- Associated Press - Sunday, December 6, 2015

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Brandon Marshall had a good feeling as he sat on a bench on the New York Jets’ sideline, so he leaned over and told Ryan Fitzpatrick they were about to win.

“He said the stars are aligning,” Fitzpatrick said with a big smile. “I don’t know what he was saying.”

A few seconds later, Josh Brown’s 48-yard field goal sailed wide left, giving the Jets a 23-20 overtime victory over the Giants on Sunday.

“He was right,” Fitzpatrick said. “They missed it and it was a good feeling.”

The players embraced, and so did several coaches, knowing that the Jets (7-5) overcame a sloppy performance in which they gave up a few big plays and had some costly penalties - and still managed to help themselves in the AFC playoff hunt.

“I had tears in my eyes and there were like three or four coaches and three or four players (hugging),” Marshall said. “That’s what it’s all about. We want to do it together. To fight like that, I know that’s what I enjoy about this game, especially now. Coming into this locker room after a win, that raw emotion, you can’t pay for that.”

Fitzpatrick rallied the Jets from a late 10-point deficit after Tom Coughlin’s decision to go on fourth down went awry. Randy Bullock kicked a 31-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime, giving the Jets the stunning win that sent the Giants (5-7) to their third straight loss.

The Jets didn’t seal it until Brown missed his first attempt in 26 tries this season.

“For us to come from behind, it shows some grit,” coach Todd Bowles said. “During the season, that’s the mark of a good team, so we finally got to that point. I’m just happy it was today.”

A visibly frustrated Coughlin didn’t back down from his decision to go on fourth-and-2 from the Jets 4 with his team ahead 20-10 with under nine minutes to play. The play failed when Rontez Miles intercepted Eli Manning’s pass and returned it to the Jets 14, starting the Giants on the road to a fifth loss in a game they squandered a fourth-quarter lead.

“If we scored there on fourth-and-2, then we push the score up to where maybe they can’t beat us with whatever,” Coughlin said. “So we’re up 17. I stand by it.”

The interception by Miles sparked the Jets, who are looking to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2010 season.

“I thought they would kick the field goal, honestly,” said Miles, whose interception was the first of his career.

Added defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson: “They drove the ball the length of the field and we bowed up and got a good stop and got the turnover, and you can’t ask for anything better than that as a defense.”

Bullock cut the deficit to seven on the next series and Fitzpatrick hit Marshall for a 9-yard touchdown with 27 seconds remaining to tie it, capping a 71-yard drive. Fitzpatrick finished 36 for 50 for 390 yards, while Marshall had 12 catches for 131 yards. Marshall, who leads the Jets with 1,062 receiving yards this season, is the first player in NFL history with a 1,000-yard receiving season with four different teams (Denver, Miami, Chicago and the Jets).

Fitzpatrick combined with Bilal Powell, who had eight catches for 91 yards, on a 25-yard TD pass for the Jets’ other touchdown. Bullock had three short field goals, the last capping a drive Fitzpatrick kept alive with an 11-yard pass to Eric Decker and passes of 13 and 10 to Marshall and 17 to Decker late.

“There was always just a great belief in the huddle,” Fitzpatrick said, “a great belief on the sideline that we could come back and take this thing.”

Odell Beckham Jr. sprinted 72 yards for a touchdown and Dwayne Harris weaved 80 yards for another on a punt return for the Giants.

“This is a statement game for us as far as coming from behind and winning one,” Decker said.

The Jets also dealt with some controversy before the game, with Wilkerson being benched for the first quarter. Both Bowles and Wilkerson said it was “a coach’s decision,” and they insisted they would keep the reason “in house.” Wilkerson ended up with his team-leading ninth sack.

Manning finished 18 of 34 for 297 yards for the Giants. Jason Pierre-Paul had a fumble recovery to set up one of two field goals by Brown, whose miss was his first since Dec. 21. A 43-yard kickoff return by Harris and a 20-yard pass to Beckham on fourth down from the Giants 46 set up Brown’s missed attempt.

“We’ve been beat up a few times this year,” Marshall said, “and it was time for one of these games to go our way.”

NOTES: Jets DE Mike Catapano was carted from the sideline with a right foot injury and didn’t return. S Calvin Pryor had a stinger, according to Bowles, and WR Jeremy Kerley left with a migraine. … Harris became the third Giants player to have a kickoff and punt return for touchdowns in the same season, joining Hall of Famer Emlen Tunnell (1951) & Jimmy Patton (1955).


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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