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The Jets dropped to 3-8 on the season but surprisingly hung with the Patriots into the fourth quarter on Sunday afternoon at Metlife Stadium. However, they were left to rue some costly mistakes that made all the difference in the Patriots' eventual 27-13 win.
Offensively, the Jets had more success moving the ball this week, although they only managed to find the end zone once, on Jermaine Kearse's first half touchdown reception. Stand-in quarterback Josh McCown led a two-minute drill just before halftime and Jason Myers' fifth 55-yard field goal of the season sent the teams to the locker room tied at 10-10 but New England was able to pull away in the second half.
On defense, the Jets played well in stretches, but there were still far too many breakdowns in the defensive secondary, with wide open receivers being able to exploit gaps in the Jets' coverage for several big plays. Sony Michel and James White also had big days running the football, combining for over 200 yards -- the majority of which came in the second half.
All in all, it was a sloppy game, with plenty of penalties for both teams, including a season-high 11 for New England. While Jets fans won't consider this effort much of a moral victory, at least they can take solace in the fact that their rivals from New England don't look as dominant as they have in recent years.
These teams will meet again in week 17 in a game which could have a very different look to it if the Patriots are resting players for the postseason. However, as things stand, they are on the outside looking in for home-field advantage, so that game might end up being a meaningful one from their perspective. As for the Jets, their next meaningful game will be next September.
Here are some more takeaways from the Jets' disappointing loss …
• The beleaguered Todd Bowles made a confounding move in the first half when he opted to accept a third down holding penalty rather than force the Patriots to attempt a field goal. Tom Brady's touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski on the next play was New England's only touchdown of the first half. Even if that pass had fallen incomplete, they still would have been in field goal range. It's decisions like that that have Bowles' game-management under heavy scrutiny.
• With James Carpenter out, the Jets opted to move Spencer Long to left guard and put Jonotthan Harrison into the lineup as the center. The line held up quite well, with New England registering just two second-half sacks, both of which were basically due to coverage. There were some breakdowns though and they didn't run the ball enough to establish a viable ground attack.
• The Jets also shuffled their defensive secondary with backup cornerback Darryl Roberts getting the start as the deep safety. While Roberts wasn't directly responsible for any major errors, the Jets likely missed Marcus Maye, who makes a lot of the defensive calls.
• At quarterback, McCown's performance was probably the best quarterback performance by a Jet since Sam Darnold helped them beat the Colts in Week 6. McCown ended up with 276 yards and a touchdown, although he also threw an interception on a jump ball late in the first half. He also showed off some wheels on two first down scrambles.
• On offense, Chris Herndon had a career-high seven catches while Kearse and Quincy Enunwa also had their most productive games in a while. However, Robby Anderson had just two catches as he made his return from an ankle injury. The Jets need to find a way to get Anderson more involved in the offense rather than just throwing low-percentage deep balls his way from time-to-time.
• Defensively, Avery Williamson led the Jets with 11 tackles but the Patriots were dominant up front and this led to him being caught on some blocks at the second level. He was also beaten on Gronkowski's touchdown.
• Rookie defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi made his NFL debut, but when he finally saw action late in the game, the Patriots ran right up the middle for a big gain as he failed to hold up to a double team. His fellow rookie Frankie Luvu also saw plenty of action off the edge. Young players like these can get some valuable experience in these last five games.