After taking a 16-10 lead into the locker rooms for halftime, the Patriots were forced to start the third quarter on defense.
A beautifully orchestrated opening drive would position the Jets inside of the Patriots 5-yard-line. However, a tremendous effort to break up a Mark Sanchez pass intended for Chaz Schilens in the endzone made by cornerback Ras-I Dowling would force the Jets into a field goal attempt from Nick Folk. The kick would split the uprights, cutting the New England lead in half, to 16-13.
Tom Brady would then lead his offense down the field and into the red-zone on a drive displaying a great balance of run and pass. On third down and goal from the 2-yard-line, number 12 would find a wide open Rob Gronkowski for his second touchdown of the afternoon. The drive by the Patriots lasted nearly half the quarter and featured a whopping total of 15 plays ran from scrimmage.
When the quarter came to a close, the Patriots had a 23-13 lead and possession of the ball right around the 50-yard-line.