New England 22, N.Y. Jets 17
When: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, November 27, 2016
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Only 22 of Tom Brady's 200 career wins came against the New York Jets. For New York and its fans, it only seems as if Brady beat the Jets 200 times, all in a fashion agonizingly similar to the way the veteran quarterback directed the New England Patriots to victory Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.
Brady threw a pair of touchdown passes to rookie wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, including a go-ahead 8-yard strike with 1:56 remaining, and the Patriots overcame an early 10-point deficit to edge the Jets 22-17.
"Division game on the road, and it's always a tough team to play, thought they played really well," Brady said of the Jets. "Really glad we just made the plays there at the end."
Brady was 30 of 50 for 286 yards and the two touchdowns while tying Peyton Manning for the most victories by a quarterback in NFL history. Brady has 178 regular-season wins and 22 playoff victories.
"It's about him and what he's been able to do for this franchise," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "That's the quarterback's job, to win. He's won a lot. It's good. Glad he's our quarterback."
It was a milestone-filled day for Brady, who also became the fifth quarterback in history to reach 60,000 passing yards when he completed an 18-yard pass to Julian Edelman in the second quarter.
It looked as if a hobbled Brady -- who missed two practices last week due to a knee injury and was listed as questionable on Friday's injury report -- might have to wait for the record-tying win when the usually potent Patriots recorded just three first downs in their first three series. The Jets jumped out to a 10-0 lead via a 51-yard field goal by Nick Folk and Ryan Fitzpatrick's 1-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall.
Brady directed the Patriots to 10 second-quarter points and tied the game with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Mitchell with 6:29 remaining in the half.
The second of Stephen Gostkowski's three field goals, a 29-yarder with 7:34 left in the third quarter, gave New England its first lead, but the Jets went back ahead early in the fourth quarter on a spectacular 22-yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to Quincy Enunwa (five catches for a career-high 109 yards).
Officials originally ruled Enunwa caught the ball out of bounds, but the Jets challenged, and the replay showed his backside landed in the corner of the end zone.
Mitchell dropped a potential go-ahead touchdown pass on the next drive, when the Patriots settled for a 41-yard field goal by Gostkowski with 7:02 remaining. That cut New England's deficit to 17-16.
"I felt miserable after missing (that) pass," Mitchell said. "All the guys kept me encouraged and told me we have more time."
The Jets recorded just one first drive on the subsequent possession, after which Brady helped set up Mitchell's redemption by going 6 of 8 for 83 yards on the go-ahead drive, during which the Patriots converted a fourth-and-4 inside the Jets 40-yard line with just under three minutes left.
"Lot of great plays we needed there in the last minutes of the game," Brady said. "Wasn't our best effort, but that's what happens in these games sometimes."
Especially against the Jets. Of the Patriots' 22 wins over the Jets with Brady behind center, 11 were by eight points or fewer, including six of the past 10 dating back to 2012. And 10 of the victories were of the comeback variety, including five since 2012.
"Playing against the Patriots, you don't have to play the perfect game, but you can't make mistakes," Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick (22 of 32 for 269 yards and two touchdowns) fumbled on the second play from scrimmage following the Patriots' fourth-quarter, go-ahead touchdown pass. LeGarrette Blount gained 23 yards on third-and-2 from the Jets 26-yard-line to salt away another milestone for the Patriots (9-2).
With the win, New England clinched its 16th straight winning season -- a streak that began when Brady ascended to the starting role in 2001. It is the longest stretch of consecutive winning seasons in the NFL since the Dallas Cowboys had 20 straight from 1966 through 1985.
The Jets (3-8) likely will miss the playoffs for the sixth straight season. New York has lost three straight games by a total of 12 points.
"Playing hard for 3 1/2 quarters or 3 3/4 is encouraging, but at the same time, they made one more play than we did," Jets coach Todd Bowles said. "We have to find a way to finish at the end of a ballgame."
NOTES: Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski left in the first quarter with a back injury. He had no catches on two targets. Gronkowski missed last week's game against the San Francisco 49ers due to a lung injury. ... The game was originally scheduled for the Sunday night window but got "flexed" back in favor of the Denver Broncos-Kansas City Chiefs game. ... The 4:25 kickoff was the first non-1 p.m. Sunday home kickoff for the Jets since Sept. 22, 2013. In addition, the Jets have not played on Sunday night since Nov. 11, 2011 -- a stretch in which the Patriots played on Sunday night 12 times. ... Among the Jets' inactives was C Nick Mangold (ankle), who missed his fourth consecutive game. He missed just four games in his first 10 NFL seasons. ... Peyton Manning and Brett Favre still share the record for most regular-season wins by a quarterback, 186, eight more than Tom Brady's total.
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N.Y. Jets will play their next game at home against Indianapolis. The Jets have a W/L % of .333 after a win and .250 after a loss.
New England will play their next game at home against Los Angeles. The Patriots have a W/L % of .750 after a win and 1.000 after a loss.