By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Yes, it was ugly. Yes, the Patriots probably would have lost to a better team.

But they walked away with a win on a short week against a division foe. There is plenty of room for improvement on both sides of the ball, but the Patriots will take it.

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Fans don’t have to like it, and the team shouldn’t feel very good about themselves. But with their 27-25 win over the Jets the Pats improve to 5-2 on the season, knocking their rival to 1-6 in the process.

Here are the Ups and Downs from Thursday night’s tilt:


Amendola Plays His Part

Missing for much of his tenure in New England, Danny Amendola has his best game since his first game in a Patriots uniform. He returned kickoffs, came down with his first touchdown in 10 months, and had a huge heads-up play on special teams late in the fourth quarter.

His only catch of the game was a big one, as Amendola hauled in a beautiful back-shoulder touchdown toss from Tom Brady in the fourth quarter to put the Patriots on top 27-19. He nearly pulled a 360 on the catch, and when asked if he turned completely around after the game replied, “I got enough around, that’s for sure.”

Then when the Jets tried an onside kick late in the game, it was Amendola who dove on the loose ball to give the Patriots the ball. He was also solid as a kick returner, averaging 26.3 yards on four returns.

Amendola needed a confidence boost to get his season on track, and this game may be just what the doctor ordered.

Redemption For Chris Jones

The Patriots lost a game to the Jets last season on a Chris Jones unsportsmanlike penalty for pushing a teammate on an attempt to block a kick. On this night, he made amends for that miscue.

Bill Belichick never believed it was a penalty last year, so he may have been even happier than Jones when the defensive lineman jumped up and blocked Nick Folk’s 58-yard attempt at the end of Thursday night’s game.

“Really happy for Chris,” Belichick said in his postgame press conference. “After what happened last year, I thought it was so fitting that he made that play. That was awesome.”

Jones also finished with three tackles and a pair of QB hits for the evening.

Vereen A Touchdown Machine

Without Stevan Ridley, the Patriots relied on Shane Vereen out of the backfield. He didn’t disappoint, catching a pair of passes from Tom Brady while rushing for 47 yards on 12 carries.

Vereen had five catches for 71 yards, with 49 of those yards coming on a phenomenal first quarter touchdown catch. On the Patriots’ second touchdown drive (which also ended with Vereen in the end zone), he broke off a 17-yard run on 2nd-and-10. He accounted for 28 of New England’s 80 yards on that drive.

Thursday night was the first regular season multi-touchdown game for Vereen in his career.

Bend Don’t Break D

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If the defense did one thing well on a night that they struggled, they kept the Jets out of the end zone. Some of that was aided by Geno Smith, but the Jets had to settle for four field goals after some lengthy drives, and were just two-for-four when in the red zone.


Third Down Defense

The Jets were 9-of-16 on third down attempts, and gave up some big plays when they could have gotten off the field.

On the first third down they faced, the D gave up a 28-yard completion to Jeff Cumberland. Three plays later with the Jets facing a third-and-1, Chris Ivory broke off a 15-yard run.

It got worse in the second half too. On New York’s first drive of the third quarter, they gave up two big plays on third downs to Eric Decker, leading to the Jets’ first touchdown. New York’s second touchdown came on a third-and-6, making the game a lot closer than it had to be.

The defense played a lot more football than they had to, but have no one to blame but themselves. Well, maybe a little can go on the offense, who didn’t give their D much time to breath on the sideline.

Stagnant Offense At Times

The Jets controlled the clock for most of the game with their pulverizing rush attack, but the Patriots didn’t do themselves any favors on a number of their possessions.

The Patriots had five three-and-outs in this one, including two straight after opening the game with a touchdown drive.

Run Defense

The Patriots certainly missed Jerod Mayo in this one. The Jets ran for 218 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry, with Chris Ivory leading the way with 107 yards on 21 carries.

Hopefully they’re able to come up with a better scheme with a few extra days to game plan for the Chicago Bears.

Rough Debut For Browner

Browner was hit with a pair of penalties in his brief time on the field, and spent a lot of time on the bench.

Bonus Down: Brady’s Flop

Come on Tom, no need to be doing your best impression of the Montreal Canadiens.

Bonus points to Jordan Devey for sticking up for his quarterback though.

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