Chris Jones (94) earns congratulations from Bill Belichick after blocking a potential game-winning field goal. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Chris Jones (94) earns congratulations from Bill Belichick after blocking a potential game-winning field goal. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Revenge might be sweet but redemption for Chris Jones Thursday night could not have tasted any better.

The Patriots defensive lineman broke through the line and blocked Nick Folk’s potential game-winning field goal from 58-yards with his left hand on the final play, preserving a 27-25 Patriots’ victory at Gillette Stadium.

It came almost a year to the day that he was called for an illegal push at the line in overtime that gave the Jets and Folk a second chance. Folk, who missed from 46 yards, didn’t miss from 41 as the Jets walked out of MetLife Stadium with a 30-27 win.

Jones may not have been thinking about that at the precise moment his left hand saved the Patriots from an embarrassing home loss but he certainly was reminded about it after the game by coaches, teammates and of course, media.

“A few people have told me about it, so I’€™ve had a chance to think about it,” Jones said. “It feels good. That was last year and it’€™s just good to get a win this year. I think it really became a reality when coach [special teams assistant] Joe Judge came up and told me. I felt it then.

“Honestly it’€™s just good to get a win. Obviously it’€™s always good to beat a division rival. The Jets gave us their best and we’€™re just glad to come out with the win.”

“[I'€™m] obviously really happy for Chris at the end,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. “After what happened last year, I thought it was so fitting that he made that play. That was awesome.”

Last year, he was criticized despite Belichick’s acknowledgment after the game that the rule was not clear on how linemen could use they bodies to create push in the middle of the line. There was no such problem with technique or the rule book Thursday.

“I was just trying to get as deep in the pocket as I can and get up and get my hands on it,” Jones said. “God willing, I blocked it and that’€™s what happened. [Jets Kicker Nick Folk] was 50+ [yards away] as far as distance, so I knew it was going to be a line drive.

“I was just trying to get as deep and as high as I can. [The Jets special teams] was pretty stout. I think it was just coming down to will at the end. We just had to see who could get the most push in the front and we ended up getting it. We just tried to rush them and get middle penetration. Obviously you have to throw your all-out block on when you’€™re in that situation and have the possibility of winning the game, so we have to do all that we can to block the kick.”

Jones isn’t even the first player with his surname to block a field goal attempt this season. At the end of the first half in Minnesota, it was Chandler Jones who broke through the right side of the Vikings’ line to block a field goal and return it for a touchdown. But Chris Jones’ swat Thursday night saved the Patriots from an ugly loss.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

FOXBORO — Coming into the game with a 1-5 record — losers of five straight — the Jets were a desperate team.

Rex Ryan and the Jets have now lost six straight games. (Getty Images)

Rex Ryan and the Jets have now lost six straight games. (Getty Images)

FOXBORO — Coming into the game with a 1-5 record — losers of five straight — the Jets were a desperate team.

Ultimately, they left everything they had on the field — having it come down to a field goal as time expired — but the kick was blocked and the Jets fell to the Patriots, 27-25 Thursday Night on the road at Gillette Stadium.

“€œIt’€™s really frustrating because this is a team you are playing your first divisional game,”€ head coach Rex Ryan said. “Obviously, these are the big dogs in our division. You know, nothing against Buffalo and Miami, they are playing well, but this team has won 10 years in a row, I think — or 10 out of 11. So, this is the one where you are trying to beat them at their place and this is like the third time in a row that I thought we were good enough to beat them here and we come away with a loss.”€

The players — like their coach — were disappointed and actually felt like they let down their coach.

“Rex is an emotional guy. The beauty of Rex is he believes in all of us and quite frankly we let him down tonight,” linebacker Calvin Pace said.

“€œHe wanted this one,”€ wide receiver David Nelson added. “We all did. Not only because it was the New England game, but we were 1-5 coming in and we know we’€™re better than that. We’€™ve laid some eggs the past couple of weeks and given away games. We wanted to come out on a national stage and showcase what we’€™re all about. I think you saw that the majority of the game.”

Although the Jets played one of their better games of the season — totaling over 400 yards of total offense — they still shot themselves in the foot by committing seven penalties for 70 yards and going 2-for-4 in the red zone.

“We had a couple big penalties in the red zone that hurt us,”€ Ryan said. “One that took a touchdown off the board — a holding call — then we had another holding call. Most penalties in the red zone, we know that’€™s hurt us. Again it played out really the way it has a lot of the season. At times, it looks like we are good enough to win and then we make too many mistakes. And obviously, those things hurt us.”

Even though only one team in NFL history who has started the year 1-6 has ever made the playoffs — the 1970 Bengals — the Jets still have some fight in them.

“Another reason why [Rex is] so disappointed in this team is he believes in this team,”€ Nelson said. “€œHe believes we’€™re a playoff caliber team and we were built for success. I think that is why it is so difficult for him to swallow and why it is difficult for all of us to swallow. … Today was extra difficult because we fought so hard and laid everything on the field and had the chance at the end of the game and came up short.”

