Everyone else was, well, a bit confused.
After a newly-instituted rule gave New England a penalty and Nick Folk another chance, he booted a 42-yard field goal with 5:07 left in overtime to give the New York Jets a 30-27 victory over the Patriots on Sunday.
“I was like, ‘You know what? It’s about time we got a break,’” Ryan said, smiling. “That’s really what I was thinking. It just worked out.”
Folk was wide left on a 56-yarder, but the miss was negated when New England’s Chris Jones was called for unsportsmanlike conduct on a 15-yard penalty that had never before been called in an NFL game.
Referee Jerome Boger explained that Jones was called for pushing his teammate “into the opponents’ formation.” Umpire Tony Michalek threw his flag “almost instantaneously as he observed the action,” Boger said. “We just enforced it as he called it.”
Belichick disagreed with the application of the rule.
“You can’t push in the second level,” Belichick said. “I didn’t think we did that.”
New York (4-3), given new life, ran the ball three times to set up Folk’s winner and send the green towel-waving fans at MetLife Stadium into a frenzy.
New England had defeated New York in six straight regular-season meetings, and saw its 12-game winning streak against AFC East opponents end.
“Everyone has to look at themselves and do a better job,” Brady said, “because what we’re doing now isn’t good enough.”
It was the second time in three games Brady was held without a touchdown pass. He finished 22 of 46 passing for 228 yards.
Brady also had an interception returned 23 yards for a touchdown by Antonio Allen.
“That was huge,” Smith said.
Smith, who threw three fourth-quarter interceptions in a Week 2 loss at New England, was 17 of 33 for 233 yards. He had a first-quarter interception returned 79 yards for a touchdown by rookie Logan Ryan that appeared to set the tone for an ominous afternoon for Smith.
Smith rebounded and gave the Jets a 24-21 lead in the third quarter on an 8-yard run that left the crowd chanting “GEE-NO! GEE-NO!”
“I’m never going to crumble,” Smith said. “No matter what happens. You know, that’s just not in me.”
On third-and-14 from the 24, Smith took off left and was met by Marquice Cole, who slammed into the quarterback. But Smith reached out as he was going down and got the first down.
He again had all receivers tied up two plays later when he sprinted to his right, faked out Cole with a nice shake move and dived into the corner of the end zone.
The Jets, in a 21-10 hole, opened the second half by immediately putting pressure on Brady and getting a score out of it. Brady threw for Gronkowski and Allen stepped in front. He did a diving somersault into the end zone just 33 seconds into the third quarter.
Stevan Ridley had given the Patriots a 21-10 lead with a 17-yard run on which he bounced outside right tackle and scored untouched. The drive was set up by a 38-yard punt return by Julian Edelman.