Grades: Jets' special teams, except for Nick Folk, had a bad day
The Jets attacked the Patriots' porous pass defense from the start and Tony Sparano utilized some three-tight end sets to keep New England guessing. The result was an early 7-0 at 8:51 of the first quarter, but the advantage didn't last. Mark Sanchez looked horrible during the middle part of the game, but give the Jets quarterback credit -- when the game was on the line, he came through. Unfortunately, rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill dropped a critical pass late in the fourth quarter to stall the Jets' momentum. On a positive note, Jeremy Kerley recorded the first 100-plus, receiving-yards game of his career. He finished with seven catches for 120 yards.
The Patriots had the momentum for much of the game, but the Jets remained in it thanks to the defense. None of Tom Brady's targets had a big game -- the leaders were Rob Gronkowski with six catches for 78 yards and Wes Welker with six catches for 66 yards. But on the Patriots' final drive of the fourth quarter, the Jets' defense allowed three straight completions of 15, 12 and 20 yards en route to a 43-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski that tied it at 26.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D
The Jets would have gotten an 'F' had it not been for Nick Folk's late-game field goals that helped keep the team in it. Mike Westhoff's unit allowed Devin McCourty to rip off a 104-yard kickoff return immediately after the Jets' offense scored the first touchdown of the game. Kerley for some reason decided to fair-catch two punts within the Jets' own 10-yard line.
Westhoff's unit was embarrassing and some of Tony Sparano's play-calling (aside from the Jets' opening drive) was questionable. The Jets' use of Tim Tebow -- especially in goal-line situations -- remains puzzling. They chose not to use the backup quarterback on back-to-back plays within the Patriots' 5-yard line.