Sep 22, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith in the first quarter of a game against against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons: Keys to Victory


Good morning, Jets fans. One more day before we take the field for week five. The Road to MetLife Stadium takes MetLife Stadium’s AFC representative to Atlanta to face Mike Smith’s Atlanta Falcons. With plenty of offensive weapons, the Jets are going to have their hands full at the Georgia Dome tomorrow night.

Here is how they can do it:

STOP GONZALEZ AND JONES: We talked about this a lot yesterday.  Without Steven Jackson, Atlanta does not have a running attack to speak of.  Jacquizz Rodgers is talented, but he is primarily used to offset the passing game.

Roddy Whit is not 100%, but Tony Gonzalez and Julio Jones most certainly are.  Julio Jones is AVERAGING 120 yards per game!  Cromartie is going to have to be as physical as he has ever been if he is going to have a chance against this guy.

The Jets never shut down tight ends, so good luck against this guy. Tony Gonzalez is coming off of a twelve catch performance where it looked like he could play for another 17 years. They are going to have to knock this guy off of his routes early and often. Otherwise, it is going to be a long night.

PUSH THE FOOTBALL: Hopefully the Jets have followed through on NOT using the color-coded system for Geno Smith. The Falcons are ranked 26th in the league in pass defense, allowing a completion percentage of 65.4%, and a passer rating 101.5. Asante Samuel is banged up. This secondary can be thrown upon, Geno will get his openings.

However, the Falcons are seventh in the league in rushing defense, right behind the number six New York Jets. They will have to run it to take the pressure off of Geno, but use the pass to open up the run. Done correctly, the Jets’ offense will have an opportunity to perform extremely well. If done incorrectly, the Jets will have an evening filled with problems.

STAY DISCIPLINED: This is the most obvious of the keys, but it deserves being mentioned anyway. The Jets have committed 30 penalties over the last two weeks. You don’t get more unacceptable than that. You can’t give away yardage for free in this league to any team, much less a team like the Falcons, that can strike easily at a moment’s notice.

Stop committing penalties. The Jets also must stay disciplined with the football, and not turn it over. Matt Ryan will get the ball enough times, the Jets don’t need to help him get that start level up. Don’t force the ball into questionable situations, and carry it with two hands. Please, Geno?

Those are my keys, what are some of yours?

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