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — The Patriots held on down the stretch Thursday night to pick up a 27-25 win over the Jets at Gillette Stadium. Chris Jones blocked what would have been a game-winning 58-yard field goal as time expired.

Tom Brady and the Patriots held on down the stretch for the win over New York. (Getty Images)

Tom Brady and the Patriots held on down the stretch for the win over New York. (Getty Images)

FOXBORO — The Patriots held on down the stretch Thursday night to pick up a 27-25 win over the Jets at Gillette Stadium. Chris Jones blocked what would have been a game-winning 58-yard field goal as time expired.

It wasn’t a pretty game, but in the end, New England did enough to hold on down the stretch. The Patriots took the lead for good on a 36-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski with 4:10 left in the third and held on late, sealing the contest with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Danny Amendola with 7:49 left in the fourth to make it 27-19.

The Jets added a late touchdown, but missed out on the two-point conversion when quarterback Geno Smith’s throw for Jace Amaro was off the target.

Brady finished the game 20-for-37 for 261 yards with three touchdowns. Shane Vereen added 12 carries for 47 yards. He also had five catches for 71 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

On the other side of the ball, Smith was 15-for-27 for 178 and one touchdown, while Jets running back Chris Ivory came away with 21 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown.

Here’s what we learned about the Patriots on Thursday night:

Tom Brady was a mixed bag against the Jets defense

The quarterback hit on some nice throws early, including a 24-yarder to Brandon LaFell and a 20-yarder to Gronkowski. His deep ball on the first touchdown of the night — a 49-yard scoring strike to Shane Vereen — would have been overthrown if Vereen didn’t do a terrific job laying out for the pass. There were a few others that were off the mark, including the 19-yarder to Amendola in the fourth quarter, a ball where the receiver made a great play on the ball. In the end, he did enough to pick up the win in his 200th career regular season, game, finding Vereen twice and Amendola once for touchdown passes.

Rob Gronkowski didn’t have the gaudy stat line he had the last two weeks, but he still played a sizable role

LaFell talked last week about the impact that a healthy Gronkowski has on the New England offense, and that was seen on multiple occasions against the Jets. New York frequently went after the tight end with multiple defenders, as he drew two and three Jets on several occasions, including when the Patriots were in the red zone. That level of attention allowed some other pass catchers to get some one-on-one work, including Vereen (on his second touchdown catch) and Amendola (on his fourth-quarter touchdown reception). In the end, he came away with five catches for 68 yards.

The defensive line is capable of being flat-out dominated

New York was able to run the ball without much of an issue throughout the evening, as Ivory broke the 100-yard mark early in the third quarter and was a colossal part of the Jets running game. (The Jets picked ups whopping 13 first downs by running the ball.) New York’s offensive line was able to shove the New England defensive front around when it came to the ground game, and it was almost enough to give them the victory. With Chicago’s superback Matt Forte on deck next week, it’ll be a massive challenge for the Patriots defensive front to try and get back on track.

Brandon Browner apparently still needs to work on his football fitness

In the first regular-season action as a member of the Patriots, the veteran cornerback started the game and was competitive as a member of the New England secondary. (Despite being flagged for his first penalty in a New England uniform.) However, he appeared to be gassed on several occasions, and missed a sizable chunk of time toward the end of the first half. He was on again with the starters at the beginning of the second half, and played a handful of snaps.

Shane Vereen is going to be relied on pretty heavily the rest of the way

Vereen was absolutely integral to the success of the New England offense on Thursday night, as he accounted for 87 yards from scrimmage (60 receiving, 27 rushing) and a pair of touchdowns in the first half to help the Patriots register a 17-12 halftime lead. And after seeing Jonas Gray get a bunch of carries in the early going, New England turned to Vereen for most of the work on the ground over the course of the final two quarters. He’s probably not the sort of guy who could handle 20 carries a game over the course of a full 16-game season, he’s a good situational guy who can work between the tackles on a limited basis.

When it comes to the offensive struggles, you can’t pin this one on the offensive line

The Patriots, who were missing center Bryan Stork and guard Dan Connolly coming into the contest (both are suffering from concussions), were forced to use Josh Kline and Jordan Devey at guard, and at first glance, both appeared to hold up well. While there were some bad penalties on the line — including an unnecessary roughness call on Jordan Devey in the first half where he pushed a New York defender in the back at the end of a play, likely a way to help protect Brady — the group held up well and gave Brady good time to work in pass protection. (The biggest negative on the night? Marcus Cannon almost got Brady killed when he blew a third-quarter block on Brady’s blindside.)

Danny Amendola has found a new job

Working as kick returner, Amendola did well to give the Patriots manageable field position over much of the evening, including a 26-yard return and a 31-yard return against the Jets. With no one doing much to seize the job over the course of the first six games — and Amendola not doing much when it comes to catching passes — it might seem like a pretty good fit for Amendola.

