The pass was perfect. The Patriots' coverage, however, was not.
Jets receiver Stephen Hill stood near the 14-yard line, a forgotten man within New England's poor pass defense, and Mark Sanchez was determined to orchestrate a late-game comeback in Foxboro. But the upset win in enemy territory never materialized. With his team trailing by three and 2:11 left in regulation, Hill dropped Sanchez's third-down pass -- a miscue that helped set the final moments in motion of a 29-26 overtime loss.
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Hill maintained that the Jets' nationally televised rematch against New England Thursday night isn't personal. But make no mistake, the rookie is looking to redeem himself.
"I'm ready to play this game," he said. "You can say it's kind of a 'get back' in a way."
Hill's drop was just one of several "self-inflicted wounds" that derailed the Jets that night in their quest for first place in the AFC East. The special teams unit allowed Rutgers product Devin McCourty to go 104 yards on a kickoff return for a touchdown; Sanchez kicked the ball out of the end zone for a safety; and the defense allowed Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to throw three straight completions of 15, 12 and 20 yards en route to Stephen Gostkowski's regulation-tying 43-yard field goal.