Tom Brady, New England Patriots avoid collapse


The New England Patriots are growing accustomed to blowing double-digit leads. On Sunday against the New York Jets, Tom Brady righted the ship just in time.

Trailing by three points with 1:31 left in regulation, Brady picked up 57 yards in five plays to set up a game-tying, 43-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski. Another Gostkowski field goal in overtime gave the Patriots the lead, then a strip-sack by Rob Ninkovich put the Jets down for the count. 29-26, Patriots win. A seismic upset avoided.

On NFL Network
NFL Replay
will re-air the New England Patriots' 29-26 OT win over the New York Jets in Week 7 on Tuesday, Oct. 23
at 8 p.m. ET.

» NFL Network schedule

This was a game the Patriots desperately needed, and yet it feels like their worst effort of the season since their Week 2 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The Jets outplayed them for much of the game. Mark Sanchez found wide-open receivers all night. If not for some poor throws and decisions by Sanchez and a drop by Stephen Hill, the Patriots would have lost this game in regulation.

In losses to the Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks, there was a feeling that the Patriots outplayed the opponent but blew the game in the crucial moments. The Patriots felt like the lucky team this time; the Jets' offense was more explosive, and their defense gave Brady fits.

The biggest concern in New England is a lack of killer instinct and a secondary that gives up way too many big plays. The defense has shown signs of improvement this year, but the secondary continues to be a big problem.

That left Brady in a familiar position: Bailing out his defense. He delivered, and the Patriots finally won a close game. Just like they always used to.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.