They got out of this one completely healthy

While the Patriots came into the game shorthanded — Stevan Ridley and Jerod Mayo were already ruled out for the year, while offensive linemen Dan Connolly and Bryan Stork were sidelined because of concussions — no one left the game because of injury.

No matter what happens the rest of the weekend, the Patriots will stay in first place

The victory allows New England to move to 5-2 on the season, which means that even if the Bills (second place at 3-3) knock off Minnesota on Sunday, the Patriots will stay in first place. Meanwhile, the Jets fell to 1-6, and saw any postseason hopes crumble. Only one team in the history of the NFL — the 1970 Bengals — started the year 1-6 and still made the postseason.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

FOXBORO — The Patriots hold a 17-12 lead after two quarters.

Tom Brady is 12-for-22 for 174 yards and two touchdowns, while Shane Vereen has three catches for 60 yards and two touchdowns, as well as three carries for 27 yards. Meanwhile, Geno Smith is 6-for-12 for 73 yards and Chris Ivory has 14 carries for 69 yards.

Here are a few quick notes:

– The Patriots came charging out of the gate with a four-play drive that went 80 yards and consumed 1:29. On the series, Brady was able to find Brandon LaFell for a 24-yarder, as well as a 49-yard scoring strike to Vereen. The touchdown pass was an impressive scoring strike, as Vereen laid out nicely for the ball to give the Patriots a quick 7-0 lead. Despite some offensive inefficiency, it didn’t appear that the offensive line was to blame — the quarterback had plenty of time to throw, and held up well in pass protection against the New York front seven.

– The Jets answered with a 22-yard field goal from Nick Folk to make it 7-3 with 6:29 left in the first quarter. The Patriots got a little lucky on that drive, as the Jets were flagged for a hold on a play that ended going for a touchdown pass (Dont’a Hightower was able to get a good rush on the play, drawing the penalty) and ended up settling for the field goal. New York had a pretty good start to the game. On its second drive, they were able to get into New England territory again, and after a brutal drop on a pass for Jace Amaro, were forced to settle for another field goal — this time, a 47-yarder — to make it 7-6 at the end of the first quarter. The Jets picked up two more field goals in the second quarter, a 46-yarder, to make it 9-7 midway through the second and a 27-yard field goal with just over a minute left to make it 14-12.

– The best and most consistent offensive sequence of the night came toward the end of the first half when Brady and the offense went 10 plays and 80 yards, a sequence that included 16-yarders to Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman, a 17-yard run by Vereen and a 23-yard pass play to Brandon LaFell. The drive came to an end with a three-yard pass play to Vereen that made it 14-9 with just over four minutes left in the half. Following a late field goal from Folk to make it 14-12, the Patriots answered with a final field goal — 39 yards — to make it 17-12 at halftime.

– The Patriots defense struggled against the New York running game over the first two quarters, as New York did a very nice job moving the chains with backs Ivory and Chris Johnson. Smith also did a nice job picking up yardage when things broke down, including a 10-yard pickup on the ground. The occasionally jittery West Virginia product displayed some good decision-making for much of the first half, and is a big reason why the Jets are in this one.

– On defense, the Patriots showed a few interesting wrinkles. New England appeared to open with Darrelle Revis in man coverage against Eric Decker, but Revis worked in man and zone against a collection of different pass catchers, including David Nelson. For the first time all year, cornerback Brandon Browner was on the field with him. While he was competitive in the early going, it was clear he looked a little gassed at the end of both early drives for the Jets. Late in the half, he could be seen on the sideline.

– The Patriots leaned heavily on running back Jonas Gray in the early going, as the Notre Dame product — who was promoted off the practice squad earlier on Thursday — saw a sizable amount of snaps over the course of the first half.

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

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FOXBORO — The following Patriots will be inactive for tonight’s game: offensive lineman Bryan Stork, Dan Connolly and Cameron Fleming, safety Nate Ebner, running back James White, wide receiver Aaron Dobson and cornerback Malcolm Butler.

FOXBORO — The following Patriots will be inactive for tonight’s game: offensive linemen Bryan Stork, Dan Connolly and Cameron Fleming, safety Nate Ebner, running back James White, wide receiver Aaron Dobson and cornerback Malcolm Butler.

This means cornerback Brandon Browner will be making his season debut for the Patriots along with running back Jonas Gray and offensive lineman Chris Barker, who were both signed off the practice squad this afternoon. Gray gets the nod over White, a rookie out of Wisconsin, who has played in one game this season.

Also, playing for the Patriots are linebacker Dont’a Hightower and defensive lineman Dominique Easley — both missed Sunday’s game vs. Buffalo and should give the defense a boost in the absence of Jerod Mayo, who is out for the season.

For more Patriots news, check out

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

FOXBORO — It’s no mistake that the Patriots are honoring Ty Law on a Thursday night against the Jets.