It wasn’t the prettiest victory, but Cam Newton helped rescue the Patriots’ playoff hopes with a late rally to tie the game and then take the lead, all inside the final two minutes, as New England beat the Jets 30-27 on “Monday Night Football.”
Newton completed 27 of 35 passes for 274 yards, and though he rushed for just 16 yards on 10 carries, he had two rushing touchdowns, including a third-and-goal QB sneak to make the score 27-27 with 1:57 remaining.
After the Jets went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, New England got the ball back at its 22 with 55 seconds remaining and all three timeouts. Newton made the most crucial play of the game with eight seconds on the clock, completing a 20-yard pass to Jakobi Meyers to the New York 33-yard line with three seconds to spare. The Pats used their last timeout to set up Nick Folk for his game-winning 51-yard field goal as time expired.
Meyers was Newton’s top target, hauling in a game-high 12 catches for 169 yards. He made a key play on the game-tying touchdown drive, reeling in a 19-yard catch on third-and-20 to set up a Newton sneak on fourth down.
The Patriots (3-5) dominated time of possession in the second half, with the Jets (0-9) only running four plays on offense in the entire fourth quarter. The first was a Joe Flacco pass that was intercepted by J.C. Jackson. Jackson struggled throughout the night but came up with the game’s lone turnover, which set up the tying touchdown drive.
Outside of the fourth quarter, Flacco was excellent; he finished the game with 18-of-25 passing for 262 yards and three touchdowns. He regularly beat the Patriots’ secondary deep, including a 50-yard TD to Breshad Perriman and a 20-yard scoring toss to Jamison Crowder that helped to give New York a 20-10 halftime lead. He added a 15-yard TD pass to Perriman to give the Jets a 27-17 lead with 30 seconds left in the third quarter. But the late interception and the three-and-out allowed New England to steal the game.
The Patriots moved back a little closer toward the playoff picture; they’re two games behind the Dolphins and 3.5 games behind the Bills in the AFC East. Meanwhile, the Jets further solidified their standing as the front-runner in the “Tank for Trevor Lawrence” race.
— SPORTING NEWS