EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The New York Jets snapped their five-game losing streak against the Patriots Sunday afternoon, winning, 30-27, in overtime on a 42-yard field goal by Nick Folk.
There was a critical penalty against Patriots rookie defensive tackle Chris Jones, who was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct on Folk’s first field goal attempt to win it, from 56 yards.
Folk missed that kick wide left, but Jones was flagged after apparently stacking behind and shoving one of his teammates during the attempt, a no-no under the rules.
According to former NFL officiating czar Mike Pereira, who posted on Twitter, Rule 913 states in part that “Team B [defending the kick] cannot push teammates on the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation.”
It was the Jets’ own questionable play-calling that put Folk in position to have to try such a kick initially – with the Patriots having failed to score on their opening possession, time wasn’t a factor and under OT rules the Jets only needed a field goal to win – as they ran the ball on third and 5 from the New England 36 and lost 2 yards.
The 15-yard penalty pushed the Jets closer toward the goal line, they attempted three more plays that lost a yard total, and Folk lined up for the 42-yarder that he made.
New England struggled on third down throughout the day, on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, it was 1 for 12 on that all-important down in regulation, including a failure on its final opportunity in the fourth quarter, when Brady overthrew Austin Collie in the end zone on third and 10.
Stephen Gostkowski’s 44-yard field goal sent the game to OT, after Jets quarterback Geno Smith took a knee to run out the clock, drawing some boos from fans at MetLife Stadium.
The Patriots didn’t fare any better defensively, with the Jets converting 11 of 21 third-down tries, including one on their OT possession.
Smith, who threw three late interceptions in the Week 2 loss to the Patriots, looked strong early in the game.
New York had the ball first, and Smith converted three third-downs on the way to the end zone, including a third and 10 to slot receiver Jeremy Kerley, a third and 6 to Kerley that picked up 13 yards and got the Jets into the red zone, and on the final one, a third and 7, again to Kerley.
Kerley broke away from Kyle Arrington when he cut for the sideline in the end zone, and was open when Smith delivered the touchdown pass.
Arrington had such difficulty covering Kerley that the Patriots pulled Arrington off him before halftime and had Marquice Cole try it.
New England also scored a touchdown on its first possession. Rob Gronkowski started the game, his first of the season, though his snaps were limited. Brady looked to Gronkowski on the fourth snap, and completed a 12-yard pass to the tight end on a second-and-10 play.
It wasn’t long before the Patriots doubled their points, thanks to rookie Logan Ryan.
Smith was targeting the cornerback, who was playing more than usual with Aqib Talib (hip) out, and Ryan penalized him for it. On a second-down play from the Patriots’ 20, Smith stared down David Nelson, and Ryan jumped in front of the receiver, pulling in his first career interception with nothing but wide-open turf in front of him.
Ryan’s 79-yard touchdown return was the Patriots’ first pick-six since the 2011 regular-season finale, when Sterling Moore scored off a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass attempt.
It was the 11th interception of the season for Smith.
The Jets cut the lead when their next drive stalled just inside the red zone, with Folk converting a 37-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
But the Patriots would score again before halftime, taking a 21-10 lead into the break.
Working with a short field thanks to a 38-yard punt return by Julian Edelman, Stevan Ridley converted a fourth and 1 to keep things going, then got the touchdown a few plays later, bouncing outside on his way to a 17-yard score.