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Players, Plays of the Jets-Patriots Game

Posted Dec 22, 2014

David Harris, Jeff Cumberland, Jeremy Kerley & Marcus Williams Stood Tall in the 1-Point Loss

The day after each Jets game, win or lose, senior reporter Randy Lange and reporter T.J. Brennan will look at our top players and plays from that game, including videos and stories on each player and play.

Head coach Rex Ryan summed it up best: “I really thought it was going to be our day.” For a large portion of the 17-16 loss to the Patriots, the Jets had control of the game. When the Patriots made plays, the Jets were able to respond — until the final minutes.

Below is the list of our Players and Plays of the Game. Let us know what you think of this list and if you have any other candidates:

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

LB David Harris

“The Hitman” had a game to remember against the Patriots, becoming the fourth Jet to record the 1,000th tackle of his career. It came on a third-down half-sack of Tom Brady, forcing the Patriots into a 3-and-out.

Just as important, Harris was a consistent force for the defense, posting a team-high 10 tackles, including one for loss. He was a key part in limiting a Patriots team that was averaging more than 30 points/game to 17.

During the first half, the Jets held the Patriots to 52 yards on offense, the fewest first-half yards by an opponent since 2010 by Minnesota and the fewest by the Patriots since 1993.

CB Marcus Williams

Williams came away with his first career interception against the Patriots in the fourth quarter, the team’s first takeaway in the final stanza this season.

The undrafted rookie has been impressive in making seven consecutive starts at corner since being signed from the practice squad before Week 9 against Kansas City.

Against the Patriots, he posted seven tackles and two additional passes defensed on passes thrown to TE Rob Gronkowski and WR Brandon LaFell, who was also the intended receiver on the INT.

WR/PR Jeremy Kerley

As he’s done for most of his career, Kerley found a way to be effective against the Patriots. He caught three passes for 54 yards and returned three punts for 35 yards.

Two of his three receptions were for first downs, including a 25-yarder that helped set up K Nick Folk’s second field goal in the third quarter.

PLAYS OF THE GAME

David Harris and Calvin Pace 13-yard sack of Tom Brady, first quarter, 11:50 remaining

Harris got a lot of things done on our third defensive play of the game. He upped his sack total for the season to 3.5, notched tackle No. 1,000 for his Jets career, and pushed the Patriots back across midfield to force a 3-and-out all in one.

We lined up in our nickel against the Patriots' three-wide look. Before the snap, WR Brian Tyms went in motion to the strong side of the formation.

And we sent four from the weakside, which the Pats had no answer for. With Jason Babin slanting inside to preoccupy LT Nate Solder, Pace roared in toward Brady's blind side unblocked, followed right behind by Harris. Brady tried to curl away from Pace but only succeeded in giving Harris the chance to crush Tom high while Calvin held on low.

Jeff Cumberland 20-yard touchdown reception from Geno Smith, second quarter, 5:59 remaining

Bookkeeping dictates the Jets went 0-for-3 in red zone trips, but this one was as close to being a red zone TD as possible, with the back end of the ball just touching the 20 before Nick Mangold's snap to Geno Smith under center.

Cumberland was in his stance next to RT Breno Giacomini, with TE Jace Amaro flanking him. At the snap, both TEs bolted downfield, Amaro outside and Cumberland flying past S Patrick Chung, who took a crucial split-second staying up off of the play-action handoff to Chris Johnson.

Geno lobbed, Cumberland caught uncontested in the end zone 3 yards past Chung. Then the dance began.

"It's something me and the tight ends thought up," Jeff said. "If any of us scored, we were going to do something. It was like you had a sword and you were sword-fighting, and then you would put it back and you would bow. But by then the lineman wanted the ball."

Cumberland has two TD catches this year, both against the Patriots.

Marcus Williams interception of Tom Brady pass, fourth quarter, 7:18 remaining

After four first-half sacks, we didn't take Brady down in the pocket once in the second half. But this Rube Goldberg play was even better, and potentially was a game-changer.

New England was in 3-WR mode with Brandon LaFell the lone WR to the left, with Williams fronting him. Brady took the shotgun snap and the Jet sent four, with Sheldon Richardson dropping into his zone from LT and Demario Davis crashing straight ahead between RT Muhammad Wilkerson and RE Jason Babin.

As Davis preoccupied both Nate Solder and RB Shane Vereen, Babin looped inside untouched and straight for Brady, who hurried his throw before being slammed. The throw was off line, with LaFell leaping to try to catch it and instead deflecting it off Williams' chest, then off his hands before he grabbed it and fell forward to the NE-30.

Great opportunity ... lost, due to Geno Smith's 10-yard sack on third-and-4 from the 24, then Nick Folk's 52-yard field goal try getting swatted by Vince Wilfork. But still a great play, and hard to believe that it was our first fourth-quarter takeaway on the season.



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VIEW: Week 16: Jets vs. Patriots

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