*Updated, 10:40 p.m. ET
*There was much on the table for both the Jets and 49ers in their matchup at Levi's Stadium in the City by the Bay this afternoon.
The Jets wanted to end their four-game losing streak and rise to 4-9 in Bryce Petty's second NFL start and his first by coach's decision. All they had to do was extend the Niners' losing streak to 12 games.
San Francisco had other ideas initially and, powered by Carlos Hyde, opened a 14-0 lead after two series. It didn't look good for the Green & White.
But Petty persevered, Bilal Powell stepped up with a career game for the injured Matt Forte, the defense tightened things up in the second half, and slowly the Jets fought back to Nick Folk's tying field goal and Powell's 19-yard mad dash for the game-winning touchdown 6:25 into the extra period.
"I'm happy for the guys and their fight," head coach Todd Bowles said. "Rightfully so, when you lose a game on Monday night like that, everybody takes criticism. You don't want to lose a game, 41-10. For them to come back and fight says a lot about their character and I'm just happy for the guys."
"The first half was probably about as ugly as I could play," said Petty, who wound up completing 23 of 35 for 257 yards and directing a 404-yard offense. "I came out a little more nervous than I thought I was going to be. I felt good all week, good practices all week, and then, for whatever reason, I just have to settle down. Hats off to the team for just sticking with me."
Here are 10 observations on the Jets' 11th victory from 11 points down in the fourth quarter in their history as it unfolded:
1. Sputtery Start
The Jets got off to another tough start. Newly arrived Arthur Brown was called for holding on Nick Marshall's opening kickoff return past midfield. Then Petty's second play of the game, his first throw, for Quincy Enunwa was swallowed up by CB Jimmy Ward and returned to the Jets 7. On the next play Colin Kaepernick play-faked into a toss to Hyde, who fought off Buster Skrine's tackle attempt to get to the pylon for a quick 7-0 lead 1:03 into the game.
2. More Near Misses
Then a 3-and-out for the Jets offense and the Niners were back at it with a four-play, 81-yard touchdown drive. The strongest part of the SF attack is the ground game, and Hyde (47-yard burst up middle) and Shaun Draughn (4-yard TD run) showed it as the hosts opened a 14-0 lead 4:15 into the proceedings.
The Jets defense stiffened on its third series and K Phil Dawson hooked a 44-yard field goal try from the right hash wide left, so the Green & White dodged a bullet. Then Dawson missed from 48 yards, going left hash to wide right: two bullets dodged.
3. Offense on the Move
On their fourth possession, the Jets got their first first down on Robby Anderson's second end-around of the year — he's averaging 21.5 yards per run. On their fifth series, Petty and the offense moved 44 yards into the Niners red zone. With Matt Forté sidelined, Bilal Powell muscled for two of the three first downs on the drive, including a third-and-1 pickup. The visitors got close enough only for Nick Folk's 36-yard field goal, but the Jets were on the board, trailing 14-3 midway through the second quarter.
"Whenever my number's called, I'm ready," Powell explained of that big play and his bigger second half. "It's unfortunate that Matt went down. He could've been the one with the big game. But I'm always prepared."
Best Images from the Week 14 Matchup on the West Coast
4. Give and Take
Dawson finally converted for a 17-3 lead with 5:45 left in the first half. Chance for the Jets offense to drive the field and get within 10. No such luck, though, as Petty was sacked by Ward coming on a blindside blitz to take the second-year QB down on third down. But after the Jets punted, the Niners didn't move much in part due to a split sack of Kaepernick by Leonard Williams (lifting him to a team-leading 7.0) and Jordan Jenkins (his first half-sack as a pro).
5. Hand it to Q
Petty got the ball back at his 6 just before the two-minute warning and moved the ball into Niners territory before another third-down sack. Big play on the short march was Quincy Enunwa's one-handed grab over the middle for 16 yards, so magical that the replay booth called for a replay just to make sure he caught it. He did.
6. On the Run
Draughn added 11 yards on the last play of the first half, not significant in itself but it lifted the Hyde/Draughn/Kaepernick rush game to 180 rush yards for the half — the most in a first half by a Jets opponent since the Bills churned for 189 in the first half of the Meadowlands game in 1990. The Jets' run D needed some better answers to get back in this game in the second half.
7. Pain, Then Gain
Forté (knee) and Skrine (concussion) left in the first half. Then on the second-half kickoff, Marcus Gilchrist, covering the kick, twisted his knee as he ran to the returner. (Bowles later said he tore his patella tendon and will need season-ending surgery.) Despite that pain, the Jets defense forced a 3-and-out and then Petty and the offense got very close — first-and-goal at the SF-3 on Anderson's second 40-yard grab in two games — before moving backward and settling for Folk's second FG from 30 yards out to trail, 17-6.
8. Suddenly, Eight
It went on into the fourth quarter that way, with the defense getting a handle on the Niners offense but the Jets offense shooting itself in the foot with sacks (Petty was sacked six times) and too many penalties (seven to the Niners' two early in the fourth). Bowles made a big call to go for it on fourth-and-2 at the SF-37. Petty scrambled, then flipped to Charone Peake for the conversion.
That fueled the Jets all the way to their first TD, on Powell's squirming, twisting 5-yard score, followed by Petty's squirming, twisting two-point conversion — snapping an 0-for-6 streak on deuces since their last, vs. New England in 2010 — and putting the Jets within 17-14 with 5:04 to play. To execute their first 14-point comeback since the 2011 opener vs. Dallas, all they had to do was take the ball away, then put one more Folk FG on the board to tie it. Simple.
9. Tie Ballgame
And the Jets got the ball back after 3-and-out and moved on Petty completions and Powell runs into Folk field goal range. Folk lined it up and drilled it, a 50-yarder that was his 18th 50-plus kick as a Jet, his first tying kick since Minnesota in '14. And somehow the game was tied at 17-17 with 38 seconds left in regulation. One more exchange of scoreless drives and we're into overtime, the Jets' first since last year's 26-20 home win over the Patriots.
The Niners got the first possession of overtime and Hyde moved the chains once on a 25-yard run to give him 193 rush yards for the game. But the Jets held on a Niners semi-gamble on fourth-and-2 from their 37, and then it was up to Petty & Co. to move into Folk's game-winning range.
They did even better. Petty, rolling left, hit Anderson for 26 yards to the SF-25 and the visitors were in business.
"Robby's one of those, as we like to call him in our QB room, a QB-friendly guy," Petty said. "When you're running and escaping, he just finds where you are. He made a great play, a great catch in a big-time moment."
Three plays later, Powell concluded the signature game of his pro career with a 19-yard dash through Niners defenders to the end zone for the walk-off TD. BP finished with a career-high 145 rushing yards on 29 carries, plus both TDs, and added five catches for 34 yards.
"I don't know what happened," Powell said of a flag on the play, which was against the Niners. "All I know is I was tired and I was in the end zone. I'm not a big celebration guy. I was just waiting for the confirmation that it was a touchdown."