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HomeSportsJets-Patriots was devoid of enjoyable till Marcus Jones’ gorgeous punt return TD

Jets-Patriots was devoid of enjoyable till Marcus Jones’ gorgeous punt return TD


It regarded like extra time was sooner or later.

However then rookie punt returner Marcus Jones despatched everybody house completely happy.

After virtually sixty minutes of putrid offensive play — or stellar defensive play relying in your perspective — the New England Patriots rookie shocked the New York Jets, and the NFL world, with an 83-yard punt return for a landing. The return broke a 3-3 tie, and gave the Patriots a 10-3 lead with simply 5 second remaining.

Maybe probably the most crucial facet of the play? The wind. On a gusty and blustery afternoon at Gillette Stadium, the Jets have been pressured to punt into the wind on the sport’s greatest play. The punt was a line drive off the foot of Braden Mann, giving Jones an opportunity at a giant return.

He delivered:

As you possibly can see from this picture, when Jones pulls within the punt, he had loads of room to work with, and he made the many of the alternative:

Jones picked up two crucial blocks on the play, first from reserve security Brenden Schooler (#41) after which from backup large receiver Raleigh Webb (#44), and the returner lower upfield behind these two blocks and into open area. From there he had simply the punter to beat, and with the sport on the road, Jones was to not be denied.

Landing, New England. Bedlam in Foxborough.

The NFL shared this unimaginable field-level view of the return:

However for nearly sixty minutes, it appeared like a landing — of any form — was an not possible ask on today.

Within the 1994 comedy “PCU,” there’s a scene the place the character Gutter, portrayed by Jon Favreau, has a drug-fueled imaginative and prescient of his future, the place he’s testifying earlier than Congress in a affirmation listening to. Within the imaginative and prescient, Gutter testifies “I knew it was going to be dangerous. I didn’t know it will be this dangerous.”

It was laborious not to consider that scene whereas watching Sunday’s sport between the New York Jets and the New England Patriots.

We knew it was going to be a defensive battle nicely earlier than kickoff. In any case, these are two of the elite cross defenses within the league, with the power to strain the passer persistently, going through off with two younger quarterbacks who’ve crumpled within the face of strain this season.

Add in some blustery situations, and you’ve got the recipe for a tricky day for the offenses.

In some way it was worse.

The 2 AFC East rivals mixed for what was a near-historic show of offensive ineptitude. Within the first half, the 2 groups mixed for six factors, and 6 punts, as neither offense might get something occurring that aspect of the soccer.

New England had an opportunity to take a 6-3 lead earlier than halftime, however Nick People’s 44-yard area purpose received caught within the wind and careened off the crossbar, conserving the rating tied at three.

The Patriots put collectively an honest driver to open the second half, however as soon as extra the drive stalled, and Invoice Belichick despatched his kicker out to attempt one other area purpose, this time from 43-yards out. The kick, despatched in the identical route as his earlier miss, was large to the left, and the rating remained tied.

Whereas the Patriots offense was struggling, their counterparts have been even worse. Quarterback Zach Wilson couldn’t get something going within the passing sport, and he completed the afternoon having accomplished fewer passes (9) than Mann had punts (ten).

An enormous cause for his struggles? A relentless cross rush from the Patriots. New England received to Wilson for 4 sacks on the afternoon, with Matthew Judon accounting for 1.5 of these. Judon received to Wilson on the primary play of the fourth quarter, setting a brand new career-high with 13.5 sacks on the season.

And forcing one other Jets punt:

Within the second half, the Jets had seven offensive possessions. They’d go three-and-out on the primary 5 of these and achieve simply three whole yards on their sixth offensive possession of the second half, because it was Deatrich Clever’s flip to get to Wilson for a third-down sack:

The sack got here after the Jets had managed to select up their first first down of the second half.

New York’s remaining offensive possession of the sport? Nicely, that ended with a punt.

One which Jones returned for the game-winning landing.

How pivotal was Jones’ return. On the micro stage, it triggered the largest swing in win chance on a punt return within the Subsequent Gen Stats Period:

However contemplate the macro stage. This sport was virtually a playoff sport, notably for New England. In line with FiveThirtyEight, previous to kickoff, the Patriots had a 39% likelihood of creating the playoffs. These odds would bounce to 53% with a win over the Jets, whereas a loss to New York would see their probabilities on the playoffs drop to 18%.

Conversely, the Jets entered Week 11 with a 59% likelihood of qualifying for the postseason. Beat the Patriots, and people odds skyrocket to 83%, and their odds of successful the division enhance from 10%, to 18%.

With the loss, nonetheless, the Jets’ playoff odds dropped to 44%.

Greater than the rest, the loss may spark off renewed debate over Wilson in New York. As a result of misplaced on this sport may be the efficiency from the Jets’ protection, which sacked Mac Jones six instances and held the Patriots’ dashing assault to below 100 yards. If you put up these sorts of defensive numbers, maintain the opposing offense to simply three factors, drive them to punt seven instances, and even get a fourth-down cease, you are inclined to win the soccer sport.

However that isn’t what occurred at the moment.

As a substitute, the Patriots earned their 14th-straight win over their division rivals, and put a dent of their playoff hopes.

And certain sparked one other debate concerning the quarterback place within the Massive Apple.

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