Patriots: What we learned in a 30-27 loss to the Jets

Bill Belichick Patriots
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick questions the refs on the call in overtime that ultimately cost New England the game. Credit: Getty Images

When it comes to penalties, the New York Jets are right up there with the best – or in this case, worst – of them.

But on Sunday, it was their opposition, the Patriots, who were hit with a flag at the worst possible time. The penalty wound up costing New England the game, a 30-27 defeat at MetLife Stadium.

As Jets kicker Nick Folk missed a 56-yard field goal attempt in OT that would have given the Patriots great field goal position, the whistle blew. Patriots defensive lineman Chris Jones was flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct after pushing his own player from behind, in hopes to surge through the offensive line. That gave the Jets ball, great field position, another field goal try, and the win.

While the talk of the game will undoubtedly be about the call, there were plenty of other intriguing sub-plots Sunday in New Jersey. Here are three of them:

Gronk’s return
Rob Gronkowski made his long-awaited return to the field for the Patriots. There was plenty to like in his 2013 debut, as he hauled in eight balls for 114 yards. Gronk, who sported a large brace on his left arm, wasn’t an every-snap player in his first game back, but did play in more than half of the team’s offensive snaps. He also was Brady’s favorite target on Sunday, as he was thrown to a whopping 17 times. But it was a drop late in the fourth quarter, on what would have been a great one-handed catch, that he’ll lose sleep over.

The banged up defense
There were plenty of questions surrounding the Patriots defense heading into Sunday, with Jerod Mayo, Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, and Aqib Talib all out. The answers are mixed. For one, Dont’a Hightower didn’t have a great game. He looked behind in coverage, and was one of the players responsible for allowing a Geno Smith rushing touchdown in the third quarter. Jets receiver Jeremy Kerley (eight rec., 114 yards, TD) took advantage of a banged up secondary, and RB Chris Ivory rushed for 104 yards.


Momentum-shifting third quarter
The Patriots went into the third quarter with a 21-10 lead and the ball. A scoring drive may have been just enough to put this one out of reach, but instead, Brady made the ultimate mistake – a pick six. With that, the Jets cut it to 21-17, and would score 10 more points in the quarter to take the lead. The Patriots offense was abysmal in the third quarter, racking up three drives of negative yardage, literally going backwards up until they got the ball with 1:25 left in the quarter. By then, though, the Jets had already taken the momentum and the lead.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.