By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)
October 7th, 2013
Week 5 New York Jets vs Atlanta Falcons Team Grades
The New York Jets headed into Atlanta to play the Falcons as 10 point underdogs, but surprised the country on Monday Night Football with a season changing 30-28 win. The victory improves the Jets to (3-2) on the season.
Passing Offense Grade (A)
Rookie Geno Smith was able to bounce back from a bad game in Tennessee with a great game in Atlanta, as he was able to protect the ball and make some big plays for the Jets passing offense. Smith was in a bit of a game manager mode in the win, but really excelled when throwing the ball. Smith threw for 199 yards on 16 for 20 passing, with three touchdowns. Without Santonio Holmes, Smith was able to utilize his Tight Ends very well especially in the red zone, as Jeff Cumberland, and Kellen Winslow each had a receiving touchdown. Jeremy Kerley had a big game in the absence of Holmes, as he caught a team-high five passes for 68 yards, and a touchdown.
Rushing Offense Grade (B+)
On the ground the Jets did a pretty good job against the Falcons rushing defense, as they showed a bit of a three-headed monster at the Running Back position. Starter Bilal Powell had a tough time getting it going on the ground, as on his 12 carries he was only able to gain 38 yards. His backups were able to rip off some good runs though, as in his season debut Mike Goodson had 32 yards on three carries, and coming back from injury Chris Ivory had 27 yards on four carries. Smith also gained some nice yards on the ground including a big scramble on the game-winning drive, as he had 21 yards on three carries.
Passing Defense Grade (C+)
Up against a very good Quarterback in Matt Ryan, and some scary weapons on offense, the passing defense had a tough day for the most part. Ryan finished the game throwing for 319 yards on 36 for 45 passing, with two touchdown passes. Guarding Tony Gonzalez and Julio Jones proved to be a tough task as expected, as Gonzalez caught 10 passes for 97 yards, and Jones caught eight passes for 99 yards. The receiving touchdowns came foe the Falcons came from Levine Toilolo and Jason Snelling. Mo Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson did however each get to Matt Ryan in this game for a sack, as they both continue to play extremely well this season.
Rushing Defense Grade (A)
In what is becoming an every week trend the Jets rushing defense was very good against the Falcons without their normal Starter Steven Jackson in the victory. Jacquizz Rodgers got the Start for the Falcons and did score two touchdowns, but only had 43 yards on 14 carries. Jason Snelling also had no success against the Jets front line, as he ran it seven times for 13 yards. The Falcons as a team averaged just 2.9 yards per carry, which resulted in the great grade for the Jets run defense.
Special Teams Grade (A+)
The Special Teams for the Jets was possibly the biggest difference maker in this game, as they came up huge in the upset win. They wasted little time making an impact on the game, as on the first drive of the game Antonio Allen blocked a punt, giving the Jets great field position. Jets Kicker Nick Folk stayed perfect on Monday night, as he went three for three on his field goal attempts, which included a 43-yard kick to win the game.
Coaching Grade (A)
Coming in as 10 point underdogs the Jets coaching staff has to get a lot of credit for coming up with good game-plans to upset the Falcons. Marty Mornhinweg did a good job calling the game on offense, keeping a balanced attack, which resulted in Smith not turning the ball over, and having a great game. The penalty issues from the previous two weeks seemed to be fixed up in Atlanta, as they only had six penalties for 24 yards, which is a huge upgrade from the previous two weeks. It will be interesting to see if the Jets keep winning if Rex Ryan's job may be safer than most people expected.
Next up for the Jets will be a home game against the struggling Pittsburgh Steelers, who will be coming back to the United States from their game in London.