What we learned in the Patriots overtime victory over the Jets

The Patriots allowed over 300 passing yards to Mark Sanchez but still stood triumphant Sunday.

What we learned in the Patriots’ 29-26 win over the Jets on Sunday:

Lack of finish
An interception, a stupid personal foul on a Zoltan Mesko punt and a safety on a botched Jets handoff gifted the Patriots three possessions in the second quarter alone. Yet the two points on the safety were all they could muster. They needed only a semi-sustained drive late in the fourth quarter to seal the win, yet went backwards in a brutally fast three-and-out. So continues a pattern in which New England has left points on the field and/or failed to close games the way we’ve come to expect it. Simply put, this high-powered offense has sputtered at times. Consider that between the second quarter of the Seattle loss and the third quarter of the New York win it scored exactly one offensive touchdown in a span of nearly 83 minutes, or roughly a game and a half.

Gronk, the savior
The one offensive touchdown in the middle of that slump was a nice diving grab by Rob Gronkowski in the first quarter Sunday. The one that ended it was an easy TD toss to Gronk late in the third. That gave the big tight end his first multi-touchdown game of the season after he had seven such efforts in 2011. He also was the key to the game-tying drive at the end of regulation, catching back-to-back passes for 27 yards in a span of seconds to get the ball rolling. Gronk has 12 catches for 139 yards in the last two games and is showing signs of dominating in the passing game once again.

The time is now
Much has been made of the jumbled AFC East, as well as the Patriots uneven play, but they have an opportunity in front of them to grab this thing by the throat. Not only are they in first place and the only team unbeaten in division play, but they have a string of winnable games on the horizon. Including the Jets game yesterday, New England plays six straight games against teams that entered Week 7 at .500 or below. Also, the Pats don’t play a true road game again until Thanksgiving, when they visit the Jets — the London game next week is a road game, but one being played in a neutral venue that will have more New England fans on hand. In addition, when you watch the other quarterbacks in this division perform on a weekly basis, it’s almost impossible to imagine any of them winning more games than Tom Brady. Mark Sanchez did some nice things Sunday, but holy mackerel did he do some bad things.

Return to sender
The Pats have struggled in the return game for a few years. They finished 18th in return yardage in 2010, 29th in 2011 and ranked 28th in the league entering this one. Devin McCourty’s 104-yard TD return in the first quarter Sunday will change that, but his fumble on a return late in regulation, which allowed the Jets to kick a go-ahead field goal, virtually erased it. New England was fortunate that New York could not put the ball in the end zone after McCourty’s drop, but the return game remains an issue. 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…