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3 things we learned about the Jets

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — It was not pretty, but Tom Brady was there with his latest fourth-quarter magic on Sunday.

“We made the plays when we needed to make them and that was the important thing,” Brady said after two fourth-quarter drives powered the Patriots (6-0) to a 30-23 victory over the New York Jets.

Brady’s 48th (counting postseason) career fourth-quarter comeback brought New England out of a 20-16 hole to the win — their 47th victory in their last 51 home games and their 77th straight when leading at halftime at home.

It also spoiled the return of Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis to New England.

Brady, who never threw at Revis all day, had over 300 passing yards for the 68th time in his career. He hit wide receiver Danny Amendola for an 8-yard touchdown pass with 7:16 left and got the ball back after a Jets punt. New England then drove again and Brady was 6 of 8 on the possession, beating an overload blitz over left tackle with an easy 15-yard TD pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski to put the Patriots up 30-20 with 1:13 remaining. It was Gronkowski’s 60th career touchdown catch.

Facing a 10-point deficit, the Jets (4-2) opted for Nick Folk’s third field goal of the game, a 55-yarder with 18 seconds left, and Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall then recovered an onside kick at the New England 48 with 15 seconds remaining. But after a completion to the Patriots’ 40, Marshall was not set when quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick spiked the ball with one second remaining. That penalty resulted in a runoff to end the game.

What we learned about the Jets:

1. The Jets aren’t around just to compete. A win on Sunday would have brought them into a tie with the New England Patriots for first place in the AFC East in Todd Bowles’ first year as the coach. They’re already past moral victories. Asked what he takes from a close loss, Bowles said, “Nothing. We lost. It was our fault. We fought until the end and it wasn’t good enough. They played better situational football than we did. We will watch the film, correct the mistakes and move on.”

2. You don’t throw at cornerback Darrelle Revis.

This isn’t news, and it’s a truth the Patriots learned first-hand.

“We tried to switch things up on Tom and show him different looks, but Tom is great,” Revis said. “He suckered in the defense, that’s what he did down the stretch.”

The amount of time Brady spent keeping the ball away from his one-year teammate was staggering to watch. The one obvious throw in Revis’ area was with the team in zone and the pass was dropped by Patriots wide receiver Brandon LaFell.

3. The Jets are capable of contending to the end.

New York didn’t shrink in the moment, leading the game in the fourth quarter, but the Jets certainly head home bemoaning plays they left on the field. Particularly, a late-game drop by Brandon Marshall that would have been a touchdown. Instead, the Jets settled for a field goal.

There were chances for the defense to get off the field in the second half that didn’t work out, too, including a 3rd-and-17 the Patriots converted and eventually punched in for a touchdown.

“That was big,” Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie said. “That was the back-breaker. Not just from a team standpoint or a morale standpoint, it was just a point where you got them at third-and-18 and the biggest thing for us is to just get them off the field. That gives our offense the ball, lets them run the clock like they were doing in the first half and part of the third and fourth quarters.”

Etc.

–CB Darrell Revis’s return to New England wasn’t a successful one from his team’s standpoint. But Revis stayed on his island all day and had no traffic coming his way. Asked after the game what it meant to be back at Gillette Stadium, where he helped lead the Patriots to the title in his only year there, Revis said, “It’s just a Week 7 game.”

–QB Ryan Fitzpatrick had been sacked twice in the first five games of the season. But he was sacked twice in the first half and did some fine running throughout the game. He also had four passes knocked down by the same player, DE Rob Ninkovich, and might have had a win if Brandon Marshall hadn’t dropped a pass in the end zone. “I will be thinking about that play in the red zone but that is going to be my fuel to get better,” Marshall said. Fitzpatrick finished 22 of 39 for 295 yards and two touchdowns.

–RB Chris Ivory has been battling leg problems throughout this season and missed time with it on Sunday, when he came in as the league’s leading rusher but gained 41 yards on 17 carries. “I don’t think it affected him that much,” said coach Todd Bowles. But Ivory said, “Yeah, I didn’t have it coming [around] and getting on the edge.”


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