It takes a mix of talent and luck to get a win over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. This week in New York Jets history, we take a look back to a fairly recent matchup from October 20, 2013 where the Jets got a hearty helping of both.
Going into the game, the Jets were 3-3 and led under center by first year QB Geno Smith, and aided in the running game by summer signing Chris Ivory. Smith, despite his strong play in wins over Tampa Bay and Atlanta, had lost two of the Jets last three and vacillated between "Good Geno" and "Bad Geno" on a weekly basis.
With the Jets labeled underdogs at home against the 5-1 New England Patriots, Good Geno would be needed if the Jets had any chance of winning.
Smith proved up to the task early as he led the Jets on an 80-yard drive culminating in a TD pass to Jeremy Kerley to open things up. But in typical Tom Brady fashion, the Patriots QB answered back immediately with an 80-yard drive of his own that ended with a Brandon Bolden TD run.
Tied 7-7 in the first quarter, Smith led the Jets down the field once again and got them all the way to the Patriots 20. Unfortunately, Bad Geno showed up out of nowhere and tossed the ball right to Patriots DB Logan Ryan, who intercepted a pass to David Nelson and brought it back 79 yards for a Patriots INT-TD.
The Geno Smith-Jeremy Kerley connection proved strong in the game though. On the ensuing drive, Smith found Kerley twice for 32 yards and led the Jets to a Nick Folk FG to make the score 14-10 Patriots early in the second quarter.
The Patriots were forced to punt on their next drive, as were the Jets after a 3-and-out. Punter Ryan Quigley, backed up deep, had one of the many bad punts of his Jets tenure go a mere 37 yards and set up the Patriots at the Jets 28. A handful of plays later, the Patriots were in the end zone thanks to a 17-yard Stevan Ridley run.
The Jets and Patriots would exchange punts through the end of the second quarter and went into the half with the Patriots leading 21-10.
There were many games during the Rex Ryan years where a 11-point deficit may just as well have been a 31-point deficit - but not today.
On the second play of the 3rd quarter, Safety Antonio Allen picked off a Tom Brady pass to Rob Gronkowski and ran it back 23 yards for a TD to make the score 21-17 Patriots and bring the Jets right back into the game. That INT-TD is still the most recent non-offensive TD scored by any Jets player.
Several drives later, the Jets were able to secure superb field position at their own 48. Thanks to a deep pass to David Nelson, Smith brought the Jets into the red zone and gave the lead back to the Jets with an 8-yard TD run to regain the lead and erase the 11-point deficit.
On the Jets next drive - set up at the Patriots' 38-yard line thanks to a big return from PR Josh Cribbs, Nick Folk converted a 37-yard FG to make the score 27-21 Jets.
The Patriots answered with a long drive on their next possession, ending with a Stephen Gostkowski FG early in the 4th quarter. The Jets proved unable to get past their own 50 yard line for the rest of the quarter and with 2:10 left, Brady led the Patriots from their own 8-yard line all the way to the Jets 26 for another Gostkowski FG with 0:19 seconds left.
The Jets kneeled the ball and took it to OT tied 27-27.
After winning the coin toss, the Patriots took the ball and tried to drive, but could only make it to the 38 before three straight incomplete passes by Brady.
Chris Ivory, who had carried the ball 25 times already, was fed the ball nine times on the drive as the Jets went from their 20 all the way to the Patriots 38.
Nick Folk tried a 56-yard FG, but was off the mark. However, a curious yellow flag had been thrown by the referees.
Apparently, Patriots defender Chris Jones - who had sacked Geno Smith twice in the game - was penalized for unnecessary roughness as a result of apparently pushing one of his teammates forward into a Jets blocker.
The Jets were spotted 15 free yards but went three-and-out, losing a yard in the process. But Nick Folk redeemed himself for his earlier mistake and converted the 42-yard FG to seal the win for the Jets.
After the game, former Jets ST coach Mike Westhoff revealed that the penalty was a newly-implemented one he had been begging the NFL to introduce for for years due to the frequent injuries moves like Jones' caused to offensive linemen.
Looking back at the film, the penalty itself was still a bit iffy, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a Jets fan willing to apologize to the Patriots for "lucky calls."