Final, Patriots 17-16: Welp, it wasn’t pretty, but the Patriots did it. They bled out the clock and beat the Jets by one point.
The Patriots hold on to the No. 1 AFC playoff seed, and if the Denver Broncos lose to the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night, New England will clinch home-field advantage throughout the postseason. The Patriots will have a first-round bye in the playoffs after this win.
Fourth quarter, 5:16, Patriots 17-16: The interception didn’t hurt the Patriots. Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork jumped up and blocked Nick Folk’s field-goal attempt, and the Patriots have the ball at their own 42-yard line with a little over five minutes to waste.
Fourth quarter, 7:18, Patriots 17-16: After being penalized for having just six men on the line, Tom Brady threw an ill-advised pass and was picked off. The Jets have the ball at the Patriots’ 30.
Fourth quarter, 7:53, Patriots 17-16: The Jets bled a ton of clock down as they settled for a field goal. Sealver Siliga recorded a key sack on second down, and some strong pass defense by Tavon Wilson and Duron Harmon on third down forced an incompletion. Cornerback Brandon Browner made some nice plays in coverage on Eric Decker.
Fourth quarter, 13:51, Patriots 17-13: The Patriots took the lead on a Jonas Gray run from 1 yard out. The touchdown is under further review.
Update: Ruling on the field stands. Touchdown, and the extra point is good.
End of the third quarter, Jets 13-10: The Patriots are driving as the third quarter wraps up. The Patriots have the ball at the Jets’ 1-yard line.
Third quarter, 0:32, Jets 13-10: Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones might have just combined for a game-changing defensive play. Jones pressured Geno Smith, and Collins jumped up to pick off the ball. The Patriots have the ball in Jets territory and need a touchdown here.
Third quarter, 1:55, Jets 13-10: The Patriots drove down to the goal line but couldn’t quite finish as Tom Brady threw incomplete to Shane Vereen while being pressured. The Patriots’ offensive line has been rough today, and a lack of depth at wide receiver isn’t helping.
The Patriots settled for a field goal, and the Patriots trail by three points.
Third quarter, 6:39, Jets 13-7: The Patriots’ defense was able to make a huge stop inside the red zone, forcing a Jets field goal.
With the way the Patriots’ offense is playing, a touchdown almost could have sealed this game.
Third quarter, 12:53, Jets 10-7: The second half didn’t exactly start as the Patriots might have hoped. The Patriots only gained on first down, and Rob Gronkowski was flagged for offensive pass interference on third down.
On Ryan Allen’s punt, cornerback Malcolm Butler was penalized for fair-catch interference. The Jets now have the ball on their own 29-yard line.
The Patriots mixed up their offensive line to open the half, too. Cameron Fleming came in at right guard and Ryan Wendell moved to left guard. Fleming was steamrolled on third down, and he was lucky that he wasn’t flagged after dragging his defender down with him.
End of the first half, Jets 10-7: Tom Brady took his fourth sack of the game and kneeled on the ball to close out the half. This hasn’t been pretty, but the Patriots could come out as a different team after the half, as they’ve been prone to do this season.
Second quarter, 0:52, Jets 10-7: The Jets take the lead with the first half winding down. They had to settle for a field goal after failing to convert on third-and-7. Running back Bilal Powell was only able to pick up a 3-yard gain on a carry.
Second quarter, 4:53, 7-7: The Patriots looked like they were in a hurry to get back to their toasty bench. They went three-and-out again as the Jets’ front seven continues to put pressure on Tom Brady.
Second quarter, 5:59, 7-7: We have a tie game here in New Jersey.
The Jets drove down the field and scored on a 20-yard touchdown catch by tight end Jeff Cumberland, who beat Patrick Chung. The Patriots safety played run, and Cumberland was able to run right by him.
Second quarter, 8:31, Patriots 7-0: Jets star center Nick Mangold was carted off the field after suffering a leg injury. Vince Wilfork and the Patriots’ defense showed Mangold respect as he was being helped to the cart.
Second quarter, 12:10, Patriots 7-0: The Patriots finally are on the board.
The Patriots had terrific field position after a 39-yard punt return by Danny Amendola. The Patriots picked up first downs on receptions by Amendola and Shane Vereen before an illegal hands to the face penalty on the Jets put them inside the red zone. Brady hit Rob Gronkowski from 3 yards out for the score.
End of the first quarter, 0-0: The Jets’ fourth drive will end with — surprise, surprise — another punt.
The boo birds are coming out early here at MetLife Stadium. They booed Darrelle Revis when he made an open-field tackle, and they booed the inept Jets’ offense as they came off the field.
First quarter, 1:38, 0-0: The Patriots finally picked up three first downs, but they still had to punt after Tom Brady was sacked for the third time in the quarter. The Patriots ran play action on third-and-14, and the Jets didn’t even think about biting on the fake.
