DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
AP Sports Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Nick Folk missed. And then, he didn’t.
After a penalty on New England gave the New York Jets kicker another chance, Folk booted a 42-yard field goal with 5:07 left in overtime for a 30-27 victory over the Patriots on Sunday.
Folk was wide left on a 56-yarder, but the miss was negated when New England’s Chris Jones was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for pushing a teammate forward to try to block the kick. It marked the first time that the new penalty has been called in an NFL game.
New York, given new life, ran the ball three times to set up Folk’s winner and send the towel-waving fans at MetLife Stadium into a frenzy.
Geno Smith threw a touchdown pass and ran for another as the Jets (4-3) topped Tom Brady and the Patriots (5-2), who tied it at 27 with 16 seconds left in regulation on Stephen Gostkowski’s 44-yard field goal.
New England had defeated New York in six straight regular-season meetings, and saw its 12-game winning streak against AFC East opponents come to an end.
Brady opened overtime with a 16-yard pass to Rob Gronkowski, making his season debut. But the Jets stopped the Patriots on the next three plays and forced New England to punt.
Gronkowski almost made a one-handed grab late in regulation when he had a clear lane into the end zone. Gronkowski, who missed the first six games after having offseason surgery on his back and broken left forearm, had eight catches for 114 yards.
Brady threw a 17-yard TD pass to Kenbrell Thompkins with 5 seconds left to beat previously unbeaten New Orleans last week -- leaving defensive coordinator Rob Ryan grimacing on the sideline. This time, Rex Ryan, Rob’s twin brother, walked off the field celebrating a win.
It was the second time in three games Brady was held without a touchdown pass, both losses. Brady finished 22 of 46 for 228 yards and had an interception returned for a touchdown by Antonio Allen.
Smith, who threw three fourth-quarter interceptions in a Week 2 loss at New England, was 17 of 33 for 233 yards. He had a first-quarter interception returned 79 yards for a touchdown by rookie Logan Ryan that appeared to set the tone for an ominous afternoon for Smith.
Smith rebounded and gave the Jets a 24-21 lead in the third quarter on an 8-yard run that left the crowd chanting "GEE-NO! GEE-NO!" On third-and-14 from the 24, Smith took off left and was met by Marquice Cole, who slammed into the quarterback. But Smith reached out as he was going down and got the first down.
He again had all receivers tied up when he sprinted to his right, faked out Cole with a nice shake move and dived into the corner of the end zone.
Folk kicked a 37-yard field goal late in the third quarter for a 27-21 lead. Gostkowski’s 39-yarder cut New York’s advantage to 27-24.
The Jets, in a 21-10 hole, opened the second half by immediately putting pressure on Brady and getting a score out of it.
On the first play, Quinton Coples had a strip-sack of Brady, who recovered the ball. But on the next play, Brady threw for Gronkowski and Allen stepped in front. He returned the pick 23 yards, doing a diving somersault into the end zone just 33 seconds into the third quarter.
Stevan Ridley had given the Patriots a 21-10 lead with a 17-yard run on which he bounced outside right tackle and scored untouched. The drive was set up by a 38-yard punt return by Julian Edelman.
Smith got the Jets on the scoreboard on their first drive with a 12-yard toss to Jeremy Kerley. The efficient 12-play drive included three third-down conversions to Kerley.
New England tied it on its opening possession with Brandon Bolden’s 1-yard touchdown.
Redskins 45, Bears 41
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- Jay Cutler left the Chicago Bears’ 45-41 loss to the Washington Redskins early in the second quarter with a groin injury Sunday, and coach Marc Trestman wasn’t sure how long the quarterback might be out.
Asked how seriously Cutler was hurt, Trestman replied: "I don’t have any sense at all. I’m just going to wait and see what the doctors say."
Cutler is scheduled to have an MRI exam Monday.
"He’ll be evaluated when we get back and we’ll know more in the next couple days," Trestman said. "It’s a groin. It’s not a knee. It’s not an ankle. It’s not a hip."
Cutler was injured when he was sacked by 333-pound nose tackle Chris Baker with about 10 minutes left in the first half. After the tackle, Cutler stayed down on the ground for a few minutes, and clutched at the top of his left leg.
Eventually, Cutler got up and limped off the field. He soon was walking gingerly along the sideline toward the visitors’ locker room.
Chicago’s backup quarterback, Josh McCown, came in to replace Cutler.
"When you’re close to somebody, and they get hurt, man, your heart just kind of sinks, but at the same time, you’ve got to process that emotion and move on and get ready to play," McCown said. "So I was bummed, said a prayer, grabbed a helmet, got some throws and got ready to play."
It was McCown’s first appearance in a regular-season NFL game since the final week of the 2011 season, and he did it without the benefit of any first-team practice reps since this season began.
"He’s been around the game a lot in this league," Trestman said. "He functioned like a starting quarterback when he stepped in there."
McCown was 14 for 20 for 204 yards, with one touchdown pass and zero interceptions.
"Josh took over the huddle, moved the football team. ... I didn’t ask him what he liked; what he didn’t like. I just called the plays according to the plan we had put together," Trestman said. "I thought he functioned very well in the offense."
McCown’s 7-yard touchdown toss to tight end Martellus Bennett put Chicago ahead 41-38 with a little under four minutes remaining in the game. Robert Griffin III then led Washington on a drive capped by a 3-yard TD run by Roy Helu Jr. for the go-ahead points.
McCown also ran four times for 33 yards.
That scrambling did make some teammates nervous: The Bears do not have a third quarterback on the roster. If McCown had needed to leave the game, Bennett would have been the next option, Trestman said.
"You see them talking to Earl and kind of getting him ready, and I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah, there’s nobody else,"’ McCown said.
The Bears (4-3), who now have their bye week before facing the Green Bay Packers next, also lost linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) and cornerback Charles Tillman (knee) to injuries in the second half. The Redskins’ only significant injury that was announced: Safety Reed Doughty departed in the fourth quarter with a concussion.
In today’s NFL, though, might be toughest of all to replace a QB.
"When your starting quarterback goes down, and you are used to him playing, it kind of does something mentally to you," Bears running back Matt Forte said.
When Cutler left -- on Baker’s first career sack -- the Redskins were leading 17-10. The hosts were still ahead at halftime, 24-17, with Chicago adding points on Devin Hester’s 81-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Initially, the Bears announced that Cutler’s return was "questionable," but at halftime, they ruled him out for the day.
Before leaving, Cutler was 3 for 8 for 28 yards and an interception that was returned 29 yards by linebacker Brian Orakpo for a touchdown.
Cutler came into Sunday’s game with a 95.2 passer rating and 1,630 yards passing, along with 12 touchdown passes and six interceptions. He earned a 100-plus passer rating in each of Chicago’s previous two games and was seeking to top that mark for a third consecutive game within a season for the first time since 2009.
McCown was asked what differences there are between his skills and Cutler’s.
"Have you seen him throw?" McCown said with a grin. "Obviously, there’s a difference with the velocity at which the ball travels when Jay throws it and when I throw it. We have to play the game in different ways."
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