Marcus Jones’s last-minute punt return for TD vaults Patriots over Jets

Marcus Jones went 84-yards on a 4th quarter punt return, securing the only touchdown of the game.

The hero of the Patriots’ 14th consecutive win over the Jets has a first name that begins with M and the last name Jones.

But it wasn’t the quarterback.

Rookie cornerback Marcus Jones took a punt return 84 yards with less than ten seconds remaining for the game’s only touchdown.

In a game where Nick Folk missed a pair of field-goals and Mac Jones completed 23 of his 27 passes without finding the endzone, it was a mad dash for the endzone at the last minute that clinched the game.

The Patriots benefitted from an atrocious performance from Zach Wilson, who went 9-for-22 for 77 passing yards. New England sacked him four times. Mathew Judon had a pair of sacks bringing his season total to 13.5.


The Jets’ pass-rush was even more ferocious, sacking Mac Jones six times.

But, the Patriots were able to ovecome thanks to a clutch play at the end

Here’s how it happened.

Fourth quarter

0:05: Marcus Jones returns a punt 88 yards for a touchdown. Patriots 10, Jets 3.

1:33: Mack Wilson sacks Zach Wilson. Jonathan Jones is called for a penalty that gives New York the first down.

1:55: Jonathan Jones nearly picks off a pass, had it timed perfectly but the ball deflected off his hands. Incomplete.

4:05: Deatrich Wise and Josh Uche rush Zach Wilson and Wise comes up with the sack. Patriots take over at the 34 after the Jets punt.

8:22: Make it six sacks for the Jets, who swarmed Mac Jones and matched the total from last month’s matchup.

9:09: Jets run the ball on 3rd and 17, stopping well short of the first down. New York will punt.

10:43: A blitzing Kyle Duger crushes Zach Wilson on a sack. Davon Godchaux picked up the loose football and ran into the endzone, but the referees ruled that Wilson was down before the ball came out.

14:52: Judon lines up outside, rushes inside, and the result is his second sack of the game.

Third quarter

0:06: New England does for it on fourth-and-3 with an outside run from Harris. CJ Mosely blows up the play and gets the stop. Ptriots turn the ball over on downs.


2:30: Mac Jones dumps the ball off to Damien Harris, who takes the ball past the first-down marker.

3:27: Wilson sidearms a pass to Tyler Conklin just short of the third down. Patriots force a third-straight three-and-out.

4:54: Mac Jones is sacked for a fifth time, Patriots turn the ball over on downs.

7:49: Wilson bounces a pass short of his target on third down. Jets punt to Patriots.

9:08: Nick Folk misses another field-goal attempt, this time from 43-yards out.

11:26: Mac Jones is sacked, James Ferentz is called for holding on the following play, and a pair of short passes aren’t enough for the first down.

12:25: Damien Harris explodes downfield for a 30-yard gain.

14:24: Zach Wilson overthrows a receiver, hands the ball off for a short gain, and is sacked by Matthew Judon. It’s a three-and-out for the Jets.

Second quarter

0:00: The Jets run out the clock and the game is tied at the half. New England 3, New York 3.

0:24: The Patriots punt the ball after going three-and-out.

0:56: Wilson throws a pass right to Devin McCourty, but it hits McCourty in the chest and bounces to the ground for an incomplete pass. Fortunately for New England, it was third on third down, so the Jets punted.

3:23: Trent Brown got pushed backwards and ends up taking out Mac Jones in the process. It’s the third sack for the Jets. Nick Folk attempts a field-goal but it gets caught in the wind and falls short.


5:59: Rhamondre Stevenson catches a short pass from Jones, runs through a pair of Jets defenders and gets a first down.

6:44: Quinnen Williams sacks Mac Jones, and gets up dancing.

9:49: Jets tie the game with a 40-yard field-goal. New England 3, New York 3.

12:37: A high pass from Wilson that was a tad under thrown allowed the receiver to come back and reel it in for a big gain that put the Jets on the Patriots 25.

14:57: Nick Folk, who made five field-goals last time the Patriots played the Jets, makes his first attempt of the afternoon. New England 3, New York 0.

