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Folk Hero comes through for Jets after weird call in OT

Kicker gets second chance when Pats flagged for odd penalty

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New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) celebrates his touchdown run during the second half of their game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium.

ED MULHOLLAND / USA TODAY Enlarge Image

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) celebrates his touchdown run during the second half of their game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Rex Ryan was fired up. Bill Belichick was ticked off.

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 in a pool report 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."

'I was like, 'You know what? It's about time we got a break' '

-- Rex Ryan

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.

"It was something that we talked about probably in camp and stuff, and it just skipped out of my mind," Jones said. "It was my mistake and nobody else's. I've just got to man up to it and fix it next time."

Folk thought the Patriots (5-2) might have been called for 12 men on the field. So did a few other Jets.

"I think I heard the whole stadium saying, 'Please be on them,"' Ryan said.

Then Folk won it.

"Folk Hero was the man he always is, kicking game-winner for us," Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson said. "It was a great win across the board."

It also kept Folk's consecutive kicks streak intact, giving him 16 straight to start the season.

"Yeah, we're not going to talk about that right now," he said, smiling.

Geno Smith threw a touchdown pass to Jeremy Kerley and ran for another as the Jets topped Tom Brady and the Patriots, who tied it at 27 with 16 seconds left in regulation on Stephen Gostkowski's 44-yard field goal.

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."

Brady opened overtime with a 16-yard pass to Rob Gronkowski, making his season debut. But the Jets forced New England to punt.

Gronkowski almost made a one-handed grab late in regulation when he had a clear lane into the end zone. Gronkowski, who missed the first six games after having off-season surgery on his back and broken left forearm, had eight catches for 114 yards.

"I'm still mad about that one," Gronkowski said.

Brady threw a 17-yard TD pass to Kenbrell Thompkins with five seconds left to beat previously unbeaten New Orleans last week -- leaving defensive co-ordinator Rob Ryan grimacing on the sideline. This time, Rob's twin brother walked off the field celebrating a win.

It was the second time in three games Brady was held without a touchdown pass, both losses. Brady finished 22 of 46 for 228 yards and 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.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 21, 2013 C9

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