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Jets kicker Nick Folk foiled by Patriots again

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Nick Folk might have nightmares about the New England Patriots, if he hasn't already.

The New York Jets' place-kicker has had a solid season, making 29 of his 35 field-goal attempts. But in the Jets' two games against the Patriots, Folk had potential game-winning kicks blocked.

Back in October, a 58-yard attempt on the final play of the game was blocked by Chris Jones, sealing the Pats' 27-25 victory. And Sunday, a 52-yard try with just over five minutes remaining was partially tipped by Vince Wilfork, preserving the 17-16 final score.

Despite the cold weather, Folk made a kick from that distance in pregame warm-ups. It would have been 10 yards closer, except for Dont'a Hightower's sack of Geno Smith on the previous play.

Folk had connected from 26, 23 and 37 yards earlier in the game.

"I feel like I was hitting the ball pretty well today," Folk said. "It's a bummer the last one; I didn't get a chance to see it go in."

"I hit it about as pure as you could hit the ball," Folk added. "I’d like to think it would have gone through."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said his team made a tweak before that fateful kick.

"I coached special teams for a significant part of my career. I know how that goes," Belichick said. "When you see a guy block a kick or get pressure in a certain area, you try to stop that and that usually creates opportunities for somebody else. We’ve gotten it from different guys in different gaps. If the team concentrates too much on trying to stop one guy and there’s an opening somewhere else, we’ve got to be able to take advantage of that.

"We had a stand right there before the snap and changed our alignment a little bit. It was a long kick, like the one we had in New England. Like Chris [Jones] did, Vince got his hand up and the ball was a little low. The key to blocking the kick was being in front of the ball. Vince got himself there and made the play."

Folk did have a game-winning kick in the Jets' 30-27 overtime win over the Patriots last season. But it was not without controversy. Folk was originally wide left from 56 yards away, but Chris Jones was given a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for pushing a teammate into the opponent's formation -- a penalty that had never been called in an NFL game before.

What's next for Folk and the Patriots? Well, we'll just have to wait for next season.