Patriots Top Jets With Stunning Punt Return

The New England Patriots and New York Jets saved all the excitement for the final minute of their Week 11 matchup. Tied 3-3 with 0:26 left in the game, Patriots cornerback Marcus Jones returned a Jets punt 84 yards for an improbable game-winning touchdown, delighting the Foxborough faithful. The AFC East clash had been an absolute slog, with only 400 yards of offense and 19 first downs between the two teams. Quarterbacks Zach Wilson and Mac Jones combined for 10 sacks, and punters Braden Mann and Michael Palardy had a duel for the ages with 17 total punts.

The game was hideous before the transcendent moment, but the Jets deserved what they got. They were particularly heinous on offense, netting 44 yards passing on 26 dropbacks and 59 rushing yards on 23 attempts. Wilson was lucky to avoid throwing multiple interceptions. The truth is, the 2021 NFL Draft's second-overall pick has been nothing but a liability for the Jets. Even before today's unforgivable effort, he had netted a mere 161.8 passing yards per game and 5.07 net yards per attempt in his 19 appearances. Regardless of whether or not today's game ends up being the nadir of his career, the Jets will have to consider a long-term alternative as soon as next season.

With the win, the Patriots move to 6-4 and third place in the AFC East despite their own passing game struggles. With two games left to play against the Buffalo Bills and a home game against the Miami Dolphins still on the schedule, they still have plenty of time to do damage in the division.
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