Josh McCown got the Jets offense off to a fast start, but the veteran QB and the unit were largely kept quiet for the final three quarters of action as the Green & White dropped a 24-17 decision to the Patriots.
"Obviously we broke stride there and didn't keep pace the way we'd like," he said. "We have some short-yardage situations that we have to find a way to convert and be better at. We weren't converting and (we were) putting our defense right back out there. You can't give Tom (Brady) that many chances."
After offensive coordinator John Morton implemented changes at practice to simulate game situations earlier, the Jets marched 13 plays following the opening kickoff and culminated the possession on McCown's 1-yard scoring pass to TE Austin-Seferian Jenkins. The Green & White converted all four of their first-down attempts on the drive that included a 16-yard McCown run.
McCown later took advantage of the Jets' first takeaway, leading a 78-yard possession that ended with a 31-yard TD to WR Jeremy Kerley. The Jets were firing on all cylinders, up 14-0 at with the home crowd energized.
"It's one of the plays we like in our offense," said the veteran signal caller. "He got over there and does what he does every time I throw him the ball — catches it and make plays."
But the tenor of this contest changed late in the half when CB Malcolm Butler stepped in front of an out route to WR Robby Anderson. McCown attempted to throw all the way across the field to the boundary and the Pats came up with the turnover that led to a game-tying touchdown before intermission.
"No doubt, that was very costly," McCown said. "We lost the game by seven, so it was costly. It was just something Robby and I need to keep working on, just the angle of his routes and how we're going to do things and the location of the ball."
McCown, who was 16 of 23 for 182 before the break, was victimized by a second interception in the third quarter. After the Jets elected to go for it at the NE 34 on fourth-and-1, McCown eluded heavy pressure only to be picked by S Devin McCourty on a toss intended for TE Eric Tomlinson.
Climbing uphill in the second half, it finally appeared McCown got the Jets into the end zone after a 24-point Patriots' run. McCown's apparent third scoring pass to TE Austin-Seferian Jenkins was called a touchdown on the field, but replay officials overturned the ball and ruled ASJ lost control of the ball before crossing the pylon. Instead of a 24-21 contest, the Jets were still down 10.
"They look at it, they make the best call they can and you move forward," said the 38-year-old McCown.
After making it a one-possession game, McCown and the offense ultimately turned the ball over on downs in the final seconds. He finished 31 of 47 for 354 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs.
"Everybody is frustrated," he said. "You take a team to the wire liike that on any Sunday and you feel like you had opportunities to win and you don't. It's very frustrating."
Top Gameday Images from MetLife Stadium