Jets-Patriots Game Recap | Jets Can't Find Their Magic, Fall to Pats 22-17

New England Pulls Away with 3 INTs, 19 Unanswered Points as Green & White Dips to 5-3


The Jets had a lot going in their direction as they headed into their first meeting of the season with their rivals from New England.

Unfortunately for the the Green & White, all the magic of their 5-2 start was no match for the rivalry record that 3-4 New England brought to the MetLife Stadium table. The Patriots fell behind, 10-3, three minutes into the second quarter and from there QB Mac Jones and the offense combined with the takeaway-minded Pats defense to grind away for the 22-17 victory over the Jets at MetLife Stadium, ending the concurrent four-game win streaks of the host team and its QB, Zach Wilson.

With 1:51 to play, the Jets scored on Wilson's second scoring strike of the day to TE Tyler Conklin, a 9-yarder into the back of the end zone. But at that point, with no timeouts left, they needed a second successful Braden Mann onside kick to go along with his onside kick to help pull out the Game 2 win at Cleveland. This time the kick was recovered, by the Patriots' Jabrill Peppers and the Patriots kneeled out the victory and the Jets' very disappointing loss.

The statistics wound up looking decent for the Jets. They outgained the Patriots 387 yards to 288. Wilson had his first 300-yard passing game as a pro, 355 yards on 20-of-41 passing. Rookie WR Garrett Wilson had his second 100-yard receiving game, six catches for 179 yards. The defense sacked Jones six times and hit him 13 times.

But the numbers were illusory. Until the late activity to get the score close, Wilson threw three interceptions and the Patriots scored 19 unanswered points to open their 22-10 advantage. New England RB Rhamondre Stevenson had 143 scrimmage yards, Nick Folk went 5-for-5 on field goals short and long. And the Pats had a 35:34-24:26 margin in time of possession.

The visitors took their first lead of the game on the opening drive of the third quarter, driving 62 yards on six plays to their second fourth-and-1 gamble of the midgame. This time the visitors from Foxborough succeeded on Jones' 5-yard pass to WR Jakobi Meyers, who broke the plane near the right pylon for the score that made it 13-10, New England.

Then with each exchange of drives, the Patriots opened the gap between them and the Jets wider. Greg Zuerlein was wide left on a 45-yarder, then Folk came on for a 49-yarder — good, 16-10 lead. Jets 3-and-out, rookie Marcus Jones returned the punt 32 yards to the Jets 27, defense holds, Folk on for 45 yards — good, 19-10.

The Jets had hit the midgame doldrums and were threatening to fade away to their 13th consecutive loss to their AFC East foes. At least the fourth quarter loomed. Could the Green & White get their grip back on this game and overcome their two-score deficit?

No, more of the same. Another Wilson pick off a throw with his feet unset, with old Jet slayer Devin McCourty returning 36 yards to the Jets 37. Another defensive hold, another Folk field goal, this one from 52 yards to make him 5-for-5, and the deficit rose to 22-10.

One last good chance to pull out another fourth-quarter magic trick arose as the Green & White moved from their 25 to the NE-30. But on fourth-and-5, Wilson led TE Tyler Conklin just a little too far in the end zone to turn the ball over with 8:49 to play.

Jets' First Half: Big Plays, Bad Mistakes
The teams traded 3-and-out series to open the game before the Jets drew first blood. Wilson directed an 82-yard drive into the red zone that stalled at NE-10, bringing on K Greg Zuerlein for a 28-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead 6:46 into play. Setting up the score: the Wilson Bros. Moving Co., as Zach Wilson dropped a 54-yard pass to rookie Garrett Wilson off a double move against CB Jalen Mills to the Pats 12.

The Patriots responded with a 62-yard drive before the Jets defense similarly stiffened with Carl Lawson's third-down sack of Jones, so it was ex-Jets K Folk's turn for a short FG, a 31-yarder to tie the score at 3-3 on the last play of the opening period.

But Zach and the offense were just getting warmed up. They moved 33 yards on back-to-back throws to rookie Garrett Wilson. Then a Michael Carter 17-yard catch plus an unnecessary-roughness call on Peppers moved the Green & White — wearing their all-black uniforms for the first time this season — back into the red zone. This time Z. Wilson was ready with a touchdown pass, his first since Game 4 at Pittsburgh, an 8-yard zinger to Conklin at the left pylon for a 10-3 lead.

See the best images from the Week 8 matchup between the Jets and Patriots.

New England moved to midfield on its next two series and came away with nothing. The first time, Bryce Huff hit Jones from behind as he tried to find WR Kendrick Bourne and instead found Michael Carter II for the interception. The next series Belichick chose to go for it on fourth-and-1 at the Jets 21, Jones play-actioned, S Lamarcus Joyner kept shadowing the QB and the throw flew past WR Jakobi Meyers for the incompletion.

Late in the first half, the Jets committed two errors that could well have changed the course of the game. On third-and-2, Wilson tried to backfoot a completion to RB Ty Johnson and instead threw the pick to Ja'Whaun Bentley, who returned to the Jets 40.

Two plays later, Jones airmailed a pass to Carter II, who took off down the right sideline for a seeming 84-yard interception-return touchdown ... except that John Franklin-Myers was flagged for roughing the passer with a late hit after the throw, bringing the play back and setting up the visitors for one last try for a first-half-ending score. They got it on Folk's 42-yarder as time ran out in the half, cutting the Jets' lead to 10-6.

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