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Falcons vs. Jets: Hat tips & head-scratchers

The defense again delivered.

Atlanta Falcons v New York Jets Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons increased its NFC South lead with a win over the Jets and a Saints loss to the Lions, and now move to 6-6 on the season. Read on for Hat tips & head-scratchers from Sunday’s win.

Hat tips

MyCole Pruitt’s touchdown grab

What a snag by tight end MyCole Pruitt for the game’s only touchdown. With the Falcons down 2-0 in the second quarter, Pruitt laid out for a pass laced in by quarterback Desmond Ridder to move the score to 6-2. The Falcons would not surrender the lead from that point forward.

Jessie Bates just keeps making plays

Five interceptions on the season for safety Jessie Bates — a new career high. With the Atlanta offense again stalling out repeatedly, each and every possession was an opportunity to tack some hard-to-come-by points on the board. Bates delivered by camping out under quarterback Tim Boyle’s overthrown pass to hand Atlanta another offensive possession.

Good lord we have a defense

I shudder to think what this team’s record would be without its performance on defense. The Falcons have not allowed a touchdown in two games, a stretch where it has forced five turnovers. Sunday featured clutch moments from defender Bud Dupree, Arnold Ebiketie, and Richie Grant’s forced fumble effectively sealed the game for Atlanta. The offense is consistenly sloppy and maddeningly inconsistent, but the Falcons’ defense have bailed them out time and time again.

Head-scratchers

Jeff Okudah in coverage

Cornerback Jeff Okudah did not have a great day at the office. His rough outing began by misplaying a Tim Boyle flea flicker and overrunning the play — a 36-yard completion to wide receiver Xavier Gipson.

He would later give up a long pass to Garrett Wilson after a poor press at the line that allowed the young receiver to blow past him to snare the pass.

The Zebras

An extremely poor day for the officiating crew in Sunday’s contest against the Jets. After calling ticky tack penalties the entire game, they missed a blatant defensive pass interference in the fourth quarter on wide receiver Drake London. All you can ask for when it comes to referees is consistency, and Ron Torbert’s crew were just all over the map.