It looked like the Jets and Patriots would be going to overtime on Sunday afternoon, but that view changed on Jets punter Braden Mann‘s 10th punt of the day.
Marcus Jones fielded the punt, avoided a couple of tacklers and then took off upfield with Mann left as the only player with a chance to take him down. Mann couldn’t do it and Jones scored to give the Patriots a 10-3 win over their AFC East mates.
After the game, Jones said he was focused on ball security “because the wind was going crazy out there.” He also said he expected the Jets to do more to limit the chances of a return.
“My main thing is I thought they were going to let him try to kick it out of bounds due to the time on the clock,” Jones said, via a transcript from the team. “But the first thing was trying to make sure that I followed my teammates’ blocks. Then I saw the punter and I was like, if I make him miss, then I should be able to go the distance.”
Mann’s punt wasn’t close to the sideline and it didn’t have much hang time, which were both reasons why Jones was in position to play hero.
DeSean Jackson‘s memorable 2010 punt return to beat the Giants as a member of the Eagles ended with no time left on the clock. That’s the only punt return score to take place later than the one that made the Patriots winners this weekend.