A questionable call saved the New England Patriots on Sunday, ensuring Tom Brady and Co. came away with a 24-17 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.
Down 10 points with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins looked to have scored a four-yard touchdown, but a dizzying official review ruled that the tight end fumbled the ball while crossing the goal line despite him not losing the football.
It wiped off the score and gave the Patriots the ball, proving to be the difference in a game the Jets once led 14-0.
With the win, Tom Brady became the winningest regular-season quarterback in NFL history with his 187th career victory. But it didn’t come easy.
It’s common knowledge that the Patriots’ secondary is the team’s weak link this season and the Jets took advantage.
Josh McCown passed for 354 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, becoming the third Jets quarterback in the last 25 years to pass for over 300 yards against the Patriots.
On the game’s opening drive, McCown directed a 13-play, 88-yard scoring drive that ate up nearly six minutes of clock to give the Jets an early lead.
McCown accounted for 84 of those yards, 68 through the air and 18 on the ground, finishing the drive off with a one-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
A rare self-inflicted New England wound helped increase the Jets’ improbable lead even more. Mike Gilislee ended a promising Patriots drive that was just outside the Jets’ red zone when he fumbled away a hand-off. It was the Patriots’ fourth turnover of the season.
The Jets made Gilislee pay for it as they ate up 78 yards in three minutes, slicing through a weak Patriots secondary. McCown hit Jeremy Kerley for a 31-yard touchdown where a Jets receiver was once again wide open.
New England managed to get one back with a Dion Lewis one-yard touchdown, but the miscues continued in the half. Brady threw his second interception of the season before Stephen Gostkowski missed a 47-yard field goal, his first of the season, in the final minutes of the second quarter.
But they still managed to tie the game in the final seconds after a McCown interception led to a Brady touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski with nine seconds left.
They kept that momentum going into the second half when Brady and Gronkowski hooked up again for a 33-yard score to give the Patriots their first lead of the game.
A Gostkowski field goal early in the fourth extended New England’s lead to 10 points before the controversial fumble call that stripped Seferian-Jenkins of a touchdown with eight minutes left.
The Jets drew within seven with a Chandler Catanzaro field goal, which would have tied the game had Seferian-Jenkins’ touchdown stood.