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Monday, October 21, 2013

Patriots Fall to Jets in OT 30-27 on Obscure Rule that Nobody Knew About Before Today

I'll save the vitriol for local sports talk radio for the next few days since this topic should dominate it: the Patriots (5-2 overall, 2-2 away) got jobbed this afternoon at MetLife Stadium as the Jets (4-3 overall, 3-1 home) "beat them" 30-27 in overtime on Nick Folk's 42-yard field goal. Folk had missed a 56-yard field goal (don't ask my why the Jets attempted it) before that but was bailed out by a penalty that was supposedly called for the first time in the NFL: Chris Jones (10 tackles, 2 sacks) pushed a fellow Patriots defensive lineman forward to try and block the kick.

I realize that nobody outside of New England will feel bad for the Patriots, in fact I'm sure many fans of other teams were eating this shit up. I will admit that they didn't play well (Jets had the ball for 46:13 to Patriots' 23:40) but nobody deserves to lose in the bogus manner that they did. I can't remember a Patriots game ending in more controversial fashion.

In a way, New York should have captured this in regulation but the Pats got the ball back late to drive for a tying 44-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski with 16 seconds left. With a different outcome, this would have been remembered as Rob Gronkowski's (career-high 8 catches, 114 yards) remarkable 2013 debut. Instead, we get to hear about that stupid penalty for weeks or at least until the Red Sox start play in the World Series on Wednesday.

Give credit to the Jets as well, rookie quarterback Geno Smith (17 of 33 for 233 yds, TD, INT) is definitely improving. Not having Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo and Aqib Talib caught up with the Patriots who made Jeremy Kerley (career-high 8 catches, 97 yards; 12-yard touchdown catch) and David Nelson (4 catches, 80 yards) look like Pro Bowlers. Oh and Chris Ivory ran for 104 yards.

This wasn't the first time in his up and down season that Tom Brady (22 of 46 for 228 yds) looked human. In fact, both him and Smith threw pick-6s: rookie Logan Ryan intercepted Smith and returned it 79 yards for a score late in the first quarter while Antonio Allen stepped in front of Gronk on the second play of the second half and returned it 23 yards for the touchdown.

Other than Gronkowski, nobody else on the Patriots offense could get anything done. Brandon Bolden (1-yard) and Stevan Ridley (17-yard) both had touchdown runs but they didn't do much other than that. Kerley opened the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown catch. Bolden's jaunt and Ryan's return gave New England a 14-7 lead after the first quarter. Folk cut it to 14-10 early in the second quarter but the Pats were in good shape following Ridley's run.

The Patriots had won six in a row against the Jets and 12 straight vs. the AFC East. The Jets did all the scoring in the third quarter, to retake the lead, on Allen's interception return, a surprisingly mobile (for one play at least) 8-yard run by Smith and a 37-yard field goal by Smith. Gostkowski's 39-yard field goal were the only other points in the fourth quarter.

New England got the ball first in overtime and could have won it if they marched down the field and scored a touchdown but it wasn't to be. This victory pulls New York to within a game of the Pats and they split the season series. Chandler Jones (11 tackles, 8 solo, 2 sacks) was a beast but he could have used more help from some of his lesser talented teammates on the defensive side of the ball.

The Pats are back at Gillette Stadium on Sunday (1, CBS) vs. the Dolphins (3-3) in another early season AFC East showdown. Miami was predictably exposed today in a 23-21 loss at home to the Bills (3-4). Keep in mind that like the Jets, Miami always seems to give the Pats some trouble in at least one of their two annual contests. The sooner we can put this afternoon's debacle behind us, the better. In that way, it's a really good thing for our own sanity that the Red Sox will create a welcome diversion as much as we want.

UPDATE 10/21: The Pats waived defensive tackle Andre Neblett who I'm not quite sure if he exists or not.

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