Pats win regular-season record 18th straight

FOXBORO, Mass. (AP) -- With a little over two minutes to play and

the New York Jets driving for a go-ahead score, the Patriots

defense huddled on the sideline.

It was fourth-and-8 from the New England 30, and the Patriots

clung to a six-point lead. They stayed calm, drawing on their

varied experiences in close games, and knew they had to get after

Chad Pennington to have any chance at saving the game.

Allen's Analysis

Eric Allen

Jets-Pats: How do the Pats continue to stave off late rallies, week after week?

This team is filled with special veterans. Whether it's Ty Law, Rodney Harrison, Mike Vrabel or Willie McGinest, there always seems to be someone ready to make a big difference-making play. The Patriots put in an inordinate amount of time studying and preparing, and it shows in their play. They always seem to be ready for any play the opposing offense throws at them. That's the difference between them and other teams in the league. The Patriots are prepared to make the right plays at the right moment.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.

When the ball was finally snapped, Pennington hurried his throw

to Wayne Chrebet, and Rodney Harrison broke up the pass with 2:14

remaining. The Patriots had come through as they always did, and

extended their NFL victory streak to 21 games in a 13-7 win over

the Jets on Sunday.

The Patriots also set the regular-season mark of 18 straight

wins, surpassing the 17 won by the 1933-34 Chicago Bears. They also

moved to 6-0 for the first time in franchise history while handing

the Jets (5-1) their first loss this season.

"Chrebet went up the seam, and I saw the ball. I saw Pennington

looking at him and I just broke on the ball and tried to touch

it," Harrison said. "We were successful at it."

Since 2003, the Patriots are 9-1 in games decided by seven

points or less. For that reason, there was no panic when the Jets

started driving down the field.

"It's nothing new to us," cornerback Ty Law said. "Whenever

the situation presents itself, it's, 'Oh we've done this before.'

No one's tight, no one's nervous to make a play."

The matchup was the first pitting two undefeated teams with five

or more wins since the Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams were

both 6-0 going into a game Oct. 28, 1973. The game lived up to the

hype, and turned into a defensive struggle in the second half.

New England led 13-7 at the break and could not muster much on

offense in the second half. Neither could the Jets until late in

the fourth quarter. Facing fourth-and-1 from their own 23, coach

Herman Edwards decided to go for it.

Pennington made the first down on a 2-yard sneak. The Jets then

marched to the Patriots 27. Richard Seymour and Willie McGinest

made a crucial play on third-and-5, forcing Curtis Martin to lose 3

yards on a run. On fourth down, Pennington tried to throw to

Chrebet, but Harrison was there to make the play.

Jets coach Herman Edwards said there was no way the Jets would

settle for three points.

"We're not kicking a field goal," Edwards said. "You're not

going to get lucky and beat the champs. We were in fourth down

territory the whole way."

Tom Brady finished 20-of-29 for 230 yards and a touchdown, while

Corey Dillon had 22 carries for 115 yards, the first 100-yard

runner the Jets have allowed all season. David Givens also had the

second 100-yard day of his career, finishing with five catches for

107 yards.

Martin passed Jim Brown for seventh place on the NFL career

rushing list in the second quarter. He had 70 yards on 20 carries

and now has 12,382 career yards, compared to Brown's 12,312.

Mistakes ended up costing the Jets. Two penalties led to 10

points in the second quarter. A too many men on the field penalty

on fourth-and-1 gave the Patriots a first down early in the


New England converted the mistake into points, when Adam

Vinatieri made a 27-yard field goal to make it 6-0. After

Pennington scored on a 1-yard bootleg run to put the Jets up 7-6,

New England got the ball back with 1:55 left before halftime.

Brady expertly ran the two-minute offense, moving the Patriots

down to the Jets 13 with 18 seconds to go. On the next play, tackle

Dewayne Robertson was whistled for roughing the passer. Brady

connected with David Patten for a 7-yard score with 5 seconds left

before halftime to give the Patriots the lead back.

"It was important to put some points up," Brady said. "We

continue to work on the two-minute drills and they keep getting


The Jets also had their first drive of the game squelched

because of a mistake, when Ted Johnson forced Jerald Sowell to

fumble at the Patriots 15, and Randall Gay recovered.

"Playing New England is very much like playing chess," Martin

said. "When two very good people play chess, the one that makes a

mistake loses, and that's what happened today."

Of course, New England has made a name for itself by forcing

teams into mistakes. It helped save the day again.

"It felt like an old Foxboro moment," Johnson said. "The

defense had to make a big play to win the game."

Game notes
The Patriots have scored first in 11 straight

regular-season games and 14 straight overall. ... Brady has thrown

a touchdown pass in 12 consecutive games, including playoffs. ...

Jets reserve linebacker Jason Glenn hurt his right arm in the third

quarter and did not return. ... Justin McCareins had six catches

for 83 yards for the Jets, his best game this season.