The New England Patriots held on for a stuttering 13-10 win against the New York Jets as the division rivals struggled offensively in their second game of the National Football League regular season.
Rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson got the only touchdown for the home team on its opening drive at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, last night. The Patriots improved to 2-0 with their sixth consecutive regular-season win against New York, which dropped to 1-1.
The Patriots have won 12 straight games against American Football Conference East rivals and are unbeaten in 13 regular-season home games against teams in the division going back to a 34-31 loss to the Jets on Nov. 13, 2008. The Jets have lost five straight games to New England since a win in the playoffs after the 2010 season.
Both teams needed last-minute field goals to win their opening games of the season, the Jets prevailing 18-17 at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Patriots wining 23-21 at the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 8.
Rookie Geno Smith started his second straight game at quarterback for the Jets in place of the injured Mark Sanchez, who may decide in the next day or so to undergo season-ending surgery on his right shoulder, ESPN reported yesterday.
Smith completed 15 of 35 passes for 214 yards and three interceptions. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady went 19-for-39, for 185 yards and one touchdown.
The Patriots took the lead as Brady completed an 81-yard opening drive with a 39-yard scoring pass to Dobson, a second-round pick out of Marshall University in this year’s draft.
After each team failed to make headway on its next possession, Devin McCourty returned Stephen Hill’s fumble 44 yards and Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 21-yard field goal four plays later to make it 10-0 for New England.
Officials signaled for a touchdown on the Jets’ next drive when Smith found Clyde Gates in the end zone from nine yards. The pass was ruled incomplete on review, though, and Nick Folk’s 27-yard field goal on the next play was nullified by a holding penalty. The Jets kicker then succeeded from 10 yards farther back for the last score of the first quarter.
The only score in the second quarter came on a 30-yard field goal by Gostkowski with five minutes, nine seconds to play. A catch in the end zone by New England’s Kenbrell Thompkins was adjudged incomplete with 19 seconds remaining in the half, and two plays later Gostkowski pulled a 43-yard field goal attempt left of the posts.
Rain welcomed the teams for the start of the second half, and both sides punted on their opening drives before New York’s Bilal Powell drove in for a 3-yard touchdown run to leave the Jets trailing 13-10 with one quarter to play.
Smith threw three fourth-quarter interceptions, two by Aqib Talib. The last one came in the closing minute of the game and ended with an on-field scuffle between the teams that led to the ejections of Jets tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson and guard Willie Colon.