The New York Jets (2-2) will travel to the Georgia Dome to take on the struggling Atlanta Falcons (1-3) on Monday night.
The Jets are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Tennessee Titans last week where they turned the ball over five times. Geno Smith faced some harsh criticism after last week’s performance and had fans questioning why he wasn’t benched for backup quarterback Matt Simms. Smith will have a chance to shine in the big spotlight this week, playing in his first Monday night game.
The key for Smith and the Jets offense this week is to hold onto the football and to run it effectively in order to keep the Atlanta Falcons’ offense off the field. The Jets will be without Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill, their two leading wide receivers, leaving very little depth at the position. Smith will have to have better pocket presence this week and protect the football with two hands.
Smith’s biggest flaw this year has been holding onto the ball too long in the pocket and being careless with the football. Smith’s command and poise will be tested this week with how loud the Georgia Dome can get. Expect the Jets to hand the ball off 25-30 times Monday night.
The Jets’ defense will have to handle the high-powered, uptempo Falcons offense this week. The Falcons have weapons all over the field with Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez. They key for Gang Green’s defense will to put pressure on Matt Ryan and force some turnovers to help the offense. Rex Ryan has stressed taking the ball away this week on defense; the Jets don’t have a takeaway since week one against Tampa Bay.
If Geno Smith can handle the spotlight and reduce the amount of turnovers the Jets offense will succeed against a below average Falcons defense. The defense for the Jets will have to pressure Ryan and force turnovers in order for the Jets to go to Atlanta and steal a victory.