EAST RUTHERFORD -- There was just no excuse Sunday.

Plenty of reasons, perhaps, but no excuse for the Patriots coughing up a 21-10 halftime lead and gagging their way to a 30-27 overtime loss to the Jets at MetLife Stadium.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

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EAST RUTHERFORD — By all accounts, Rob Gronkowski made a successful return to the playing field Sunday.

Playing for the first time since three offseason surgeries on his left forearm and a back surgery, Gronkowski caught eight passes on 17 targets from Tom Brady, gained 114 yards and even hauled in a patented 30-yard seam route that set up New England’s first touchdown.

But it was the pass he didn’t haul in that will give him nightmares.

EAST RUTHERFORD — Referee Jerome Boger explained the unsportsmanlike penalty call on Chris Jones on the 56-yard missed field goal attempt by Nick Folk that resulted in a second chance for the Jets and led to the game-winning 44-yard field goal in overtime in New York’s 30-27 win Sunday.

Jones was called for pushing teammate Will Svitek into the Jets line of scrimmage.

EAST RUTHERFORD — Nick Folk delivered a 42-yarder in overtime to help the Jets shock the Patriots 30-27 Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.

The field goal came after Folk missed a 56-yarder, but got a second chance after Patriots’ rookie Chris Jones was flagged for pushing his own player into the pile. The 15-yard penalty gave the Jets another chance they took advantage of.

After the game Patriots coach Bill Belichick said he disputed that Jones’ push came in the second-level of defenders, which would necessitate an infraction.

EAST RUTHERFORD — Here are the seven inactives for the Patriots for Sunday’s game about the Jets — a group that doesn’t include tight end Rob Gronkowski for the first time all season — and what their status means for the team:

The Patriots made it official Saturday night, announcing that Aqib Talib has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Jets with a hip injury.

The team also announced that safety Tavon Wilson has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. Receiver Danny Amendola (concussion), defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (knee) and running back Leon Washington (ankle) were ruled out on Friday. That means the Patriots will need to scratch only two more players on Sunday morning.

It appears Rob Gronkowski will indeed make his 2013 debut on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

The tight end made the trip with the team on Saturday for the first time in four road games this season, according to a report by the Boston Herald.

Gronkowski has been inactive for the first six games as he recovered from offseason back and forearm surgeries. When he does return, it will mark the first action for any Patriots receiver from 2012 that finished in the team’s top five in receptions.

Rob Gronkowski‘s agent Drew Rosenhaus indicated Friday morning that the tight end had been cleared by his doctors to return, but on their practice report Friday afternoon, the Patriots listed the tight end — who has been slowed this year after multiple back and shoulder surgeries in the offseason — as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Jets.

The Patriots announced Friday that with the move of Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo to season-ending injured reserve, defensive end Rob Ninkovich and defensive back Devin McCourty have been named to replace them as captains.

Ninkovich is in his fifth season with the Patriots, and has grown into one of the most respected players in the locker room. Earlier in the week, he spoke about the need for more players to step forward in the wake of the injuries to Wilfork and Mayo.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about news from Foxboro and around the NFL.

The Patriots are coming off a dramatic 30-27 victory over the Saints that ended with Tom Brady throwing a touchdown pass with five seconds remaining, a comeback that King called “just a tremendously fun moment in time.”