Then came the fourth quarter, and the potential embarrassment turned into a great relief.
Nick Folk threw a 51-yard basket as time ran out to win it 30-27 Monday night after Newton rallied the Patriots from a 10-point deficit to avoid the franchise’s first five-game skid since 1995 .
“It shows the character of this team,” said Rex Burkhead, who had a 1 yard touchdown in the third quarter. “Just fight, fight. It shows the strength we have. We are not going to stop. We are not going to sleep.
Newton had two touchdowns, the second tying 27 with 1:57 to go. He also brushed off his struggles of the past few weeks, including a fumble against Buffalo last week that sealed a loss.
“I’m tired of sucking,” said Newton, who finished 27 of 35 for 274 passing yards. ” It’s simple. As a competitor, you know what your standard is. Taking pride in your work is what it comes down to. ”
After the Jets (0-9) broke up for the first time on the night, the Patriots (3-5) recovered the ball with 47 seconds left and got to work.
Newton had a 5-yard run on the third and a 1 for New England 42 and then spiked the ball 8 seconds from time. He followed with a 20-yard pass to Jakobi Meyers to put Folk – who had several big kicks for the 2010-16 Jets – in position for the winning basket.
“I had a lot of great memories here at MetLife (Stadium),” said Folk, who had suffered from a back injury. “I just added one to the other sideline tonight. ”
Meanwhile, the Jets fell to 0-9 for the first time in franchise history, and this one was particularly nerve-racking.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” said wide receiver Jamison Crowder, whose 20-yard TD ball just before halftime gave the Jets a 20-10 lead. “It was a tough loss there. It was a game we should have won.
After Folk’s 29-yarder with 6:04 left reduced the Patriots’ deficit to 27-20, quarterback Joe Flacco – having a good night so far as he left for an injured Sam Darnold – attempted to put the game aside.
Instead, he swayed the momentum in favor of New England.
Flacco’s deep pass in the middle for Denzel Mims was repelled by JC Jackson. This set up Newton’s TD – and deflated the Jets, who couldn’t recover.
“I don’t think I would have made a different decision just yet,” Flacco said. “But, of course, I would like to have this one. ”
Flacco was 18 of 25 for 262 yards and three touchdowns – two to Breshad Perriman and one to Crowder – but had a game-changing interception.
With the Patriots down 10, Newton paraded them onto the field to open the second half, closing a 14-game practice with Burkhead’s 1-yard dive into the end zone to make it 20-17.
But the Jets responded right back, Flacco finding a Perriman wide open in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown and a 27-17 lead with 30 seconds left in the third quarter.
A Jets error on special teams kept the Patriots’ upcoming practice alive.
After Newton fell third and 1 and was stopped for a 4-yard loss, New England looked like they had to settle for a 32-yard field goal. But the Jets were called for 12 men from the field – resulting in a first down for the Patriots. The defense made up for the mistake by securing a save in the red zone – with an assist from a penalty kick over New England right tackle Mike Onwenu – and holding the Patriots to the basket to bring the score to 27-20 with 6:04 to play.
But New England got the ball back as soon as Flacco was taken away by Jackson, who was intercepted in four straight games.
As the Jets looked for a stoppage in third place, Bless Austin was called up for a defensive outfit, keeping the player alive.
Damien Harris ran for 21 yards to bring New England into Jets territory. He followed with a 9-yard gain, but was called up due to an offensive detention penalty on Meyers. Harris also took a big hit on the run and was on the ground for several minutes before carefully walking towards the sideline.
Three plays later, Newton completed a 19-yard pass to Meyers, then ran 3 yards in the fourth and 1. Newton hit Damiere Byrd for 31 yards to put the ball to 3.
With a tiring imposed defense from the Jets, Newton ran for 2 yards on the first down, was stopped without a gain, then made his way into the end zone for his second running TD of the game to tie with 1: 57 to play.
“It was a good win,” said coach Bill Belichick. “I thought we made the plays we had to make at the end of the game. There are certainly things we can improve. But we played some good complementary football at the end of the game.
JOE PASSES JOE
Flacco passed professional Football Hall of Fame Joe Montana (40,551) for 20th on the NFL’s career passing yardage list on his first TD pass to Perriman, a 50-yard second quarterback that put the Jets ahead 13-7. Flacco threw for 40,726 yards.
Meyers had 12 catches for a career-high 169 yards, joining Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman as the only Patriots players with 150 or more yards to receive in a game in the past five seasons.
Patriots: LT Isaiah Wynn left briefly in the first period with an ankle injury, but returned.
Jets: Rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton left in the first half with a chest injury, but coach Adam Gase was unsure if it was a torn pectoral. Cornerback Brian Poole was also sent off at halftime after injuring his knee in the second quarter.
Patriots: Host the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday night.
Jets: Bye week. New York is at the Los Angeles Chargers on November 22.