Monday, December 28, 2015

Jets' third-down defense critical in win over Patriots

The New York Jets knew they needed to keep the ball out of the New England Patriots' hands Sunday. And they did just that.

Gang Green's defense held the Patriots to just 1-for-10 on third down, successfully tilting the possession battle in their favor in a thrilling 26-20 overtime win.

The Jets possessed the ball for 34:04 to the Patriots' 28:33, holding New England to its lowest offensive snap count of the season, according to ESPN Boston. The Patriots ran just 56 offensive plays.

For the better part of three quarters, the Jets' defense held strong. The Patriots, however, got things moving a bit late and converted on three fourth down attempts.

Still, third down was the key stat, and something that has carried the Jets' defense for much of the season. New York is giving up first downs on just 32 percent of opponents' third-down attempts. Only the Houston Texans have a better third-down percentage on defense.

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