ball.
In overtime, the difficulties for Dobson continued as he failed to read a back shoulder and missed what should have been an easy grab. On third and 10, under pressure, Brady put up a pass that had little chance and they had to punt to Josh Cribbs. Cribbs let it go and the ball hit at the five yard line and went into the end zone.
An impossible completion to David Nelson made it first down out to the 36. An Ivory run for 7 kept the pressure on the Patriots defense on 2nd and short. A hand-off to the full back left it at 3rd and 1 at the Jets 45. Again, without Wilfork and Kelly, the Patriots didn’t even come close to stuffing the 3rd and 1, and the Jets got a new set of downs. Ivory bounced one out to the outside for 8, and it’s looking grim for the Patriots at this point. Ivory stuffed it up the middle for another first down. The Jets don’t need to throw the ball again to win this one, and they brought in a full back to try and run it down the Patriot’s throats. However, on first down, Joe Vellano held his ground and made the tackle after 1 yard. Another run for 4 yards to the 35 made it 3rd and 5, and the Jet’s are trying to get Folk out there to win the game. However, Ivory got stuff for a 2 yard loss, making it a 56 yard attempt.
WIDE LEFT! BUT THEN THE REF’s gave the game to New York by calling a complete mystery foul, claiming he pushed his own player. It was a complete buried scrum, and that is probably the first time that has been called in the NFL. Three runs later, the Jet’s kick a field goal for the win.