Jets play hard for Rex Ryan, Patriots escape, 17-16
A bizarre first down call with four minutes three seconds remaining in the fourth quarter gave the Patriots a first down at the New York 48. The challenge flag thrown by Rex Ryan cost New York its second timeout. The Patriots were able to run out the clock. A key 16 yard run by RB Brandon Bolden sealed the victory
With just over seven minutes to play, a poorly thrown pass from Tom Brady was intercepted by CB Marcus Williams of the Jets at the New England 31. The New York drive stalled, forcing a 52 field goal attempt. Nick Folk's kick was deflected by DT Vince Wilfork, and the score remained 17-16.
The Patriots had scored earlier in the fourth quarter on a one yard run by RB Jonas Gray to take the lead at 17-13. New York answered with a 37 yard field goal by K Nick Folk.
In one of the worst first quarter's in NFL history, the Patriots and Jets combined for 60 yards of total offense. The Patriots contributed only 20 yards with Tom Brady suffering three sacks for losses of 29 yards.
After a scoreless first quarter, New England got on the board with a Tom Brady to TE Rob Gronkowski three yard TD pass. The drive was setup on a 39 yard punt return by Danny Amendola. The Jets responded with an 87 yard drive in 12 plays resulting in the tying TD. Jets QB Geno Smith completed five straight passes during the drive. A 20 yard pass to TE Jeff Cumberland from Smith made the score, 7-7.
A brutal second quarter injury to center Nick Mangold, ended the season for the nine year veteran of the Jets. New England DT Vince Wilfork rolled up on Nick's left ankle. The Jets continued their drive, and took the lead with a 26 yard field goal by K Nick Folk.
The third quarter saw the teams trade field goals. A late third quarter pass by QB Geno Smith was intercepted by Patriot's LB Jamie Collins. New England had moved to the New York 10 yard line. It was 13-10 in favor of the Jets at the end of three quarters.
The Jets played hard for their embattled head coach, Rex Ryan. The Jets-Patriots rivalry will have a different look next year. General Manger, John Idzik will be looking for employment along with Rex.
Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.