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Mangini enjoys triumphant return as Jets shock Patriots

Nov 12, 2006 - 9:26 PM FOXBORO, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- Eric Mangini spent more than half a decade learning from New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. It did not take nearly that long for the apprentice to beat his former boss.

Chad Pennington hooked up with Jerricho Cotchery for a key touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and the New York Jets capitalized on a late interception en route to a 17-14 upset of the Patriots.

With the victory, the Jets (5-4) climbed within one game of the Patriots (6-3) while snapping a seven-game skid against their AFC East Division rival. It marked the first time since 2002 that the Patriots lost consecutive games, ending a string of 57 consecutive contests.

"I think this was a really a good win against a tough opponent that we've had problems beating here in the past," Mangini said. "It's hard to win on the road, it's hard to beat the Patriots and we're pleased with that."

It also marked the second meeting between Belichick and Mangini, who worked as a secondary coach and defensive coordinator in New England for six years before leaving in the offseason to take the New York job.

"I haven't been back in this area since I took the job," Mangini said. "I don't know if Cape Cod counts, but I haven't been around here. It was nice to be back. I have a lot of great memories of being here and I'd like to add this memory to it."

The Patriots trailed, 10-6, with just over seven minutes remaining in the contest when two-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady was intercepted by safety Erik Coleman, who brought the ball back to the New England 35.

"Coach (Belichick) always says to us it's just undisciplined football," Brady said. "It is penalties and turnovers, there has just been too much of that. You have got to eliminate that type of stuff. I mean it's hard enough to move it when you are not shooting yourself in the foot. But we just did a little too much of that today."

Pennington made the Patriots pay for the costly mistake four plays later, finding Cotchery in the back-right corner of the end zone for a 22-yard touchdown to give the Jets a 17-6 advantage.

"When it's up in the air, it's just a matter of who wants it the most," said Cotchery, who outjumped 5-9 cornerback Ellis Hobbs to grab Pennington's floater. "I think (Hobbs) was just waiting on the interception and I went up and got it."

"Hobbs had pretty good coverage," Pennington added. "He was playing 'off' coverage, and I just felt like if I gave (Cotchery) a chance, he could make something happen for us and he did."

Pennington completed 22-of-33 passes for 168 yards and an interception while Cotchery hauled in six receptions for 70 yards. Kevan Barlow ran for 75 yards and a score on 17 carries for New York, which was the last team to hand New England its second consecutive loss back on December 22, 2002.

"I think we all have our own reasons for why we wanted to beat New England," Pennington said. "Eric has his reasons, I have my reasons, and we have ours as a team.

"The bottom line is you have to eventually stand up and say, 'Look, we have to win one of these games.' They've beaten us seven times in a row. Hats off to our coaching staff for setting the mindset and the tone."

Brady went 25-of-37 for 255 yards and a TD for the Patriots, who dropped a 27-20 decision here to the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday night.

"I just think as a football team, there were plays we would like to have back and we could have done better," Belichick said. "I don't think anybody played a perfect game. You can say that."

After Brady found Reche Caldwell for a 15-yard TD to cut the deficit to 17-14, New England had a chance to at least force overtime in the final minute. Brady completed three consecutive attempts as the Patriots marched to midfield with 10 seconds remaining.

But New England had no timeouts left and was forced to watch the clock run out after Brady was sacked by defensive end Shaun Ellis on the game's final play.

"They needed to complete the pass to get in field-goal range," Ellis said. "It was just huge. It seemed like everything was in slow motion. I made a good move on the guy and came around the end, and (Brady) was right there."

"It was a kind of typical Jets-Patriots game," Belichick added. "It comes down to the last possession. (It was) a hard-fought game, and they made more plays than we did."

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