First quarter

0:33: Jones, rolling out, evades a tackler and hits Kendrick Bourne for a completion that is marked just short of a first down. Patriots have 4th-and-1 in the redzone.

1:13: David Andrews is shown heading down the stairs to the tunnel.

2:49: Mac Jones play-fakes and hits Rhamondre Stevenson with a screen pass as he’s falling away. Stevenson runs forward and gets the first down, but David Andrews is slow to get up on the play and heads off to the sideline.

4:35: DeVante Parker snags his first catch of the afternoon, a 9-yard completion from Jones. Jones converts a quarterback sneak to net the Patriots third consecutive first-down.

5:51: Jones, with an empty backfield, finds Jakobi Meyers on a screen pass on the outside. Meyers gains 11 yards for a first down.

6:58: Damien Harris bursts up the middle between guard and tackle, finding some open space. Its a 22-yard gain and a first down for New England.

8:05: The Patriots rush seven players on third down, forcing Wilson to bounce a pass far short of his receiver. Jets punt. Raekwon McMillan nearly blocked the punt, but ran into the punter and was whistled for a penalty. The Jets punt again, and the all hits a Jets special teamer in the helmet and bounces out of bounds.


9:01: On 2nd-and-14, Zach Wilson drops back, sees his receivers covers, and scrambles for the first down.

10:13: Sauce Gardner punched the ball out from Tyquan Thornton’s grasp following a short completion from Jones. The play, which came on third-and-short, was ruled an incomplete pass. Patriots punt.

11:46: New England’s defense forces the Jets to go three-and-out on their first possession. Zach Wilson scrambled for a short gain, running back Michael Carter was stuffed for no gain, and third-down pressure forced Wilson to throw the ball away. Jets punt.

13:37: The Patriots receive the ball and open the game with a three-and-out on offense. Mac Jones was sacked, Damien Harris had a four-yard carry, and Jones complete a pass to Agholor short of the first down. Patriots punt.

Breaking down the Patriots’ inactives, 12:00 p.m.

  • Perhaps more noteworthy than the list itself are the Patriots players who aren’t on it. None of the players listed as inactive have played more than two games for the Patriots this season.
  • Barmore, who was left off due to being placed on injured reserve, is a big and surprising loss for the Patriots’ d-line.
  • However, it appears DeVante Parker, Damien Harris, and David Andrews are all healthy enough to play. Adding one of their biggest deep threats, a tailback who began the season as the top option in the run game, and the anchor of it’s offensive line should help the Patriots.

Inactives, 11:30 a.m.

Patriots: DB Joshuah Bledsoe, RB JJ Taylor, DT Sam Roberts, RB Kevin Harris, DB Shaun Wade.

Jets: DL Sheldon Rankins, WR Corey Davis, QB Joe Flacco, DB Tony Adams, RB Zonovan Knight, CB Bryce Hall, TE Kenny Yeboah.

Pregame notes, 11:00 a.m.

Welcome to Week 11, which features the Patriots against AFC East rival New York Jets for the second time in three weeks.

This time, the game is in Foxborough. Plus, the Patriots are coming off a bye-week.

New England made a surprise announcement earlier in the week, placing defensive lineman Christian Barmore on injured reserve due to a knee injury. The move means Barmore will miss at least four games.

But, the Patriots return center David Andrews, who is back after missing a pair of games with a concussion. He’ll look to stabilize an offensive line that let the Jets sack Mac Jones six times the last time the teams met in October.


Jones said earlier in the week that the bye-week helped him rest and recover. The previous Jets game was his first full game back after missing several weeks with a high-ankle sprain before a brief appearance against the Chicago Bears.

Sunday’s game could end up having playoff implications. If the season ended today, the entire AFC East would be in. The Patriots, who are currently last in the AFC East are still in the hunt. A win for the Jets, who have head to head victories over Buffalo and Miami, would put New York at the top of the division.

Will the Patriots sweep the Jets for the sixth year in a row and make it 14 consecutive victories against them?

Follow along here for live scores, updates, and analysis.


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