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Patriots rally but still lose to Jets in overtime

November 14, 2008|associated press

FOXBOROUGH, MASS. — The New York Jets stand alone atop the tight AFC East standings -- barely.

Jay Feely kicked a 34-yard field goal on the first series of overtime after New England tied the score on Matt Cassel's pass to Randy Moss with one second left in regulation and the Jets survived a Tom Brady-like comeback with a 34-31 victory Thursday night.

The win broke a tie for the division lead between the teams and gave the Jets (7-3) sole possession of first place for the first time since Nov. 19, 2001. The Patriots (6-4) have won the AFC East the last five seasons and six of the last seven.

"It's a great, great feeling for us," Jets Coach Eric Mangini said. "Everybody understands that this game was extremely important. . . . It's a really positive step for our team."

The Jets, who led, 24-6, in the first half, extended their winning streak to four with their sixth victory in seven games.

The loss wasted a brilliant performance by Cassel, whose first pro start after Brady's season-ending knee injury in the opener came in a 19-10 win over the Jets in Week 2 in September.

Cassel completed 30 of 51 passes for 400 yards, all career highs, and three touchdowns. He ran eight times for 62 yards.

"It's not enough," Cassel said.

The Patriots got the tying touchdown on Cassel's 16-yard pass on fourth down. Moss' diving sideline catch was reviewed to see if he got both feet down, but the touchdown stood.

New England had marched to Moss' touchdown from its 38-yard line with no timeouts and 1:04 left.

Stephen Gostkowski's extra point tied it and erased a 31-24 lead the Jets had taken on Thomas Jones' one-yard touchdown run with 3:10 left.

Brett Favre made his 263rd consecutive regular-season start, an NFL record, and went 26 of 33 for 258 yards and directed the only drive of overtime, covering 64 yards in 14 plays in 7:50. His 16-yard pass to Laveranues Coles brought the ball to the Patriots' 24-yard line, Jones' six-yard run moved it to the 18 and Feely connected for his second field goal of the game.

"We talked during the week about the need to reload and finish the game," Mangini said.

"Any time you can come back from a 24-6 deficit, it's a building block," Cassel said. "That was great for the team."

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