ATLANTA, GA- After the ball was snapped Jonathan Babineaux remained unblocked as he charged into the hole with unrelenting focus directed towards the quarterback; only to realize a split second too late that the running-back breaking his frantic arm tackle had the football and was up the field for a six-yard gain. On the next play, Nick Folk kicked a 43-yard field goal to secure the victory, for the Jets.
Total yards; the Atlanta Falcons had more. 3rd down efficiency; the Falcons were better. Red zone efficiency; they were even better in this department as well. The one stat that always holds true, however, is the scoreboard. The Falcons lost to the Jets 30-28 after a well-timed last second field goal.
As is almost always the case this year, Atlanta statistically should have won this game. A comfortable pocket; that is what Geno Smith had all night long. Sure, the Falcons were able to crank out four sacks but two of those were Geno’s fault. Once, he plain didn’t recognize the blitz package coming at him and failed to either adjust the call or move. The second was when he was waiting for receivers to get open before Osi Umenyiora got him from his blindside.
Let’s face it; the Jets have a good defense. Head Coach of the Jets, Rex Ryan, prides himself on that side of the ball. The only surprise is that his rookie quarterback, that couldn’t outperform Sanchez in preseason, came into the daunting Georgia Dome and was able to make all the plays he had to make, no less, no more. This resulted in Smith having a quarterback rating of 147.7 on the night. His average rating in his first four games before Monday had been a dismal 69.3.
After the Dolphins game Mike Smith stated, “The responsibility goes to me. It doesn’t go to the quarterback. It doesn’t go the offensive line. It doesn’t go to the offensive coordinator. It’s my responsibility as head coach to make sure we are more efficient in the red zone, and I can assure you that’s something that will be addressed.”
Not to say it’s all coach Smith’s fault but he does have a point. During the game Monday I respected his decision to go for it on fourth down, but since the game was close and it’s important to score going into the tunnel before halftime.
All of the events that has happened so far are seemingly against the Falcons. None of this is proof more than the latest injury updates. Atlanta’s, and possibly the NFL’s, best wide receiver Julio Jones could miss the rest of the season with a foot injury. Smith stated that the first reports were not very encouraging. Also Jason Snelling suffered a concussion during the game causing him to leave the game early.
To top it all off Roddy White left the contest as well with a hamstring injury and was questionable to return. White didn’t see the field the rest of the night. In the absence of White, Kevin Cone came into the game and made his first catch in a regular season NFL game after three years.
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