The Falcons finally put an end to their losing streak with a wet 25-20 victory over the New York Jets on the road.
Who’s up and who’s down in the win?
Even taking into consideration the constant barrage of rain, multiple dropped balls, and snap miscues, it still turned out to be Ryan’s best game as a passer of the season. He finished 18 of 29 for 254 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, but six of his passes were dropped, including what would’ve been Austin Hooper’s second touchdown on the day. Regardless, Ryan got the job done, including masterfully working the pocket to deliver an eight-yard touchdown strike to Mohamed Sanu early in the fourth quarter. He also (finally!) connected with Julio Jones on a deep 54-yard pass.
It was certainly one of Sanu’s better games as a member of the Falcons. He hauled in six balls for 74 yards and made an impressive touchdown snag in the final quarter. Sanu also converted a clutch third down to prolong Atlanta’s final drive to consume as much time as possible. He did have a drop on third down in the second quarter, but his overall performance made up for it.
The offense has put the defense in some pretty unfavorable positions with turnovers, and Sunday was no different. A botched snap on the Falcons’ first possession gave the Jets the football at Atlanta’s 34-yard line. New York gained just six yards before settling for a 46-yard field goal that went wide right. Ryan fumbled the snap again two possessions later, this time giving the Jets the ball at the 20-yard line. Again, the defense held New York to a field goal attempt.
While Josh McCown was able to find a bit of success through the air, the ground game was stifled. Grady Jarrett, who was extremely active in the backfield, seemingly made it his mission to shore up the run defense. The unit also added three sacks on the day. All things considered, not a bad performance at all.
Roberts did have what should’ve been an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown nullified by an extremely poor block in the back penalty, but it still would’ve been a bad performance for him. His decisions are consistently giving the Falcons offense poor starting field positions — namely allowing a third-quarter punt to be downed at the Falcons’ one-yard line.
The second-year right guard strung together several good performances, but it was a reversion to Week 1 as he was handled by Muhammad Wilkerson. Still, as was the case with Akiem Hicks, Wilkerson’s one of the league’s best defensive lineman. Schweitzer also had a killer holding call in the fourth quarter.
It’s actually pretty absurd how unlucky Atlanta has been with turnovers this season. The team has forced five fumbles and only recovered two of them. That recovery percentage takes a dip when you consider team’s recovering their own unforced fumbles — like McCown falling on a botched snap. Also consider the amount of Ryan’s interceptions that were tipped by Falcons receivers and on the other side, the many opportunities Atlanta defenders have had to intercept passes. This has to straighten out sooner rather than later, right?