Well, that was close.
Many folks expected the New England Patriots to steamroll the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in what could be Rex Ryan's final home game as head coach of the Jets. That was not to be, though, and the Jets gave the Patriots all they could handle for four quarters. It took a few lucky breaks, but the Patriots were able to escape with a 17-16 win.
As ugly a win as it was, it was a necessary one, as the Patriots stay on track for the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC which would give them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Here's a look at some of the players who helped the cause, and others who hindered the Patriots on their way to the win.
Danny Amendola: With Julian Edelman out, the Patriots needed someone to step up in a big way. Enter Danny Amendola, who has been all but a non-factor in the offense this season. Amendola made eight catches for 63 yards on the day, and also had a few key returns on special teams (91 yards on five kickoff returns, 63 yards on three punt returns).
Jamie Collins: Were it not for Jamie Collins' interception in the third quarter, the tenor of this game story may have been a lot different. The Patriots defense had a hard time getting off the field on Sunday (Jets were 5-for-13 on third down), and Collins' pick was one of a few big plays that helped them keep things close.
Vince Wilfork: The Patriots were a fingertip away from blowing a late lead, but defensive tackle Vince Wilfork reached his paw to the sky and made contact with a Nick Folk field goal attempt that gave the Patriots the ball and helped keep their one-point lead in tact. Wilfork was also one of a few players who made some key plays in the running game on Sunday.
Logan Ryan: Week after week, the bulls-eye seems to grow on Logan Ryan's back. The Patriots were without slot cornerback Kyle Arrington (hamstring) on Sunday, which thrust Ryan and Malcolm Butler into larger roles. Ryan gave up multiple receptions on Sunday, primarily in coverage of Jeremy Kerley and Percy Harvin.
Patriots offensive line: Left guard Dan Connolly (knee) was inactive on Sunday against the Jets, and the offensive line suffered as a whole. The interior pressure got to Brady on countless occasions, and Brady was sacked four times on the day. There is no telling what we'll see from the Patriots' offensive line week after week, but this Jets defensive line is one of the better, more underrated units in football.
Malcolm Butler: Much like Logan Ryan, Malcolm Butler was thrust into a larger role on Sunday. There were a couple of receptions into his coverage, but the most egregious error on his record was a penalty for unnecessary roughness on Jets punt returner Jeremy Kerley, who had called for a fair catch.