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Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Five Plays: Jets at Pats

By Matt Ehalt

Here are five key plays that shaped Sunday's 29-26 loss to the Patriots.

1. SPECIAL TEAMS BLUNDER: After the Jets took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, the Patriots got the momentum right back with a 104-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Points are critical anytime you play a high-octane offense like the Patriots, and the Jets' special teams gave New England a quick seven.

2. GOTTA MAKE THAT THROW: The Jets trailed 16-7 and had the ball at the Patriots' 36-yard line in the second quarter. Quarterback Mark Sanchez had wide receiver Stephen Hill open near the end zone, but he saw Hill too late, underthrew him, and tossed it into double coverage. Not surprisingly, the Patriots intercepted the ball and a potential scoring drive was over.

3. DOWN THE HILL: Hill had his chance to change the game, but he dropped it. With the Jets trailing 23-20 and near the red zone in the fourth quarter, Sanchez found a wide-open Hill on third down at the 14, but the rookie dropped the ball. Had he caught it, the Jets could have potentially scored a touchdown, or at least took some time off the clock. After the drop, the Jets tied the game on a field goal.

4. SPECIAL TEAMS REDEEMS: The Jets' special teams unit gave the team a chance to win the game when it forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff after the Jets tied things at 23-23. The Jets recovered in the red zone and while they couldn't get a touchdown, they still kicked the field goal to go ahead 26-23. Lex Hilliard forced the fumble while Antonio Allen recovered the loose ball.

5. PASS INTERFERENCE? As the Patriots drove the ball in overtime, they faced a 3rd-and-7 at their own 44. Brady threw to Aaron Hernandez on the right sideline as the tight end was covered by Kyle Wilson, who made a play on the ball and it resulted in an incomplete pass. The nearest ref didn't throw a flag, but a ref about 20 yards away did and Wilson was flagged for pass interference. The Patriots received a first down that continued the drive, which ultimately resulted in the game-winning field goal.