FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Nov. 12, 2006) -- Bill Belichick exchanged another cold handshake with Eric Mangini in the middle of the muddy field.
"I have a lot of great memories from here," Mangini said. "I'd like to add this to it."
Belichick has refused to refer to the Jets coach by name since Mangini left after serving five years as his defensive backs coach and last season as defensive coordinator, helping the Patriots win three Super Bowl titles. Their first midfield meeting after the Patriots won in New York this season wasn't a study in warmth either.
Then again, why should any of the Patriots be happy after their 57-game streak without consecutive losses ended? The record of 60 games was set by San Francisco from 1995-99.
"Two in a row. I can't remember the last time we did it," Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi said. "We've got to get back on the winning road if we want to be AFC champions."
"We knew we had to have precise execution and, in the meantime, play a great defense," because of the muddy field and slippery ball, Pennington said.
"When you make plays against the pressure, it tends to ease it off a little bit," Brady said, "but we just didn't make enough plays."
Pennington did, despite the rain and mist that dictated that both teams rely on runs and short passes.
"The field was a mess," said Kevan Barlow, who scored on a 2-yard run for the Jets. "One play, I almost took it to the house, but the mud got me."
The Patriots then drove 69 yards in 31 seconds to draw within 17-14 on Brady's 15-yard scoring pass to Reche Caldwell on a pass that was tipped by New York's Kerry Rhodes. Brady and Caldwell then combined on a two-point conversion.
"We just couldn't stop them on defense," Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown said. "And when we did stop them, we had to use all our timeouts."
Pennington was 22 for 33 for 168, an average of 7.6 yards per completion. Barlow gained 75 yards on 17 carries. The Jets already have surpassed last season's victory total of four.
Following a 27-20 loss to Indianapolis in Week 9 in which Brady threw four interceptions, the Patriots fell to 2-3 at home and 4-1 in the division.
The Patriots played without both starting safeties -- Rodney Harrison with a broken shoulder blade and Eugene Wilson with a hamstring injury -- who were major contributors to the defense Mangini coached last season.
Now, though, he often refers to New England as "the other place," and Belichick has continually avoided giving his former assistant any praise.
"We all have our own reasons for why we wanted to beat New England," Pennington said. "Eric has his reasons, I have my reasons and we have ours as a team."