They may have lost 30-23 on Sunday afternoon to the New England Patriots but in many ways, the New York Jets emerged from Week 7 showing that they are no pushovers. The loss drops the Jets to 4-2 on the season but showed a team that hung around with the defending Super Bowl champions, who are no 6-0 after beating their divisional rivals.
Despite a horrible day from his wide receivers who found a myriad of ways to drop passes, the Patriots offense still managed to put up points against the league’s top defense. A cold start gave way to quarterback Tom Brady getting hot in the second half, picking apart the Jets secondary for 355 passing yards and two touchdowns.
The Jets were up 10-3 early in the second quarter after Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a five-yard touchdown pass on a slant to Jeremy Kerley. The pass from Fitzpatrick ended a 14-play, 83-yard drive where the jets quarterback completed four of his six passes for 56 yards.
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Then down 16-10 in the third quarter, a Jets offense that had punted their last three possessions marched down the field in 13-plays, going 80 yards with a Chris Ivory nine-yard touchdown catch putting the Jets up. Then a 30-yard field goal from Nick Folk with 12:50 left in the game staked the Jets to a 20-16 lead on the road.
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But the Patriots would answer back, with fourth quarter touchdown passes from Brady putting New England up 30-20.
With punter Ryan Quigley sidelined with a shin injury, the Jets signed veteran Steve Weatherford and cut Jaiquawn Jarrett to make room for him on the roster. Quigley has been solid for the Jets since last year, growing into the role and showing more leg than most directional punters. Weatherford struggled early, showing rust with a first punt that went just 31 yards. While he would settle down, neither the strength of his leg or the directional kicking was up to snuff and gave the Patriots some very good starting positions in the first half. The Jets missed Quigley in this one.
Little Ground & Little Pound
For the entirety of the first half, Ivory was far from his normal self, a left hamstring injury clearly slowing him down. In the first half, he had nine carries for just 12 yards. While he would bounce back a little in the second half, the Jets struggled to rush the ball. The Jets rushed for 89 yards on the day, well below their season average, with quarterback Fitzpatrick accounting for nearly 29 yards rushing.
Speaking of ‘Fitzmagic’
Yes there was the fumble on the first drive of the game but Fitzpatrick looked better than Brady for much of the game. He completed 21-of-38 passes for 283 yards with two touchdown passes and showed plenty of guts in how he got his 29 yards rushing. Not a perfect performance from Fitzpatrick but he had his team in position to win the game until the very end. That’s more than many Jets quarterbacks have been able to say in the past.