After a poor punt and a good roll, the Jets have the ball on their own 10-yard line.
First quarter, 6:18, 0-0: I don’t think high school offensive coordinators will be showing this first quarter to their young players.
Another drive, another three-and-out. Solid play from Sealver Siliga, Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins on defense.
First quarter, 8:11, 0-0: Jets fans were the only ones getting a slow start this afternoon. The Patriots’ offense just went three-and-out again after Rob Gronkowski dropped his third-down target.
Not a whole lot of offense so far today.
First quarter, 9:57, 0-0: The Jets managed one first down on their second offensive drive on a long run by Chris Ivory. The Patriots are keying in on stopping the run by using heavy sets on their defensive line. On third down, the Patriots brought on two safeties rather than a third cornerback.
The Patriots’ defensive line from left to right on that play was Rob Ninkovich, Chandler Jones, Akeem Ayers and Dont’a Hightower.
First quarter, 11:00, 0-0: The Jets went three-and-out to start the game. Alan Branch got the start at left defensive end, with Rob Ninkovich at linebacker. Darrelle Revis lined up across from Jets receiver Jeremy Kerley.
The Patriots also went three-and-out to start the game after two completions for 7 yards to Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady was sacked on third down.
Danny Amendola and Brandon LaFell started at receiver. Jonas Gray got the start at running back.
First quarter, 15:00: Vince Wilfork, Devin McCourty and Matthew Slater are the Patriots’ lone captains with Dan Connolly out. Former Patriots TE Zach Sudfeld was among the Jets’ captains out for the coin toss.
The Patriots called tails, won the toss and chose to defer. The Jets will receive to open the game.
First quarter, 15:00: There aren’t many fans at MetLife Stadium right now. It doesn’t feel like a Week 16 NFL game is about to start.
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12:30 p.m.: Based on pregame warmups, Josh Kline is starting at left guard in place of Dan Connolly for New England. Marcus Cannon and Cameron Fleming are the reserve offensive linemen.
12:23 p.m.: It will be interesting to see how Darrelle Revis is received by Jets fans. It should be positive, but who knows? He was traded and reportedly wanted to return to the Jets this offseason before signing with the Patriots. He’s a Jets legend, and it wasn’t his decision to leave.
11:37 a.m.: Alonzo Dennard’s deactivation is a big surprise. With Kyle Arrington out, it was assumed that Dennard at least would play. Apparently he really has fallen out of favor with the Patriots. He actually began the season as a starter.
Fleming is back after hurting his ankle in Week 11 against the Indianapolis Colts. With Dan Connolly out, Josh Kline should start at left guard, but we’ll keep an eye on the offensive line during pregame warmups.
11:30 a.m.: Patriots starting left guard Dan Connolly won’t suit up this afternoon. The veteran offensive lineman is among the Patriots’ inactives with ankle, knee and neck injuries.
Here are all the Patriots’ inactives:
Guard Dan Connolly
CB Alfonzo Dennard
RB James White
OL Jordan Devey
WR Julian Edelman
RB LeGarrette Blount
CB Kyle Arrington
11:20 a.m.: Tight end Steve Maneri could be set to make his Patriots debut this afternoon. Signed Wednesday, Maneri would start his third tenure with the team, and he never has played in a regular-season game.
Offensive tackle Cameron Fleming could return from an ankle injury. He was wearing cleats while working out with a group of Patriots.
10:40 a.m.: The New England Patriots will be without their leading receiver Sunday when they battle the 3-11 New York Jets.
Julian Edelman didn’t make the trip to New York and was ruled out Saturday night, along with running back LeGarrette Blount and cornerback Kyle Arrington.
Edelman has played 80.7 percent of the Patriots’ offensive snaps, and he has caught 92 passes for 972 yards with four touchdowns. That’s a lot of production to replace.
Danny Amendola has served as the Patriots’ No. 3 receiver, so his role likely will increase the most. He has played on just 20.1 percent of the Patriots’ offensive snaps over the last four weeks, catching four passes for 18 yards.
Tim Wright also should see his role increase. As the Patriots’ No. 2 tight end, Wright has played in 51.2 percent of the Patriots’ snaps and should effectively take over Amendola’s old reps.
Brian Tyms, who has seen just 20 snaps over the last four weeks, should see more time as an outside receiver. Tyms mostly has run fly routes for the Patriots. It will be interesting to see him take on more responsibility.
Finally, the Patriots’ rushing attack should see more work. Jonas Gray and Brandon Bolden will take over Blount’s role, and Shane Vereen likely will get more work in the run and pass game.
Edelman usually is the first player on the field for the Patriots. With Edelman at home in Foxboro, quarterback Tom Brady was the first on the game field. Left tackle Nate Solder was the second player on the field at MetLife Stadium.
Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports