Although solid on offense, it was on the other side of the ball that the Jets again starred.
The frightening defensive line of Mohammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Damon Harrison continues to terrorize offensive lines as they unsettled Tom Brady and made the job of the secondary so much easier.
Harrison bagged his first career sack as he continues to be a revelation at nose tackle in 2013, whilst Wilkerson, Quinton Coples and Calvin Pace also dragged Brady down with powerful performance.
With Wilkerson, rookie Richardson, Pace and Coples excelling around the edges the Patriots run game was also snuffed out – particularly during what was a superb second half for the Jets.
Demario Davis continues to be a reliable figure at Middle Linebacker as he made nine tackles – plus some good coverage from the returning Dee Milliner, Kyle Wilson and Antonio Cromartie kept Brady’s options to a minimum.
Perhaps the biggest question mark surrounding the Jets defense has been their inability to generate turnovers – yet they claimed a pivotal pick-six from Antonio Allen early in the third quarter.
The Jets also forced a fumble in the first half, and although not recovered they showed much more bite and aggression whilst going after the ball.
After an enthralling game between two determined sides, the question now posed is what lies ahead for the Patriots and the Jets?
For the Jets it is a magnificent win which moves them to a healthy 4-3 – just one win behind the Patriots at the top of the AFC East.
Wins against the Falcons and now the Patriots show their ability to compete with – and beat – the best, displaying heart and character which will stand them in good stead throughout the rest of the season.
However, they now face a difficult task with a trip to Cincinnatti followed by a clash with the Saints over the next two weeks.
With Rex Ryan’s defense in full flow there is no doubt they are capable of continuing to rack up the W’s – but with Geno Smith still adapting to the NFL a lot of their fortunes rest on how the rookie QB performs.
On the other hand, the Patriots will be bitterly disappointed to have suffered a defeat in what they would have certainly seen as a winnable road game.
The lack of chemistry between Tom Brady and his receivers continues to be a worry, and although they lie 5-2 they appear a shadow of the Patriots teams of recent years.
Despite their struggles they remain in a strong position and should still make the play-offs – but a lot of work needs to be done if they are to reach the latter stages of the play-offs.
Fortunately for the Patriots they have time on their side – and back to back home games will give them a chance to regroup following a day to forget.