Ryan Fitzpatrick, quarterback: It was a disastrous start -- he lost a fumble on the second play -- but Fitzpatrick regrouped and played a solid game under stressful circumstances. With very little support from the running game, Fitzpatrick (22-of-39, 295 yards, two touchdowns) was forced to throw more than the Jets would have preferred. To his credit, he didn't throw an interception for the first time this season. He spread the ball around more than usual, which was a good thing. On the downside, he had at least four passes batted at the line. That needs to be fixed.
Eric Decker, wide receiver: With the Patriots doubling Brandon Marshall on every play, according to Marshall, Decker became Fitzpatrick's No. 1 option. Rebounding from last week's poor performance, Decker finished with six catches for 94 yards, including three third-down conversions. Truth be told, the Jets should have done more damage against the Patriots' thin secondary. They connected on a few deep crossing routes, but there should've been more available to the Jets.
Nick Folk, kicker: His 55-yard field goal -- 1 yard shy of his career long -- with 18 seconds left extended the game for the Jets. The ensuing onside kick was recovered by Marshall at the Patriots' 49-yard line. Down by seven points, the Jets had a chance for a miracle win, but they never got off a Hail Mary. Their hopes fizzled with a poorly designed completion (why throw over the middle with no timeouts left?) and a penalty, which resulted in a 10-second run off to end the game. Don't blame Folk, though; he was 3-for-3 on field goals.
Brandon Marshall, wide receiver: Marshall's storybook season took a turn sideways. He cost the Jets at least four points and a chance at a last-second Hail Mary. Early in the fourth quarter, he dropped what should have been an easy touchdown on a third down from the New England 12. Instead of the Jets taking a 24-16 lead, they had to settle for a field goal and made it 20-16. "Absolutely, that's on me," Marshall said. With one second left in the game, from the Patriots' 37, Marshall didn't get set in time, which resulted in a game-ending false-start penalty. After speaking to reporters, Marshall -- in uniform -- sat on the stool in front of his locker for about 15 minutes, perhaps replaying those mistakes in his mind.
Todd Bowles, coach: His clock management late in the fourth quarter was questionable. In the final 2:50, Bowles eschewed two opportunities when he needed to call a timeout. At that point, the Jets still had three timeouts. Tom Brady took his sweet time and eventually threw a touchdown pass to a wide-open Rob Gronkowski with 1:13 to go. It wasn't the reason the Jets lost, but it was a glaring oversight. Afterward, Bowles' explanation didn't make much sense; he said the Jets were trying for a stop in those situations.
David Harris, linebacker: The biggest play of the game was the Patriots' third-and-17 conversion in the fourth quarter. The Jets played a Cover-2 zone, with Harris responsible for the deep middle, between the two safeties. Brady rifled a completion to Julian Edelman, which set up a touchdown. "I should have got deeper in my zone," Harris said. "Put it on me. It was my fault." The Jets rushed only four on the play and took the conservative route on third-and-long. Obviously, it backfired.