Patriots Gridiron News: Chris Long Makes Defensive Play of the Game

November 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Chris Long (95) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi
November 20, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Chris Long (95) before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi /

New England Patriots veteran defensive end Chris Long came through when it really counted in the team’s 22-17 victory over the New York Jets.

The New England Patriots had a couple big plays on defense Sunday.  But none as big as the one made by defensive end Chris Long deep in the fourth quarter.  The eight-year veteran had a strip-sack fumble against Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpartick with 1:51 left in the game to help seal a 22-17 victory at MetLife Stadium.

It wasn’t just a great moment for Long, but a big moment for a defensive that has struggled all year long to find the intensity and emotion Long provided after the play.

After Trey Flowers recovered the fumble, Long ran over to the Patriots sideline and put a finger to his mouth hushing the Jets crowd.  Although he realized he was hushing the wrong section of the crowd (mostly Patriots fans), the former first-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Rams relished after the game about how great it felt to make a play to help his team win.

More from New England Patriots

"“You want to get there, because for one, you take pride in it and it helps your team,” Long said via “And you can get all the hits and hurries you want, but people don’t see it. At the end of the day, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t matter because people look at the stat sheet.“But it’s two-minute, the whole team’s been battling all day. We just had to make a play. The coverage held up well. Fitzy was doing a good job with the timing all day, and he just patted it one too long. We just stayed on it.”"

Chris Long went on to explain how his health played a role in making the play.  Hopefully he can now provide the leadership this team needs on defense to make a run deep in the playoffs.

Rob Gronkowski: The New England Patriots tight end left the game Sunday with a back injury and did not return.  Early indications are that Rob Gronkowski’s injury is not serious and he is not expected to miss time.

What always seem to be the case with Gronkowski, concerns are that the injury may progress as the week goes on.  Speaking to the media following the game, head coach Bill Belichick didn’t offer much when asked about the tight end’s status.

"“I haven’t seen Rob,” he said.  “I don’t know.”"

Jacoby Brissett: The rookie quarterback has healed nicely from his thumb surgery and is expected to be activated to the 53-man roster.  With Tom Brady nursing a knee injury, Brissett’s availability could become important if the team decides to rest Brady during any part of the remailing schedule.

Next: Patriots Morning Thoughts On Win Over New York Jets

For more news and roster updates on your favorite NFL team, keep it locked here at Chowder and Champions.