It was fight to the finish between the New York Jets and New England Patriots today, and a result that changed much in the eyes of the AFC Playoffs.

New York Jets 26 (9-5)
New England Patriots 20 (12-2)
NFL, Final Game Box Score
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

By Robby Sabo

The play and flow of the game didn’t jive with the actual score the entire afternoon. While the New York Jets could stake a claim to the better of the play – and the domination on at the line of scrimmage on both sides – Tom Brady and the New England Patriots kept lurking.

This is always a dangerous proposition with No. 12 taking part in the contest.

RELATED: Fitz To Marshall Goes Twice Against Pats (Video)


But much like a team who’s coming together at just the right time, Todd Bowles’s Jets overcame anything Bill Belichick and the great Brady threw at them today. New York escaped thanks to an Eric Decker six-yard TD pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick in overtime in defeating the Pats 26-20.

To add the sweetest icing on top of the AFC Playoffs cake, the Pittsburgh Steelers fell to the Baltimore Ravens 20-17, meaning the Jets now control their own destiny in the No. 6 hole as it relates to the tournament.

A win next week against Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets will be playoff bound.

Today’s contest started out in favor of green. Fitzpatrick looked to be on point with his decision making and the offensive line was dominant on the ground. He connected with Brandon Marshall not once, but twice for touchdowns in the first half:

The punishing Chris Ivory was banged up in the first half, paving the way for Bilal Powell to once again impress. Powell collected 56 yards on the ground and another 34 through the air. His burst and energy did much for New York’s offense all afternoon.

Darrelle Revis showed up, picking off his former teammate Brady in the second quarter:

Speaking of defense, the front four led by Muhammad Wilkerson were pressuring Brady all afternoon. Bowles relied on the conventional four-man rush and all of his stellar d-lineman came through with flying colors.

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Still, through all the great play, Brady converted time and again while marching his offense on a game-tying, crunch-time touchdown to send this one into overtime. A critical fourth-down conversion to Rob Gronkowski kept it alive.

Overtime started with a head-sratcher. The Pats won the toss and actually elected to kickoff, by accident. Special-teamer Matthew Slater made the bone-headed call.

From there, Fitz and the offense made sure Brady never saw the ball again. He marched them on a five-play 80 yard TD drive highlighted by a Quincy Enunwa run-after-catch of 48 yards.

Attention now shifts to Rex Ryan and the Bills. Should the Jets capture victory in Orchard Park next Sunday, they’ll be in the tournament.

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