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After Gostkowski’s overtime field goal, the Jets moved to their 40 before Ninkovich got around right tackle Austin Howard and hit Sanchez high while Jermaine Cunningham got him low for a sack. The ball came loose, Ninkovich pounced on it and Belichick went out and patted Ninkovich on the helmet.

“In overtime, Bill came to us and said we’re going to need the rush,” defensive tackle Vince Wilfork said. “We all understood that we had to get after it.”

Said Sanchez: “We got pressure inside and I didn’t feel Ninkovich on the outside.”

After a required replay, the ruling was upheld and the Patriots escaped with a win after blowing a 10-point lead in the last six minutes of the fourth quarter.

In their other losses, Gostkowski missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt on the next to last play of a 20-18 loss to Arizona, Justin Tucker kicked a 27-yarder on the last play of a 31-30 Baltimore win and Sidney Rice caught a 46-yard touchdown pass with 1:18 left in Seattle’s 24-23 victory.

“It comes down to a few plays,” Tom Brady said. “We had opportunities last week (at Seattle). We had opportunities against Baltimore. We had opportunities against the Cardinals, and when you make the plays you win the game.”

On Sunday, the Jets rallied from a 23-13 deficit in the last six minutes of the fourth quarter on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Sanchez to Dustin Keller and Folk’s third and fourth field goals.

But Brady marched the Patriots downfield after starting at his 21-yard line to put Gostkowski in position to force overtime.

Brady completed 26 of 42 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns to Rob Gronkowski. Sanchez was 28 for 41 for 328 yards and one touchdown.

The Patriots led 16-10 at halftime, scoring on offense, defense and special teams.

Trailing 7-0 after Shonn Greene’s 1-yard touchdown run, the Patriots scored on the next play when McCourty returned a kickoff 104 yards for a touchdown, second in team history only to Ellis Hobbs’ 108-yard kickoff return. Both came against the Jets.

Then, the offense came through on Brady’s 17-yard scoring pass to Gronkowski. And the defense followed with a safety two minutes into the second quarter when Sanchez deliberately kicked a loose ball beyond the back of the end zone after Greene’s fumble.

The Jets nearly reached the other end zone midway through the second quarter when Hill got open in front of the right corner of the end zone, but Sanchez’s long pass came up short and rookie Alfonzo Dennard intercepted at the Patriots 2.

Folk kicked a 54-yard field goal with 2 seconds left in the first half and a 21-yarder on the first series of the third quarter.

Brady then threw a 2-yard scoring pass to Gronkowski for a 23-13 lead late in the third quarter.

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