AFC East: New York Jets Stun Atlanta Falcons


Oct 7, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets place kicker Nick Folk (2) celebrates the game winning field goal kick in the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Jets won 30-28. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

In what should have been a lopsided Monday night football contest turned out to be a very close match-up between the New York Jets and the Atlanta Falcons. The Jets took an early 3-0 lead by a Nick Folk field goal, but the Falcons were determined to come back. Jason Snelling caught a TD pass from Matt Ryan early in the second to put the Falcons up 7-3. Geno Smith proved the haters wrong by quickly following with two TD passes to bump the Jets back into a lead of 17-7, after scoring passes to Jeff Cumberland and Jeremy Kerley.

In the third quarter, the Falcons mounted the comeback with a Jacquizz Rodgers TD to decrease the Jets’ lead to 17-14, but the Jets answered with a Nick Folk field goal from 36-yards out to make the score 20-14. The fourth quarter saw a frenzy of scoring, first with the Jets increasing their lead with a Kellen Winslow TD pass from Geno Smith to go up 27-14, a seemingly insurmountable score, but the Falcons weren’t done yet. Jacquizz Rodgers ran in his second TD of the night, followed by a Matt Ryan TD pass to the rookie TE Levine Toilolo, to give the Falcons a lead of 28-27 with less than two minutes left. Geno Smith put the team on his back and rushed the Jets into field goal range, where Nick Folk kicked a game-winning field goal to seal the Jets victory, 30-28.

Geno Smith was an incredible 16/20 for 199 yards and 3 TDs with no picks, and finished for a near-perfect passer rating of 147.7.  Matt Ryan played well and finished 36/45 for 319 yards and 2 TDs, but the defense wasn’t able to get the job done against a determined Jet squad. This loss knocks the Falcons to 1-4, which all but puts their playoff expectations in doubt since the division-rival Saints are 5-0 with no signs of slowing down. They could fight for a wild-card spot, but the NFC is extremely competitive and it would require a complete defensive turn-around by the Falcons along with some luck to accomplish this task. Meanwhile, the Jets move to 3-2 and tie the Miami Dolphins for second in the AFC East, falling short in the tie-breaker due to their 1-1 divisional record so far.