The much discussed and under-televised showdown in Foxboro is over!
Jay Feely kicked a 34-yard field goal in overtime after New England tied the game on Matt Cassel's pass to Randy Moss with one second left in regulation -- surviving a Tom Brady-like comeback with a 31-34 victory Thursday night.
The nail-biting win put the Jets at 7-3 and vaulted Gang Green to the top spot in the AFC East.
Often, heavily hyped games fail to live up to expectations, and at the onset it looked like the Jets could fly away with this one early with a 24-6 lead in the first half.
But Matt Cassel -- channeling his inner Tom Brady -- provided bookend heroics at the end of both halves to make this game a barn burner to remember.
With 20 seconds left in the first half, Cassel hooked up with Jabar Gaffney for a touchdown the Pats sorely needed to stay in the game.
With four seconds left, New England down 7 and no more time outs, Cassel hit Randy Moss at the side of the end zone with one second left to send the game into overtime.
Here's the recap on a few of the compelling storylines heading in:
- The Hired Gunslinger: If Brett Favre somehow came into this week unawares of his true purpose as a New York Jet, there was no doubt about it after media week for the AFC East Bowl. Although he didn't get to play the role of gunslinger, Favre did his part, playing almost perfect football in going 26-33 for 258 yards and two touchdowns.
- The Weather: The Perfect Storm that was to materialize and possibly force both teams to build an ark to float their respective offenses never showed up. Turned out to be what the kids like to call "perfect football weather."
- The Ghost of Belichick: Let's face it, looking at the injury report for each team, the Jets are supposed to win this game. But the big intangible in this game, and throughout the series, has been Bill Belichick's chokehold on the Jets. The presence of Favre, and this crucial victory, does a lot to make Foxboro less of a haunted house for Jets fans.
- Contenders or Pretenders: Besides the hardcore beef, this was a game that would determine one of the contenders for the AFC crown. Now the Jets go on to play the currently undefeated Titans next week and with back-to-back wins would begin thinking about a serious playoff run. Of course, a convincing loss would send them back to good-but-not-good-enough status.