The Patriots were the biggest favorite of Week Seven and it looked like they might also go down as the biggest upset victim.
After a listless offensive effort throughout the game and a defensive performance that allowed the Jets to score 13 straight fourth quarter points to grab a 26-23 lead, Tom Brady was able to rally his team in the final 97 seconds to send the game to a fifth quarter. He then hit Deion Branch and Wes Welker for decent gains and got a pass interference call against Kyle Wilson to set up Stephen Gostkowski for a 48-yard field goal to end the first possession of overtime.
That left the Jets with a chance to tie or win the game, but that chance disappeared when Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich sacked Mark Sanchez and recovered a fumble to grab a win that gives the Patriots sole possession of first place in the AFC East. To stay there, they will need to come up with a much better effort in future weeks.
The Jets outgained them 403-381 and threw for 47 more yards despite having an offense that’s been used as a punchline by many around the league. There were moments when the Jets showed why they’ve earned that status, namely a Sanchez pick and a terrible fourth quarter drop by a wide open Stephen Hill that could have kept a drive alive long enough for the Jets to score a touchdown, but the second half gave no hints about the Jets’ perceived second-tier status. The result is a painful one for the Jets as a result because it’s hard to praise their effort while ignoring the mistakes that let a winnable game get away.
We will wait to see if the loss of Shonn Greene is part of the pain. The running back left the game in the fourth to be evaluated for a head injury, but returned briefly in overtime before giving way to Joe McKnight.
New England can breathe a sigh of relief, but, once again, they’re left to answer questions about why they aren’t able to put away seemingly inferior opponents this season. There’s plenty of time for the Patriots to hit their stride, but there’s also a chance that the gap between them and some of their opponents isn’t as wide as we might have believed coming into the season.