In overtime, Jets kicker Nick Folk missed a 56 yard field goal with just over seven minutes remaining. It looked as if the Patriots would get the ball with excellent field position with plenty of time remaining on the clock. But a yellow flag was on the field. And the referees called one of the most questionable, and frankly outrageous calls of the year. They called rookie defensive tackle Chris Jones for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for pushing a player into the pile.
That player was Patriots tackle Will Svitek, in the game to attempt to block the field goal. The "push" initially seemed insignificant. It didn't appear that Jones or Svitek made contact with the long snapper in the Jets formation. It's something that probably should have gone uncalled, as it clearly decided the outcome of this game.
Don't get me wrong, the Patriots were outplayed in this game. The Jets were the better team. The Patriots, yet again, couldn't get anything going offensively to start the second half. They were outscored 17-0 in the third quarter, with the highlight being a Tom Brady pick-six. The pass protection broke down after a solid first half, and the Patriots just could not get anything going.
That being said, the Patriots did improve in the fourth quarter. They still couldn't finish drives, but did do enough on offense to pick up two field goals and bring the game to overtime. Quarterback Tom Brady, whose accuracy was perhaps at it's worst of the season in the second half, strung together a few good completions.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski also made his much anticipated return in this game - and the results were positive. Gronkowski played more and more as the game went on. He was a key part of the team's game-tying drive, and finished with eight receptions for 114 yards total. He also came inches away from making a one-handed game winning touchdown in the games final seconds.
We're now seven weeks into this season, and the Patriots are 5-2. And I really can't tell if that's a good 5-2 or a bad 5-2. The Patriots have been in all seven games this year up until the final minute, but could just as easily be 2-5 as they could be 7-0.
While we will continue to learn about this Patriots team in the coming weeks, one thing did become clear from today: the Patriots have serious competition in the AFC East in the New York Jets.