NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, December 27, 2015, 4:29 PM
What we learned:
Bill Belichick’s unconventional decision to kick off despite winning the overtime coin toss cost him. The Jets scored a touchdown on the first drive of overtime to win their fifth straight game and keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Jets proved that can beat a depleted Patriots team trying to work miracles with Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and a bunch of slop. Bill Belichick’s team was ravaged by injuries, playing without two of Brady’s top three weapons (Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola) and safeties Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung. The Patriots also lost left tackle Sebastian Vollmer on their first drive.
Todd Bowles’ defense held the short-handed Patriots offense out of the end zone for the first 58 minutes before Tom Brady’s 9-yard TD to James White erased a 14-point second-half deficit.
Brandon Marshall exacted revenge with 7 catches for 95 yards and a pair of touchdowns after being neutralized in Foxborough in Week 7. Marshall, who was held to 4 catches for 67 yards on a season-low seven targets in the face of consistent double-teaming in the first meeting, broke Al Toon’s franchise record for receptions in a season to help the Jets win their fifth in a row. Marshall became the first player in NFL history with six 100-catch seasons.
What this means:
The Jets are still in the wild card hunt. If they beat the Bills next week or the Steelers lose, they’re headed to the postseason.
The Jets turned Darrelle Revis’ third-quarter interception into a touchdown on the ensuing drive. Revis’ five picks are the most since 2009. Sure, this interception was a gift from Tom Brady, who wasn’t on the same page as Rob Gronkowski and threw it right into Revis’ waiting arms, but the Jets will take it.
Quincy Enunwa dropped a pivotal third-down pass with 33 seconds left in regulation that would have easily put the Jets in field goal range to win the game.
Bad Sign II:
Ryan Fitzpatrick had taken good care of the ball in the past month – only one INT late in the previous four games – but his turnover late in the third quarter gave the Patriots some hope. Jabaal Sheard’s strip sack and Jamie Collins’ 14-yard fumble return for a touchdown got New England to within 17-13 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.
Bad Sign III:
Chris Ivory was a non-factor after missing much of the second quarter with a knee injury. Remember, Ivory was hampered with hamstring tightness suffered on his first carry in the first meeting with the Patriots in Week 7.
The Jets will have to get through Rex Ryan to have a chance at breaking their four-year playoff drought.
The Bills have limped to the finish line since beating the Jets at MetLife Stadium six weeks ago. Ryan was dropping F-bombs on the sideline in the waning moments of the Bills’ 22-17 victory that Thursday night. He’s been dropping F-bombs left and right ever since for a different reason. His players and fan base aren’t thrilled with how this first season has unraveled.