The New England Patriots held a 23-13 advantage over the New York Jets through the first three quarters of play on Sunday afternoon, but began the fourth frame with a couple of negative offensive plays, leading to another Zoltan Mesko punt.
Despite starting with the ball inside their own 10-yard-line, the Jets proceeded up-field with ease, often exposing the Patriots' struggling secondary with big gains in the passing game. A short pass from quarterback Mark Sanchez to tight end Dustin Keller would conclude this drive with New York's second touchdown of the evening.
In the midst of this drive, Jets' running back Shonn Greene was pummeled by Patriots' linebacker Brandon Spikes after catching a Sanchez pass for a minimal gain. Greene would leave the game and make an early appearance in the New York locker room.
With a three-point lead in tow and just 5:39 left on the clock, Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense was given the chance to close out an opponent and seal a New England victory. However, they were once again unable to get the job done, giving the ball back to New York after a miserable three-and-out.
The Jets would take the ball back into Patriots territory and settle for a game-tying field goal with just 2:06 left on the clock.
As if blowing a ten-point fourth quarter lead wasn't enough, the Patriots would fumble the ball on the ensuing kick-off, setting up the Jets' offense just outside the red-zone. The man who inexplicably fumbled the football? None other than oft-criticized defensive back Devin McCourty.
The Jets couldn't get into the endzone, but were able to take the lead, 26-23, on another 43-yard field goal off the foot of kicker Nick Folk.
Fortunately for the Patriots, the offense was able to work its way inside Jets' territory and set up Stephen Gostkowski for a 43-yard field goal attempt. Gostkowski's kick would split the uprights as time expired, sending the game to overtime with a 26-26 tie.
The Patriots would begin overtime with the ball after winning the opening coin toss. After their drive stalled just outside the New York 30-yard-line, the Patriots were forced to bring their kicker back on to the field. Gostkowski once again came through with a clutch kick, this time from 48-yards, to give New England a 29-26 lead.
When the Jets took over, Patriots fans everywhere looked on with tremendous nervousness and anxiety, as the game was not left in the hands of the much-maligned New England defense. However, defensive end/linebacker hybrid Rob Ninkovich would put an end to what was an excellent effort from the New York Jets, when he stripped Mark Sanchez and recovered the fumble, immediately ending the game and securing a 29-26 win for the Patriots.