Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn’t always accurate, but the Jets quarterback came through when it counted. He was 26 of 41 for 296 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and 109.4 passer rating. He also tied Vinny Testaverde’s club record of 29 TD passes. Eric Decker sealed the overtime win with a 6-yard TD catch. Brandon Marshall (eight catches, 115 yards, two TDs) set a new franchise record for single-season receptions (101), a new career-high in TDs (13) and became the first NFL player with six 100-catch seasons. Running back Bilal Powell (56 yards on seven carries, plus five catches for 34 yard) again was a huge contributor, as was Quincy Enunwa (48-yard completion in OT) and ex-Patriot Kenbrell Thompkins, who had two 12-yard completions on the Jets’ first touchdown drive.
Darrelle Revis picked off Tom Brady for his fifth interception of the season and Sheldon Richardson and Lorenzo Mauldin each sacked the Pats QB for a loss of five yards. The Jets dominated the Patriots offense for much of the game, limiting Brady to 231 total passing yards and one touchdown and tight end Rob Gronkowski to four catches for 86 yards an no TDs. The unit also kept New England (which produced just 284 total yards of offense and was 1-for-10 on third down) out of the end zone until the 1:55 left in the fourth quarter. Over their five-game win streak, the Jets have limited opponents to a 21.5 percent third-down conversion rate, the lowest in the NFL during that stretch.
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Randy Bullock connected on a 30-yard field goal in the first quarter and nailed a 49-yarder in the fourth to make it 20-13. But the Jets are still waiting for another explosive contribution from their returners. Antonio Cromartie had a 19-yard kickoff return and Jeremy Kerley returned one punt eight yards.
With the right game plan and trust in his players, Bowles beat the best coach in the game. Most importantly, Bowles’ consistent message has the Jets believing in one another and their playoff chances. Plus, Chan Gailey’s decision to showcase Powell, Enunwa and Thompkins more on offense is paying big dividends.