The Jets didn’t play most of their starters, so you knew ahead of time to take the result of this game with a grain of salt. Ultimately, what we saw from the starters and backups for Atlanta against the Jets’ backups was encouraging, but the Falcons fell apart late with the deep reserves in and lost.
Here’s a drive-by-drive recap of the action.
The Falcons started things off by receiving the kick, with Avery Williams on a short return. After a quick first down run didn’t go much of anywhere, Marcus Mariota aired it out to Kyle Pitts, who had a few strides and caught it for a huge gain. Mariota then connected with Bryan Edwards to keep things rolling, but then the offense stalled on a short run, short pass, and pressure that nearly got home. Younghoe Koo nailed the field goal and it was 3-0 Falcons.
The Jets had to attempt to answer with backups. The run defense showed up immediately, with Casey Hayward getting a nice stop (erased by a holding call on Anthony Rush) and Ade Ogundeji getting an even prettier one. Pressure forced Mike White to scramble out of the pocket, and he was stopped well short of a first down. Punt.
The Falcons kept it rolling. KhaDarel Hodge had a nice grab and picked up a ton, but ultimately his knee was ruled down shortly after the catch. It didn’t slow down the Falcons’ momentum, though, as Tyler Allgeier ran well and Mariota found Anthony Firkser wide open down the sideline for about 40 yards. That brought Atlanta back into the red zone, and Mariota connected with Olamide Zaccheaus in the back of the end zone for the score. Falcons 10-0.
The Jets tried to answer, but Mike White’s first down pass was a little too high for a leaping Jeff Smith. Garrett Wilson picked up seven on a catch following that, but an offsides call on New York backed them up. Unfortunately, a third down stop was erased by a lousy roughing the passer call on Ade Ogundeji, who was everywhere. The Falcons got the stop nonetheless thanks to a nice Dee Alford tackle on third down. Punt.
Atlanta wanted to keep pouring it on, as Marcus Mariota stayed in. The first two plays weren’t very successful, unfortunately, and a third down pass wasn’t quite where Olamide Zaccheaus could get it. A punt, and not a particularly great one from Bradley Pinion.
The Jets capped off the quarter by picking up a first down, aided by a nice run from our old friend Tevin Coleman.
The Jets then stalled out, settling for a short gain on 3rd and 27. Punt.
Desmond Ridder was in the game at this point, and he started things off with a dump off to MyCole Pruitt, who picked up a first down. After a short run, Ridder connected on a nice throw to Firkser for another first down, and he continued to pump darts to his receivers to keep the Falcons moving, despite the broadcast distraction of a Joe Flacco interview splitting the screen. Tyler Allgeier was heavily involved as a runner and receiver late in the drive and looked good doing it, showing power and good hands. The Falcons even tried to go for it on fourth down from the 1 yard line, only to be undone by a false start that had Arthur Smith apoplectic on the sideline. 13-0 Falcons after Younghoe Koo field goal.
The Jets went back out there, because they are bound by the rules of football. They managed to get it to 3rd and 1, but the Falcons stuffed it thanks to a nice tackle from Erik Harris. Punt.
Desmond Ridder started things off with a weird throw to the sideline that was ruled intentional grounding, but he rallied quickly to toss a nice pass to a very wide open Jared Bernhardt for 34 yards. The Falcons struggled with penalties a bit on this drive, but they just kept powering through, as Ridder found Bernhardt again for 22 yards. Penalties ultimately doomed the drive entirely, and Younghoe Koo had to punch one home for Atlanta. 16-0 Falcons.
The Jets had a couple of nice plays, including a deep shot, but the Falcons went into the half up 16-3 after a Jets field goal.
The Jets looked like the Jets again, largely failing to get things moving to kick things off. We got a scare with a flag on third down on what looked like quality Dee Alford coverage, but the officiating crew conferred and found no penalty. Punt.
Atlanta saw Caleb Huntley run hard, but they fell short of a first down in the run. Punt, with a pair of Jets penalties backing them up.
The Jets didn’t care. They got moving with Chris Streveler under center, finally getting some momentum against Atlanta’s deep reserves. Streveler capped things off with a 34 yard touchdown pass to Lawrence Cager, closing the gap to 16-10 Falcons.
Feleipe Franks came in at quarterback and it did not go particularly well, after a quick pass to MyCole Pruitt proved an encouraging start. The pressure got home and the Falcons were forced to punt thereafter.
At this point I was definitely not as engaged—I’m sorry—but it was because the Jets’ deep reserves were moving against a fairly hapless reserve Falcons defense.
They kept that movement going in the fourth quarter, and eventually ended up scoring. The Jets punched in a touchdown and New York opened up their first lead of the day, 17-16 Jets.
The Falcons put it into Feleipe Franks’ hands, and he did a lot of scrambling. It was fun to see what Atlanta might do with Franks as a runner when he’s under center in the regular season, as he’s fast and difficult to bring down, but it ended in bad news as Franks fumbled after being sacked and the Jets scooped it up and returned it for a touchdown. 24-16 Jets.
The Falcons’ offense did nothing. Punt.
The Jets didn’t do much and then Teez Tabor had a nice pick off Chris Streveler, assisted by Timothy Horne and Dee Alford. Turnover.
The Falcons got inside the 10, thanks to Feleipe Franks scrambling and taking a series of increasingly alarming shots. The Falcons finished that drive with four straight throws from Franks, none of them particularly close to the mark, as they had a turnover on downs. It’s easy to see why the team loves Franks, but obviously having him in the game as a full-time quarterback is not his ideal use at this point.
The Jets kneeled it out and that was the game. The Jets win.