New York Jets fans already had a mountain of reasons to despise the Patriots. On Sunday, those reasons grew immeasurably.
Despite a stark difference in talent, it was an overturned touchdown that eventually did the New York Jets in on Sunday. If NFL fans already had their doubts about the Patriots ability to get all the calls when they need them, this game certainly didn’t help.
Jets Offense Gets Going, Picked Up Flag Swings Momentum
Watching the Jets over the years has given many fans gray hairs. Sunday’s loss should add to those because it was so typical of how Jets games usually work out in the end.
It was a day where the Jets offense started off great, taking a 14-0 lead and looking like they just might be able to overcome the huge edge the Patriots had in talent.
However, the referees converged and picked up the flag. What should have been a first down wound up being a fourth-down punt, as the Patriots then stopped the Jets on third down to get the ball back.
On the Patriots next drive, Tom Brady lobbed a pass near the goal line for tight end Rob Gronkowski who was brilliantly covered by Jets rookie safety Jamal Adams. Contact definitely ensued, but it looked more like Gronkowski initiating the contact when his hand brushed across Adams’ facemask.
But the referees didn’t see it that way, setting up the Patriots at the Jets goal line with a pass interference call. One play later the Patriots cut the Jets lead to seven and the momentum had clearly turned.
Jets Have Chance To Get Back Into Game Overturned
Starting with the picked up flag on McCourty, the Patriots scored 24 unanswered points to take a 24-14 lead. What happened next, however, made the picked up flag seem like child’s play.
On second-and-goal at the Patriots four-yard line, it looked like McCown had connected with TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins for their second touchdown of the game. Seferian-Jenkins lost control of the ball for a split-second while diving for the end zone, but it clearly looked like he had re-established control of the ball before hitting the pylon.
The referees called the play a TD on the field but, as with all scoring plays, was under video review. Worst case: Seferian-Jenkins being ruled down at the half-yard line. But these are the Jets we’re talking about, and Jets fans have gotten used to expecting the worst outcome at the worst times and having absolutely nothing the team can do about it. That’s exactly what occurred.
Upon review, the replay officials ruled Seferian-Jenkins lost control of the ball and fumbled into the end zone, not only taking away the TD but giving the ball back to New England.
As the stadium groaned in shock, Seferian-Jenkins ran onto the field in disbelief to question the officials. However, his complaints did not matter. Neither did the moans of agony coming from the devastated home fans.
If Jets fans didn’t have enough to sit around and whine about, this just gives them another reason to expect that seeing their team achieve the success the Patriots and Brady have—which, by the way, the Jets and Mo Lewis had a direct hand in creating—will never happen.
In the end, the Jets fought back valiantly, stopping the Patriots on consecutive three-and-outs, but when McCown’s pass on fourth-and-16 with 20 seconds left to play landed incomplete, the Patriots and Brady had yet another gut-wrenching victory in their building.
Brady is now 24-6 against the Jets as a starter, including a 12-4 record in East Rutherford. He ‘s thrown for 26 TDs in those meetings.
Keep Your Heads Up
The only thing the Jets can do is take the loss and learn from it. Despite the unbelievably bad call, the Jets didn’t do themselves any favors getting stopped on third or fourth down and less than two yards four times. They didn’t sack Brady once. Yes, the overturned TD was heart-breaking, but this young roster needs to learn from it and continue to build on the success they’ve had this season.
Most experts would have never given the Jets a 3-3 record after six games. It’s also important to remember that, despite the missed opportunity, this season is about more than wins and losses. It’s about developing the young players general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles drafted to build around.
Hopefully, that will continue and with another draft coming in April, the Jets can get back to contending far earlier than anyone thought possible.