Rookie quarterback Geno Smith used the last 1:54 to guide the New York Jets 55 yards through the Falcons defense to set up Nick Folk’s 43 yard field goal and hand Atlanta a 30-28 defeat.
Smith was a perfect 4-for-4 on the drive to finish the game 16-20 for 199 yards and a rating of 147.7. Not bad for a rookie in his first appearance on Monday Night Football.
Atlanta finally found its second half scoring touch posting 14 points in the final quarter. An attribute they could have used on the final drive of the first half. Once again the Falcons offense found the gates locked with not four but five shots at the endzone. Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan pinpointed that sequence as one of the important keys to his team’s victory. “I knew that was going to be end up being a huge play in the game for us,” said Ryan.
Trailing 17-7 to start the second half, Atlanta’s offense proved to be more determined on their first offensive series of the third quarter. Using a steady diet of Jacquizz Rodgers and Tony Gonzalez, the Falcons navigated the short field in 8 plays. Rodgers capped the drive sprinting 4 yards over the left side.
New York regained the momentum late in the third following Muhammad Wilkerson’s sack of Matt Ryan that resulted in a fumble. Wilkerson recovered the fumble at the Atlanta 27 and the Jets went on to reel off 10 points and take a 27 to 14 lead.
Rodgers put the Falcons back on the board with a darting off tackle and then bouncing it outside for a 19 yard touchdown run.
Atlanta regained the lead for the first time since 14:53 in the second quarter on a 10 play 63 yard drive. The Falcons looked as if they were returning to their old inefficient ways until a defensive holding call on 4th and 7 gave the offense new life. Ryan didn’t waste the new opportunity hitting second TE Levine Toilolo with a 3 yard touchdown pass.
The euphoria in the Dome didn’t last long as the Jets moved the ball seemingly at will down the field. A drive Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith has seen much too often this season. “I think it’s kind of reminiscent of what has happened through the first five games,” said Smith. “We have not been as efficient as we need to be at the end of ballgames and finish football games. That was too easy for them to go down the field and attempt the winning field goal.”
Atlanta moves to 1-4 and will get a week off to heal up thanks to the Bye. Wide receiver Julio Jones was injured late in the game and is expected to be evaluated further. The Jets improve to 3-2 and head home for a game against the Steelers in Week 6.
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