Sports

Patriots’ Marcus Jones stuns Jets with late punt-return touchdown for thrilling victory

New England Patriots rookie cornerback Marcus Jones scored an 84-yard touchdown off a punt return with seconds left on the clock Sunday to defeat the New York Jets in an otherwise lackluster matchup.

The third-round draft pick led the Patriots to their 14th consecutive win over the Jets after scoring off an 84-yard punt return with just 5 seconds left in the game.

Marcus Jones of the New England Patriots returns a punt for a touchdown against the New York Jets during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 20, 2022, in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Marcus Jones of the New England Patriots returns a punt for a touchdown against the New York Jets during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 20, 2022, in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
(Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

“I thought Braden (Mann) did a really nice job punting the ball today. He hung one out in the middle and that’s about it,” head coach Robert Saleh said after the game.

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“You make one mistake, and they’ll make you pay,” he added later.  “And we made a mistake on the punt, and we couldn’t get them down.”

Windy conditions in Foxborough challenged the Jets’ offense.

Zach Wilson was 9 of 22 for 77 yards and was sacked six times, compared to Mac Jones’ 85.2% completion percentage for 246 yards.

Zach Wilson (2) of the New York Jets throws a pass against the New England Patriots during the second half at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 20, 2022, in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Zach Wilson (2) of the New York Jets throws a pass against the New England Patriots during the second half at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 20, 2022, in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
(Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

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“It’s not about pointing fingers at any one individual or one unit or one anything,” Saleh said of Wilson’s performance. “It’s just finding a way to, finding the answers so we can start moving the ball because it’s, we did it against Buffalo, we’ve done it against other teams. It’s just the consistency needs to get found.”

Saleh fielded several questions about Zach Wilson’s struggles but said that benching the second-year quarterback for backup Mike White was the “furthest thing on my mind.”

“I’ve told you guys before, Zach’s our quarterback, and we got to find ways to help him get better.”

Zach Wilson (2) of the New York Jets scrambles against the New England Patriots during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 20, 2022, in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Zach Wilson (2) of the New York Jets scrambles against the New England Patriots during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium on Nov. 20, 2022, in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
(Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

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Failing to generate anything on the offense, Wilson was asked if he felt he “let the defense down” after they held the Patriots to just one field goal for the majority of the game.

“No,” he replied before leaving the podium.

Sunday’s loss denied the Jets a chance to move into first place in the AFC East this late in the season for the first time since 2010. Instead, New York dropped to last place.

The contributed to this report.

 

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