Patriots Defeat Jets 24-17 to Take Sole Possession of First Place in AFC East
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Seth Wenig
In a battle of 3-2 teams, it was New England that came out on top, 24-17, against the New York Jets to finally take first place in the AFC East this season.
The Jets took off early with three third down conversions ending with a Josh McCown touchdown pass and an early lead for the home team.
After another touchdown to Jeremy Kerley, Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady got his team together on the field for what was a two-year coming out party for running back Dion Lewis, as the drive ended with a rushing touchdown.
A missed field goal by Patriots’ kicker Stephen Gostkowski put the Jets in the driver seat, but the field was quickly reversed with a Malcolm Butler interception turned to points via a receiving touchdown by tight end Rob Gronkowski.
The Patriots took control in the second half continuing their roll with another 10 unanswered points.
The Jets were denied a touchdown by a weird touch back and would not have another chance inside the 10-yard line and the Patriots would go onto win.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick praised cornerback Malcolm Butler for having awareness on the play and to stop.
“He did a great job getting his hand in, he’s got a knack for that,” Belichick said. “It was a tremendous play, great awareness, saved us seven points.”
Butler described the play and made a point to bring it to the officiating crew’s attention.
“I just reached in there and took a chance at the ball,” Butler said. “I just touched (the official) and said I seen the ball loose as he crossed the pylon.”
The win, while not perfect, was a test of the team’s character that they passed but not without a few concerns.
McCown with 354 yards, continues the trend of the defense giving up 300 yards to opposing quarterbacks in every game and must get better against the Atlanta Falcons, who will be coming into Foxborough next week.
Belichick also remarked on Brady’s 187th win, which passed Peyton Manning and Brett Favre for most wins all-time.
“Very fortunate to have Tom (Brady) at the helm of a lot of the those wins, that’s what we’re all in it for is to win,” Belichick said.
Here were the three best performances on both sides of the ball.
9 targets/ 6 Catches/ 93 yards
10 targets/ 6 receptions/ 83 yards/ 2 touchdowns
Patriots offensive line
The offensive line did not allow a sack for the first time this season, keeping Brady upright and offering more time for their quarterback to throw the ball.
Kyle Van Noy
7 tackles/ 2 sacks/ 3 hits
7 Tackles / Sack/ 2 QB hits
Malcolm Butler and Devin McCourty both recorded interceptions in a great performance by the veterans.
The Patriots are back in action Sunday, Oct. 22, at 8:30 p.m. as they play host to the Atlanta Falcons in a Super Bowl LI rematch.