Best and worst: Patriots 22, Jets 17
WORST UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCE
After picking up a first down on third-and-10 with a little flip to Dion Lewis, Tom Brady was forced to take timeout with the play clock winding down. That gave the Jets a chance to challenge the spot on the pass. Turns out, Lewis only got 9. The play was overturned and New England was forced to punt.
BENEVOLENT JET OF DAY AWARD
Marcus Gilchrist, Jets cornerback, had a chance to plant Brady during a first-quarter run by LeGarrette Blount. Blount, who had cut back against the grain and basically put Brady in the middle of the back stretch at the Kentucky Derby picked up 10 as Gilchrist peeked around Brady instead of using him as a battering ram.
Devin McCourty, who hauled Quincy Enunwa back with his fingertips as Enunwa stretched for a first down during the Jets second drive.
MOST DISCOURAGING SIGN
Rob Gronkowski leaving the game with a reported back injury near the end of the first quarter after landing hard on a deep throw by Brady in the first quarter and getting smushed under some pursuing defenders.
MALCOLM IN THE GAME PLAN
Malcolm Mitchell, who had a big game last week against San Fran, had a big 6-yard reception on a third-and-5 when the Patriots trailed 10-0 that continued what turned out to be a field goal drive. Mitchell also drew a pass interference on the Chris Hogan double pass later in the drive.
BEST SHORT JAB
Malcolm Butler, beaten initially for a long-gainer by Robby Anderson, circled back into the play and – as Anderson struggled for more yards – punched the football loose and recovered to stop a Jets drive. It was just the Patriots third forced turnover in seven games.
After faking a jet-sweep handoff to Julian Edelman, Tom Brady fumbled on second-and-goal from the New York 5. But Brady regained control by bouncing the ball back up to himself and finding Malcolm Mitchell for a game-tying touchdown.
FOOLS GOLD AWARD
With the Jets converting third downs at will to their wideouts, Eric Rowe finally stepped up on a downfield throw late in the first half and got a pass breakup on Jalin Marshall. Replay showed that Rowe arrived a heartbeat early so even the PBU lost some luster on further review.
OVEN MITT AL
Alan Branch got his big hand on a 54-yard field goal attempt by Nick Folk, the block resulting in a recovery by Dont’a Hightower and a chance for the Patriots to get ahead with less than two minutes left in the first half.
Stephen Gostkowski’s 2016 kicking travails continued as he pulled a 39-yard field goal attempt to close the first half that would have capped a 13-0 run by the Patriots.
STRANGEST CLOCK MANAGEMENT
The Patriots had first-and-10 from the Jets 21 just before halftime, having converted a third-and-2 with a 14-yard completion to Chris Hogan. They had a timeout remaining but chose not to use it. Instead, they threw once to the end zone (incomplete), then attempted a field goal which they missed. It’s so uncharacteristic for New England to butcher clock and game management situations that one reflexively thinks that it wasn’t a brain fart but some obscure angle they were playing. Honestly, it’d be better if it were just a brain fart.
BIG ASSPIRATIONS AWARD
Quincy Enunwa scaled the heights to bring in a 22-yard touchdown reception over Malcolm Butler that gave the Jets a 17-13 lead early in the fourth quarter. Enunwa was originally ruled out of bounds but the replay showed his left cheek handed inbounds.