Jets suffer crushing loss to Patriots on late punt return TD


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Well, that’s a kick to the gut.

The Jets lost a heartbreaker to the Patriots on Sunday after allowing an 84-yard punt return with five seconds remaining in the game. The return by Marcus Jones broke a tie and gave the Patriots their 14th straight victory over the Jets, an improbable 10-3 win.

This game featured very little offense as both defenses dominated. The teams were tied 3-3 for most of the game. The Jets got the ball with 1:52 left to play at their own 20. A defensive holding call on third down wiped out a sack by the Patriots and gave the Jets a new set of downs. On third-and-1 at the Jets 34, Zach Wilson threw a pass to running back Micheal Carter that went behind the line of scrimmage for a 2-yard loss when Kyle Dugger drilled him. That forced a punt from Braden Mann with 26 seconds left. Jones took the ball and went up the sideline, beating Tyler Conklin and then Mann on his way to the end zone.

The punt return continued Bill Belichick’s mastery over the Jets and dropped Gang Green to 6-4 this season. The Patriots are also 6-4. The Jets had a chance to grab first place in the division but instead ended the day in last place.

Zach Wilson and the Jets’ offense had another rough outing in a loss to the Patriots on Sunday.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

The Jets’ offense was putrid all day. They could not get anything going on the ground and Wilson struggled to complete passes. He went 0-for-3 in the first quarter, a quarter in which the Jets punted twice and had just one first down. Wilson finished the day 9 of 22 for 77 yards.

As bad as the offense was, their defense kept them in the game all day. They sacked Mac Jones six times, starting the game off with a sack by John Franklin-Myers and Quincy Williams and continued to put the pressure on all day. New England lost two of its starting offensive linemen early in the game, which didn’t help. Center David Andrews (thigh) and tackle Isaiah Wynn (foot) both exited. That allowed the defensive line to tee off on Jones.

The defense held the Patriots on the few times they did threaten to score. The Patriots made it to the Jets’ 6, 26, 25 and 36 and only came away with a field goal. The Jets consistently pushed New England back in those situations and Belichick made two curious fourth-down decisions. He kicked a field goal on fourth-and-1 at the Jets 6 at the beginning of the second quarter. Nick Folk made the 24-yard-field goal but it seems like the Patriots could have tried to convert and go for the touchdown.

Late in the third quarter, the Patriots had a fourth-and-3 at the Jets’ 36 with a chance to pin the Jets deep in their own territory by punting. Instead, they went for it and Rhamondre Stevenson was stopped for no gain. But the Jets could not do anything with the ball when they got it, though, so Belichick did not pay a price.

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