The loss drops the Patriots to 6-3, only one game ahead of the now 5-4 Jets in the AFC East.
The numbers for the Patriots offense were deceiving. Tom Brady was a respectable 25 of 37 for 255 yards, a touchdown and one interception. On the ground, Corey Dillon had 98 yards on 11 carries with Laurence Maroney adding another 37 on 12 tries. But two key turnovers -- the Brady pick and a Doug Gabriel fumble deep in Jets territory -- hurt the Patriots chances.
On the other side of the ball, Chad Pennington and his offense stayed on the field converting third downs at just under 50 percent while New England was only 3 of 12. A bright note was the game put forth by Reche Caldwell who had 9 catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.
The first quarter ended with Tom Brady being sacked for an 8 yard loss on third down but the good news was that it happened on the Jets 14 yard line and resulted in a Stephen Gostkowski 31-yard field goal to put the Patriots up 3-0 to start the second quarter.
Both teams were unable to score during a wet first 15 minutes. New England's scoring drive to end the frame was a result of pounding the ball with Corey Dillon breaking free for a 50-yard romp to the Jets 23. In all, New England ran for 77 yards on the drive.
Artrell Hawkins gave the Patriots a prime opportunity to open the game up when he intercepted Pennington on the Jets next drive. On first down, Pennington overthrew Laveranues Coles and Hawkins, playing over the top, was in perfect position to make the catch.
New England took over and after a 10 yard pick-up by Caldwell, Brady hit Doug Gabriel down the left sideline and the big receiver broke free for 22 yards. On the end of his run, however, he had the ball knocked free. Kerry Rhodes of the Jets recovered and New York made New England pay for the turnover.
Pennington proceeded to put together a huge, 16-play, 81-yard drive that ended in a Kevan Barlow touchdown from 2 yards out. The drive lasted 9:12 and somewhat exposed the Patriots run defense with Ty Warren out of the lineup and with Barlow running the ball nine times en route to the score.
Down 7-3, New England had the ball at the two-minute warning and was on the good end of a big break made possible by the refs. On first and 20 from the Jets 46, Brady threw under pressure and the floating ball was picked off by Drew Coleman. The break came because just as Brady released, he was planted in the ground by Victor Hobson. Hobson was called for an unnecessary tackle. Replay showed there was no way for Hobson to even know the ball was released, much less let up on Brady, but that's today's NFL and New England benefited. New England continued on offense, first and 10 on the Jets 31 after the 15-yard walk-off.
Eventually, the half ended with Gostkowski hitting a 21-yard field goal to pull his team within a point at 7-6 to end the half. Jabar Gaffney contributed to the scoring drive with catches of 19 and 13 yards.
The Jets put together another long drive, this one 15 plays, but only netted 45 yards, settling for a 34-yard Mike Nugent field goal late in the third quarter. A false start penalty on Brandon Moore hurt the Jets chances when they were second and goal at the Patriots 3. That was followed by a 7-yard Rosevelt Colvin sack to stall the drive. At this point in the game, the Jets offense was successfully mixing pass and run with the Patriots defense looking winded.
Still, keeping New York out of the end zone kept the Patriots a touchdown away from taking the lead.
That bid looked promising on the Patriots next series that started late in the third quarter and extended into the fourth. Brady got his team to the Jets 31 after converting a fourth and 3 with a 6-yard pass to Ben Watson. But loose turf and a relentless Jets rush accounted for two straight sacks and New England had to punt on fourth and 23 from the 44. On both sacks, Brady tried to avoid pressure but slipped with huge chunks of turf kicking up beneath his cleats.
The New England defense forced the Jets into punting just short of midfield but Brady's problems were about to continue. After getting the ball back and on second and 8 from his own 35, he threw well behind Watson and right into the hands of Coleman. Four plays later, Pennington put the ball up from 22 yards out and Jerricho Cotchery came down with it over Ellis Hobbs. The Jets now had a 17-6 lead with 4:46 left to play.
Thirty-two seconds later, the Patriots were within a field goal. Maroney took the ensuing kickoff to the 39 where Brady, first and 10, hit Gaffney for 33 yards to the Jets 28. Troy Brown caught the next pass for 13 yards to the 15. After an incomplete, Brady hit Caldwell on a tipped pass and Caldwell broke a tackle on the way to the end zone for the score.
Down by five, New England went for two. Brady hit Caldwell for the conversion to make the game a field goal spread with just over four minutes left.
By the two minute warning, the Jets were third and 11 at the Patriots 41. New England had used all its timeouts and its only chance was to force the Jets into punting on the next play.
The Jets went with the odds and ran Barlow up the middle for 2 yards and then proceeded to let the clock tick. By the time Jets punter Ben Graham kicked, there was only 1:15 left to play. He angled the ball and Brown fair catched it at the 12-yard line.
After throwing incomplete to Watson, Brady hit Kevin Faulk for 14 yards to the 25. He then went back to Watson for 10 yards and then Caldwell for 19 to the Jets 46. The problem was those passes were to the middle of the field and with no timeouts, New England was powerless to stop the clock. On first and 10, Brady spiked the ball stopping the clock with nine seconds left. He dropped back on his next attempt looking for a sideline play to get in field goal range but was sacked just as he set up to throw by Shaun Ellis ending the game.