Jets 17, Patriots 14

Sunday, November 12th 2006, 3:42 pm

By: News On 6

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Chad Pennington marched the New York Jets through the mist and tightened the AFC East race.

Relying on short gains and long drives on a rainy day, the Jets won 17-14 on Sunday, repelling a late comeback and ending the New England Patriots' streak of 57 games without consecutive losses.

Pennington also had a hand in the previous losing streak when he led the Jets to a 30-17 win in December 2002 one week after the Patriots lost to Tennessee.

After the Jets ended a 7 game losing streak to the Patriots, head coaches Eric Mangini and Bill Belichick exchanged another passing handshake, slightly more substantial than the fleeting, loose-handed greeting the two shared after the first meeting that ended in a win by New England.

Preseason favorites to win their fourth straight division title, the Patriots (6-3) lead the Jets (5-4) by just 1 game.

Pennington led 2 long scoring drives, one covering 16 plays that led to Kevan Barlow's 2 yard touchdown run and a 7-3 lead. The other was 15 play drive that was capped by Mike Nugent's 34 yard field goal and gave the Jets a 10-6 lead with 1:46 left in the 3rd quarter.

The Jets made it 17-6 on Pennington's 22 yard pass to Jerricho Cotchery with 4:45 left after an interception by Erik Coleman, then went into a prevent defense that backfired.

The Patriots drove 69 yards in 31 seconds to draw within 17-14 on Tom Brady's 15 yard scoring pass to Reche Caldwell on a pass that was tipped by New York's Kerry Rhodes. Brady and Caldwell then combined on a 2 point conversion.

After a punt by the Jets, the Patriots took over at their 11 with 1:08 and no timeouts left. New England reached the Jets 45 before Brady spiked the ball with 9 seconds left. But he was sacked by Shaun Ellis on the final play. Brady completed 25 of 37 passes for 255 yards.

Pennington was 22-33 for 168, an average of 7.6 yards per completion. Barlow gained 75 yards on 17 carries.

Under Mangini, the Patriots' defensive coordinator last year, the Jets already have surpassed their victory total for all last season when they were 4-12.

Mangini spent six seasons in New England under Belichick, the first five as defensive backs coach, but there has been noticeable tension between the two since Mangini took the job as New York's coach. Mangini often refers to New England as ``the other place'' and Belichick has continually avoided giving his former assistant any praise for the job he's done.

Following a 27-20 loss to Indianapolis last Sunday night in which Brady threw 4 interceptions, the Patriots fell to 2-3 at home and 4-1 in the division.

New England didn't take full advantage of Corey Dillon's 50 yard run, his longest in three seasons with the team, and settled for a 3-0 lead on Stephen Gostkowski's 31 yard field goal 4 seconds into the 2nd quarter.

The Patriots also failed to capitalize on Artrell Hawkins' interception on the Jets' first play of the ensuing drive. Two plays later, Doug Gabriel fumbled at the end of a 22 yard completion from Brady. He was pushed out of bounds, but the ball fell inbounds and Belichick chose not to challenge the call.

The Jets then held the ball for 9:12, marching 81 yards to Barlow's touchdown. Barlow carried on 9 of those plays for 42 yards, while Pennington ran for 3 important yards on 4th & 1 at the Patriots 23.

Gostkowski kicked a 21 yard field goal, cutting the lead to 7-6 with 4 seconds left in the half.

The Patriots played without both starting safeties, Rodney Harrison with a broken shoulder blade and Eugene Wilson with a hamstring injury

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