Tuesday Morning Quarterback: New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons


Oct 7, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland (87) runs after a catch in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning Jets fans! What a great night, wasn’t it? The Jets stunned the Falcons last night with a 30-28 win, running their record to 3-2, just one game out of first place. Let’s get to the “happy” recap.

We have to talk about how Geno Smith grew up last night. The maturity that showed in this young man was exciting to watch. He was smart with the football, and when he went down for sacks, he protected the football. He had by far his best game of the year so far, going 16-20 for 199 yards and three touchdowns.

Aside from numbers, what Geno Smith did was make plays when they had to be made. In the first half, when the Falcons went down the field to go up 7-3, Geno and the Jets took the ball right back down the field on them, and he threw a 20 yard touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland to take the lead back. Geno kept his head on straight and got the job done.

And then, how about the drive at the end of the game? The Falcons go up 28-27 with two minutes to go, the crowd is going crazy, and the Jets take over. Does Geno get intimidated? Heck no. He hit three different receivers, even Clyde Gates, scrambled for another few yards, and set the Jets up for the game winning field goal by Nick Folk.

Three gold stars for Geno Smith for his play last night.

The Jets didn’t get a lot of yardage from any one running back, but they did get contributions from all three running backs, which added up to 5.4 yards per carry on the ground. Mike Goodson acquitted himself quite well in his debut three carries for 32 yards. Ivory had some burst on four carries for 27 yards, and Bilal Powell added 12 carries for 38 yards, including the big first down at the end of the game that set up the winning field goal.

By the way, there is a lot of talk about Matty-Ice on the Falcons, what about Nicky-Ice? It sounds like a Mafia name, but it definitely holds true. Nick Folk has not missed a big kick for this team, EVER! For anything I have ever said about this young man, I take it all back. Nick Folk is one heck of a kicker.

It was also a coming out party for Jeff Cumberland, with three catches for 79 yards and the twenty yard TD. Kellen Winslow added a beautiful TD near the sidelines as well. The position might just become a force for this team.

Oct 7, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson (96) tackles Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) after a catch in the first half at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Does it get any better than this guy to the right? Mo Wilkerson is a beast and he was a beast last night.

Mo recorded six tackles, five solo, a sack and a forced fumble. The front seven is terrific, and led by Mo Wilkerson, they will continue to be terrific. For some reason, the Falcons continued to run against the middle of the Jets’ defense. How did that work out? The Falcons ran for 2.9 yards per carry. Horrible game planning!

Before we go on with the defense, hats off to Marty Mornhinweg for the play calling. He showed the Falcons a whole bunch of different looks. Having Mike Goodson back gave him a lot of flexibility, and Marty used that flexibility to his advantage, again and again.

Anyway, the Jets took over this game up front, biggest example being the goal line stand. First of all, why Mike Smith didn’t take the chip shot field goal there is beyond me, and those three points ended up being huge. Instead, he tries to run on our defense, that gives up NOTHING against the run. Not smart, but the Jets took advantage, that goal line stand was huge in terms of momentum going into the half.

For most of the game, the Jets defense did an excellent job, even down the field. Until late in the game, they kept Matt Ryan from going down the field, as Julio Jones did not get deep until very late in the game. Tony Gonzalez made his catches, but did not get into the end zone which was huge.

Imagine if Darrin Walls had held onto the footballs that he got his hands on? The Jets might have put this game away even earlier. But the defense did play well, and the special teams came up huge, with the blocked punt and a key return by Jeremy Kerley.

The thing I want to see next is when the Jets have the football and the lead, stick it to them! The one thing the offense was missing was the ability to put the game away, without it having to get to the very end. That will come, and it will make it easier on all of us when it does. All in all, great win on the road.

It doesn’t get easier, with Pittsburgh heading to MetLife next week.