FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Four fourth-quarter possessions for the New York Jets. Three of them ended when one of Geno Smith's passes ended up in a New England Patriots' hands.
Trailing by three points and needing only a field goal to tie it, Smith was picked off at the New England 11-yard line, at the Patriots 31 and, finally, at the Jets 46 with under a minute left. The Patriots (2-0) held on in a torrential downpour to win 13-10.
"During that time in the game, you've got to be more mindful of the situation," Smith said. "With the costly mistakes, that was completely on me. ... I take full responsibility for it. I've got to find ways to not put us in those situations."
Smith finished with 15 completions on 35 attempts for 214 yards and no touchdowns, taking four sacks. He was 3 for 12 for 55 yards and threw all three of his interceptions in the fourth, when the Jets (1-1) had four chances to tie it or take the lead but came away with nothing.
"Geno had his moments," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "I don't know how many balls we dropped today, but it was a bunch. Obviously, his numbers would look a lot better. The young man had his moments today, and obviously we wish that we had a few back."
So did Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who threw a 39-yard touchdown to a wide-open Aaron Dobson on the game's first series but struggled to connect with his rookie-filled receiving corps. Brady completed 19 of 39 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown as the Patriots managed just nine first downs after leading the NFL in points and yards last season.
The Jets cut the lead to 13-10 on Bilal Powell's 3-yard touchdown run with 5:05 left in the third quarter. But Smith threw two of his picks in the fourth to Aqib Talib and one to Alfonzo Dennard. Talib's second with 38 seconds left sealed the victory.
With wide receiver Danny Amendola, tight end Rob Gronkowski and running back Shane Vereen all sidelined, Brady was without three of his top offensive players. He was left with just two tight ends and four wide receivers, three of them rookies.
"We have a long way to go," Brady said. "No one is coming to (our) rescue and save the day, so we've just got to fight through it."
On the 17 possessions in the first half, there were 11 punts, a lost fumble, one missed field goal, three field goals and a touchdown. The officials didn't have a very good half, either, with one touchdown by each team and a fumble by New England's Julian Edelman being overturned by video review.
The only touchdown of the first came on the first series when Brady hit Dobson down the right side. It was the first reception for the second-round draft choice, who missed the opening 23-21 win over the Buffalo Bills with a hamstring injury.
"We were being pretty aggressive there in a short-yardage situation and (Dobson) slid behind him and I just gave it to him. He did all the work," Brady said. "I'm glad we got on the board early and got a lead. Playing ahead is always important, especially when you get (bad) weather conditions."
It marked the 50th straight game in which Brady has thrown a touchdown pass. Drew Brees, whose streak has ended, holds the NFL record of 54.
Stephen Gostkowski's 21-yard field goal made it 10-0 before Nick Folk kicked a 37-yarder for the Jets after Smith's 9-yard pass to Clyde Gates, originally ruled a touchdown, was changed to an incompletion upon review.
Patriots rookie Ryan Allen tied two team records he'd prefer not to have — 11 punts for 514 yards. That's two more punts than the team's total first downs.
With the rookie wide receivers still learning the offense, Brady relied on veteran Julian Edelman, who caught a career-high 13 passes one week after catching seven, including two touchdowns.
The Jets won their opener 18-17 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Folk's field goal with two seconds to go.
The win was the Patriots' 12th straight against an AFC opponent and fifth in a row against the Jets.
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