The Patriots needed every point they had to pull out the win against the Jets (New York doesn't go for two if the Patriots if the Patriots were up by eight). The Patriots didn't have the game tied up until the final kick was blocked, even though the team flirted with a 95+% chance of victory after Danny Amendola pulled a touchdown out of no where.
All said, the Jets only had two plays the entire game when they were considered the favorite. One with with 23 seconds left in the game, aftere Jeremy Kerley pulled in a 13 yard reception to get to the Jets 42 yard line (Patriots had 32.9% chance of victory), and the subsequent five yard gain by Chris Ivory with 14 seconds left in the game (24.6% chance of New England victory).
The Jets threw an incompletion on the following play and the Patriots shot back into the favorite position with a 50.5% chance of winning- yes, the Jets and Nick Folk were considered a coin flip away from victory.
Then Chris Jones happened and the greatest defensive play of the day happened and the most important play of the day happened.
Jones' blocked kick was worth 4.07 expected point, while the win percentage for the Patriots increased 49.4%; the eye test matches the stats test and Jones won the Patriots the game.
All said and done, Jones' blocked kick wasn't the most valuable on the day, though. It's a game of sixty minutes and a field goal at the end of the game is worth just as much as one right before the half. In fact, the blocked kick only ranks as the third most valuable play of the game.
The 49 yard touchdown pass to Shane Vereen wins the crown for the biggest play of the day, gaining a huge 5.01 points above expectation.
The 3rd and 19 touchdown throw to Danny Amendola is the second ranked play, gaining 4.51 expected points, with added value for both down and distance.
Jones block is likely the most memorable for the game, but don't confuse that with being the most valuable.
The fourth most valuable play was a 32 yard pass interference call on Antonio Allen in coverage of Danny Amendola on 3rd and 10 from the Jets 44; it gave the Patriots the ball on the Jets 12 yard line with 23 seconds prior to halftime and increased the expected points by 3.36. So when evaluating Amendola's contributions, just remember the hidden points, not just those that are posted to the scoreboard.
It's fitting that the four most valuable plays were all for the Patriots- it's a game of inches and breaks and the Patriots caught their fair share.
The worst play of the day comes on special teams where the Jets Walt Powell returned a kick off 62 yards to the Patriots 38 yard line, worth 2.85 points for the Jets. The Patriots somehow held the Jets to a field goal on this drive, even though Chris Ivory picked up gains of 5, 6, 9, and 9.
The second worst play is the Unnecessary Roughness penalty picked up by Jordan Devey. I'm a fan of sticking up for your quarterback, but this removed the Patriots from touchdown range and into field goal distance right before the half. You can expect Devey to sit until he's made up for this play- a play worth -2.55 points for the Patriots.
Amendola's added value is 9.3 points, including 2.9 on his returns. Amendola's kick returns are a much needed addition to the team and should hopefully continue moving forward.
For reference, pass attempts to Rob Gronkowski added 3.25 points in value. Julian Edelman added 2.55 points. Vereen added 3.50 points (which means he was net negative beyond the 49 yard touchdown reception).
Tom Brady added 12.69 points. Geno Smith added 6.84.