AFC East: 2013 Week 7 NWE at NYJ Rapid Reaction
October, 20, 2013
By Rich Cimini | ESPN.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A few thoughts on the New York Jets' 30-27 overtime win over the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium:
What it means: The Jets (4-3) snapped a five-game losing streak against the Patriots (5-2), jumping back into the AFC East race. They also snapped the Patriots' 12-game winning streak against AFC East opponents. The Jets are lucky, benefiting from an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Chris Jones in overtime. It gave Nick Folk a second crack at the game-winning field goal, and he nailed it from 42 yards. Shades of the Lavonte David penalty in the Week 1 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Stock watch: Geno Smith shook off a horrible first-quarter interception (returned for a touchdown) and went toe-to-toe with Tom Brady over the final 16 minutes. Smith wasn't too efficient (17-for-33, 233 yards), but he displayed pocket presence with two huge scrambles on the same drive in the third quarter. Somehow, he ran through three defenders on an eight-yard touchdown run. Smith's mobility is one of the reasons why the team preferred him over Mark Sanchez in the preseason. It wasn't a clean game for Smith (now has 11 interceptions), but it was a dramatic improvement from his Week 2 performance in New England, where he imploded in the fourth quarter.
Special K: Receiver Jeremy Kerley was a beast on third down, catching six passes for first downs. After not playing in the Week 2 meeting, he was a matchup nightmare for the Patriots' secondary, which played without star cornerback Aqib Talib. The Jets relied heavily on Kerley and running back Chris Ivory, who ran for a season-high 104 yards against the Patriots' depleted front seven. Ivory questioned his role last week, and sure enough, it was expanded. Curiously, Bilal Powell didn't play much. He had been dealing with a minor neck injury. Tight end Jeff Cumberland hurt the Jets with two costly drops.
All over Brady: What more can you do? The Jets played another terrific game against Brady, recording four sacks, holding the Patriots to 1-of-12 on third down and limiting Brady to 22-of-46 for 228 yards. They held the Patriots to two field goals in the second half. Clearly, the Jets' defense is no fluke; they have a terrific foundation.
Double A: Second-year safety Antonio Allen made the defensive play of the game, returning an interception 23 yards for a touchdown to start the second half. Not only did it slice the Patriots' lead to 21-17, but it also revived the defense and the crowd. It was the Jets' first interception in 226 pass attempts (Week 1) and their first against Brady in 182 attempts (2011). Allen drew the toughest assignment of the day: tight end Rob Gronkowski, who tied a career high with eight catches in his season debut. All things considered, Allen did a solid job, considering Gronkowski was targeted 17 times.
What's next: It doesn't get easier for the Jets, who hit the road to face the Cincinnati Bengals (5-2).
October, 20, 2013
By Mike Reiss | ESPN.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Rapid reaction from the New England Patriots' 30-27 overtime loss to the New York Jets:
What it means: The Patriots had their streak of 12 straight victories over AFC East opponents snapped. They had control of the game early, but the Jets’ defense took control of the game in the third quarter. The Patriots had been in a favorable spot with a 21-10 halftime lead when quarterback Tom Brady had an interception returned for a touchdown by Jets safety Antonio Allen. The complexion of the game changed at that point, but the Patriots recovered in the fourth quarter in the critical situations to force overtime. But the Jets ultimately outlasted them to drop the Patriots to 5-2.
Critical penalty on Jones: Rookie defensive tackle Chris Jones was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Jets’ 56-yard field goal attempt in overtime as he was rushing up the middle. The kick was no good, but the penalty gave the Jets new life and they ultimately won it. This will be a big storyline after the game, and we would expect further explanation from referee Jerome Boger in a pool report.
Gronkowski snap tracker: Tight end Rob Gronkowski made his 2013 debut and was charted on the field for 51 of 79 snaps (including penalties). He was a difference-maker in his return, drawing a big holding penalty in the second quarter, although he couldn’t hang on to what would have been a tough one-handed catch on the Patriots' game-tying drive. Brady also forced the issue to him at times.
Stock Watch: Brady -- down. One week after he drove the Patriots down the field in dramatic fashion, Brady turned in an uneven performance. While protection breakdowns didn’t help the cause (credit also the Jets’ defense), his interception returned for a touchdown early in the third quarter was uncharacteristic.
Ups and downs for depleted defense: The short-handed Patriots defense struggled for long stretches as the Jets owned third down, but when a stop was needed late in the fourth quarter, the unit delivered with big pass breakups by cornerback Alfonzo Dennard and safety Steve Gregory. Rookie cornerback Logan Ryan had a pick-six in the first quarter. So it was a day of ups and downs for the unit. Overall, it was more the offense that hurt the Patriots.
Key stat: The Patriots offense was 1-for-12 on third down.
Injuries of note: There were no major injuries for the Patriots.
What’s next: The Patriots return home to entertain the Dolphins next Sunday in a second straight AFC East clash. The Patriots are 2-1 in AFC East play, with wins over the Bills and the Jets and today’s loss to the Jets.