It seems as if blowouts aren't a norm for the Patriots these days. The team won another nail-biter against the rival New York Jets at MetLife Stadium last night, 22-17.
Tom Brady hit Malcolm Mitchell in the corner of the end zone with under two minutes to play to put the Patriots ahead for good. Right after that, Chris Long strip sacked Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Trey Flowers recovered the fumble to preserve the win.
New England started off uncharacteristically slow, falling behind 10-0 in the second quarter. The offense was able to rebound and tie the game at 10 and had an opportunity to take the lead going into halftime but Stephen Gostkowski missed a 39-yard field goal.
The Pats then found themselves down again 17-16 late in the fourth quarter when Brady, as clutch as ever, led the Pats to the winning score late in the game.
Also of note, Rob Gronkowski left the game with a back injury and did not return, but initial reports were that the injury was not series.
While the Jets aren't exactly world beaters, the defense seemed to have a pulse in parts of this game. They forced two turnovers (the one by Long and another by Malcolm Butler in the first half), which have been hard to come by, and they also made a couple of key third down stops in the second half.
The run defense in particular seemed to shore up, as they only allowed 64 yards on the ground between Matt Forte, Bilal Powell and Fitzpatrick.
Brady finished the day going 30-of-50 for 286 yards and two touchdowns. It seems as if one of his new favorite targets could be Mitchell. After catching his first-career touchdown last week against the 49ers, he added a two scores to his resume and could have had another earlier in the fourth quarter had he not let the ball slip through his hands in the end zone.
Mitchell finished the day with five catches for 42 yards and the two touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick went 22-of-32 for 269 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receivers Quincy Enunwa and Brandon Marshall had a field day with the Patriots secondary, as Enunwa caught five balls for 109 yards and a touchdown, and Marshall added six catches for 67 yards and one score.
The Patriots, now 9-2 and currently in first place in the AFC playoff picture, go home to face a Los Angeles Rams team that just had its doors blown off by the New Orleans Saints.