BOSTON (CBS) — Bill Belichick walked off the MetLife Stadium field last October incredulous that the officials had called his team for an unsportsmanlike penalty on a field goal attempt.
The guilty party was Chris Jones, a rookie defensive lineman playing in just his fourth game, and the crime was pushing a teammate in an attempt to block Nick Folk’s 56-yard attempt in overtime.
The Jets had new life, and three plays later a 30-27 win. Belichick argued with the officials as he walked off the field and was dumbfounded after the game, but took all the blame for the play the next day.
Fast forward almost one year to the day (just three days shy), and it’s a completely different story. On Thursday night, Jones blocked Folk’s 58-yard attempt at the end of regulation as the Patriots held on for a 27-25 win over the Jets at Gillette Stadium.
“Obviously really happy for Chris at the end. After what happened last year, I thought it was so fitting that he made that play,” Belichick said as he opened his postgame press conference. “That was awesome.”
For Jones, it was a little bit of redemption.
“I was just tyring to get as deep in the pocket as I could, and then just get up and get my hands up. I got one, and blocked it,” he said in the Patriots locker room. “I knew it was going to be a line drive so I just tried to get as deep as I could and as high as I could.
“Honestly it was just good to get a win. It’s always good to beat a division rival,” he said. “The Jets gave us their best, I’m just glad to come out with the win.”
Jones said a few people reminded him of last season as they celebrated on the field, though he admitted that he didn’t really need to be reminded. Now, he has a new play to point to whenever anyone brings it up.
“It feels good,” he said. “That was last year, so it’s good to get the win this year.”
Jones played well for the Patriots on the defensive line with a pair of quarterback hits, though the unit struggled throughout the night surrendering 218 rushing yards to the Jets.
But Jones came through when the Jets had a chance to steal a win from the Patriots, a play he said came down to determination.
“It was just coming down to will at the end,” said Jones. “We had to see who could get the most push in the front, and we ended up getting it.”
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