East Rutherford, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Nick Folk made the most of a second chance at a game-winning field goal, drilling a 42-yarder with 5:07 remaining in overtime to give the New York Jets a 30-27 victory over the New England Patriots in a thriller from MetLife Stadium.
Folk at first pulled a 56-yard try wide to the left, but was given a reprieve when Patriots defensive lineman Chris Jones was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for pushing a teammate into a Jets' blocker on the attempt. The penalty moved the ball inside the New England 25, and Folk was true on the re- do to complete New York's comeback from a 21-10 halftime deficit.
Antonio Allen ignited the Jets' second-half rally with a 23-yard interception return touchdown of Tom Brady on the second play of the third quarter, while Geno Smith threw for a touchdown and ran for another to help New York (4-3) close within a game of the AFC-East leading Patriots (5-2) in the division race.
Smith shook off a first-quarter interception that Logan Ryan ran back 79 yards for a touchdown to complete 17-of-33 passes for 233 yards. Chris Ivory contributed 104 yards on a heavy 34-carry workload to the win, with Jeremy Kerley amassing 97 yards on eight catches and hauling in Smith's TD strike.
The Jets' defense did its part as well, limiting New England to just two Stephen Gostkowski field goals after halftime and continually frustrating Brady throughout the afternoon.
Brady ended an off-target 22-of-46 for 228 yards without a touchdown despite the return of tight end Rob Gronkowski to the offense. Gronkowski did make a large impact in his first game back from offseason back and forearm surgeries, compiling 114 yards on eight receptions in the loss.
The Jets' halftime adjustments on defense proved more than effective. New England mustered an anemic minus-five yards and zero first downs over its first four drives of the third quarter, with Brady sacked three times and tossing a costly interception that swung the momentum in New York's favor.
On the second play from scrimmage in the second half, Allen blanketed Gronkowski on a crossing route and Brady threw it right into the defender's arms. The safety was able to elude his pursuers before tumbling across the goal line to pull the Jets within 21-17.
"We knew we had to force a turnover in order to win the game," said Allen. "We did that, got the spark and everybody is on their high horse."
With New England's offense continuing to be held in check, Smith delivered three big plays to put his team in front. The young quarterback got the Jets into enemy territory with a 27-yard connection to David Nelson and later scrambled for 14 yards to the Patriots' 10 on 3rd-and-14. Two plays afterward, Smith weaved his way into the end zone on an unscheduled run from eight yards away for a 24-21 New York lead with 4:33 remaining in the third quarter.
"We knew that we could come out and move the ball in the second half," said Smith. "We came out and stuck together and stayed the course."
Another New England three-and-out and a 21-yard punt runback from the newly signed Josh Cribbs enabled the Jets to build a six-point cushion on Folk's 37- yard field goal toward the end of the period.
The Patriots finally were able to make some headway after getting the ball back. Brady made good on 4-of-6 throws to orchestrate a 10-play, 62-yard series that culminated in Gostkowski's 39-yard kick which trimmed New York's lead to 27-24 two minutes into the fourth quarter.
Both teams traded punts for the majority of the final quarter, with the Jets' Ryan Quigley pinning the Pats back at their own 8 with 2:10 to go. Brady was still able to get New England into scoring range, with a 22-yard hookup with Gronkowski and a 19-yard delivery to Julian Edelman setting the stage for Gostkowski's game-tying 44-yard field goal with just 16 seconds left in regulation.
The Patriots received the ball first in the extra session, but managed only one first down before Brady misfired on three straight throws while under duress and New England punted.
"We had a great opportunity to take control of the game and we didn't," said Brady. "We fought hard. We just didn't do what it takes to beat a good defense."
The Jets were able to get down to the opposing 36, mostly on hard runs from Ivory, but the running back was stuffed for a loss on third down to lengthen the distance on Folk's attempt, which landed short and wide but was nullified by the unusual penalty call on Jones.
"That is a rule change for 2013 that a teammate cannot push a teammate into the opponents' formation," explained referee Jerome Boger after the game. "It could be with the body, not necessarily with the hand, into the formation. It's any type of pushing action."
After the Jets lost a yard on three consecutive rushes, Folk was true on the second opportunity, putting an end to New England's 12-game win streak in divisional games.
Smith started off strong, leading the Jets on a 12-play, 80-yard sequence on the game's initial drive. The rookie connected with Kerley on a trio of third- down completions on the trek, the last a 12-yard touchdown that staked New York to a quick 7-0 edge.
The Patriots countered with a 10-play, 80-yard jaunt in which Gronkowski immediately made his presence felt. The All-Pro tight end delivered a pair of catches on the possession, including a 30-yard grab down the seam to the New York 1, then sprung Brandon Bolden for a game-tying short touchdown run with a strong block.
Smith marched the Jets back into scoring range on the ensuing drive, but stared down Nelson on an out pattern from the Patriots' 20. Ryan jumped the route and had clear sailing after coming up with a momentum-shifting interception, which sent New England in front late in the first quarter.
New York moved the ball well again on its next series, which was highlighted by Kerley's 22-yard catch-and-run in a 3rd-and-21 situation. However, New England's depleted defense finally produced a key stop after failing to prevent the Jets on their first six third-down opportunities of the afternoon, forcing Folk to come up for a 37-yard field goal that cut the lead to 14-10 early in the second quarter.
The Jets didn't manage a first down over the remainder of the half, though, and an impressive 38-yard punt return by Edelman to the New York 28 put the Pats in position to extend the margin.
After Gronkowski drew a holding penalty on Allen to give New England a first down at the 17-yard line, Stevan Ridley found room off right tackle and went into the end zone untouched for a 21-10 advantage with 5:15 left in the second quarter.
The Jets converted 11-of-21 third-down chances for the game, while the Patriots were just 1-of-12 in such situations ... New England had won six straight in its regular-season series with New York, including a 13-10 triumph at home in Week 2 ... Nelson finished with season highs of four catches and 80 yards ... Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib was inactive due to a hip flexor injury, while wide receiver Danny Amendola also sat out after suffering a concussion against New Orleans last week ... Gostkowski now has made 13 straight field goals, the longest stretch of his career ... Ryan is a New Jersey native who played collegiately at nearby Rutgers.