EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Nick Folk kicked a 51-yard field goal as time expired, and Cam Newton and the New England Patriots rallied to beat the winless New York Jets 30-27 on Monday night to end a four-game losing streak.
Newton had two touchdown runs, with the second tying it at 27 with 1:57 remaining to erase a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit.
After the Jets went three-and-out, the Patriots got the ball back with 47 seconds left and went to work. Newton had a 5-yard run on third-and-1 from the New England 42 and then spiked the ball with 8 seconds remaining. He followed with a 20-yard pass to Jakobi Meyers to put Folk — a former Jets kicker — in position for the winning field goal.
It dropped the Jets to 0-9 for the first time in franchise history, and this was an agonizing loss.
After Folk’s 29-yarder with 6:04 left cut the Patriots’ deficit to 27-20, Joe Flacco — having a solid night until that point — tried to put the game away.
Instead, he swayed the momentum in New England’s favour as his deep pass for Denzel Mims was picked off by J.C. Jackson. That set up Newton’s tying TD — and deflated the Jets, who couldn’t recover.
Newton finished 27 of 35 for 274 yards, and Meyers had 12 catches for 169 yards for the Patriots (3-5), who avoided their first five-game losing streak since 1995 under coach Bill Parcells.
Flacco was 18 of 25 for 262 yards and three touchdown passes — two to Breshad Perriman and one to Jamison Crowder — but had the game-changing interception.
With the Patriots down by 10, Newton marched them down the field to open the second half, capping a 14-play drive with Rex Burkhead’s 1-yard plunge into the end zone to make it 20-17.
But the Jets answered right back, with Flacco finding a wide-open Perriman in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown and a 27-17 lead with 30 seconds left in the third quarter. Flacco kept the drive alive on third-and-9 from the Patriots 32 when he sidearmed a pass to Perriman for a 12-yard gain.
A miscue by the Jets on special teams kept the Patriots’ next drive alive.
After Newton stumbled on third-and-1 and was stopped for a 4-yard loss, New England appeared to have to settle for a 32-yard field goal. But the Jets were called for 12 men on the field — resulting in a first down for the Patriots. But the defence made up for the miscue, getting a red-zone stop — with an assist from a holding penalty on New England right tackle Mike Onwenu — and holding the Patriots to a 29-yarder by Folk to make it 27-20 with 6:04 left.
But New England got the ball right back when Flacco was picked off by Jackson. It marked the fourth straight game with an interception for Jackson.
With the Jets looking for a stop on third down, Bless Austin was called for defensive holding, keeping the drive alive.
Damien Harris ran for 21 yards to get into Jets territory. He followed with a 9-yard gain, but it was called back because of an offensive holding penalty on Meyers. Harris also took a big hit on the run and was down for several minutes before walking gingerly to the sideline.
Three plays later, Newton completed a 19-yard pass to Meyers and then ran for 3 yards on fourth-and-1. Newton hit Damiere Byrd for 31 yards to put the ball at the 3.
Newton ran for 2 yards on first down, was stopped for no gain and then pushed his way into the end zone with his second rushing TD of the game to tie it with 1:57 remaining.
Jets: Rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton left in the first half with a chest injury. Cornerback Brian Poole was also ruled out at halftime after injuring a knee in the second quarter.
Patriots: Host the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday night.
Jets: Bye week. New York is at the Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 22.
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Dennis Waszak Jr., The Associated Press