New York Jets logoNew York Jets

Patriots vs. Jets: Controversial Call Shouldn't Define New York's Win

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 20:   Aaron Dobson #17 of the New England Patriots greets Geno Smith #7 of the New York Jets after their game at MetLife Stadium on October 20, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Maxwell OgdenCorrespondent IIIOctober 20, 2013

In one of the most controversial games of the 2013 NFL regular season, the New York Jets defeated the New England Patriots 30-27 in overtime on Sunday. The game was ultimately influenced by a questionable enforcement of a penalty that had never previously been enforced.

As difficult as it is to overlook, the Jets' victory over the Patriots shouldn't be defined by the controversial call.

The ruling came on a 56-yard field-goal attempt by Jets kicker Nick Folk that ended up being wide left. Patriots rookie Chris Jones was called for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after pushing his own teammate into the defensive line.

Many were outraged, while others defended the call. One way or another, it was controversial.

Unfortunately for those who believe the penalty was senseless, the game's over.

What may be most unfortunate of all is the fact that the meaning of the Jets' victory over the Patriots will be lost in the commotion. The truth of the matter is, this win was as important as any other from a high-stakes Week 7.

Not only did the Jets' victory pulled them to within one game of the division lead in the AFC East, but it was a sign of New York getting back to the basics.


Back to What Works

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 20: Running back Chris Ivory #33 of the New York Jets carries the ball during the 3rd quarter of the New York Jets 30-27 win over the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on October 20, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Ron Antonelli/Getty Images

In 2009 and 2010, the Jets reached the AFC Championship Game with elite defensive play and a ground-and-pound approach on offense. In recent years, the Jets have struggled to develop an offensive rhythm due to the departure of reliable running backs.

Against the Patriots, the Jets got back to what works.

The Jets ran the ball 52 times, picking up 177 yards and a touchdown. Chris Ivory led the charge with 104 yards on 34 carries, and Geno Smith added six attempts for 32 yards and a score.

An average of 3.4 yards per carry isn't spectacular, but the approach is exactly what New York needs to return to. Ivory and Bilal Powell may not be established stars, but they're the type of grind-it-out backs that New York can trust.

By pounding the rock, the Jets established the pace of the game and dominated time of possession at 46:13 to 23:40. This helped to keep New York's defense fresh and it alleviated the pressure from Smith, who was strong again.

In the end, helping Smith should be the Jets' primary focus.


Geno Smith's Progression

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 20: Quarterback Geno Smith #7 of the New York Jets drops back to pass during the 3rd quarter of the New York Jets 30-27 win over the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on October 20, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Ron Antonelli/Getty Images

Over the course of the past decade, the NFL has progressively become a quarterback-driven league. Having a strong field general has always been important, but in recent seasons, the number of high-octane offenses has increased.

Fortunately for New York, Smith has begun to show signs of being a franchise player.

Against New England, Smith was 17-of-33 for 233 yards, one passing touchdown, an interception and a rushing score. He was poised during clutch situations and continued to make plays in the fourth quarter.

On a Jets team that has a defense that is strong enough to remain in any game, that fourth-quarter prowess is critical.

Smith now has season totals of 1,723 yards, eight touchdowns, 11 interceptions and two running scores. Those aren't extraordinary numbers, but for a first-year quarterback—and no, not the once-in-a-lifetime 2012 type—they're strong.

So is his growing list of victories.

Smith has now outdueled Tom Brady of the Patriots, Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons, EJ Manuel of the Buffalo Bills and Josh Freeman, then of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For a first-year quarterback whose season is all about development, leading the Jets to 4-3 is a giant step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, many will ignore the impact of this game and look at a controversial penalty.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices