“We were not reckless. We were just the opposite: We were fearless and that’s how we have to play,” said Rex Ryan at his post game interview, in discussing his New York Jets win.
The Jets came out with a purpose on Monday Night, and that purpose was win at all costs. We saw a tenacity from the defense that seemed to be missing since the 2011-2012 season. Antonio Cromartie may have opened the eyes of those who doubted his ability to still be a shutdown corner in the NFL. The Jets defensive line, led by Muhammad Wilkerson, was outstanding yet again. The injury-filled offensive line for the Falcons had no answer for Wilkerson, and if they blocked Wilkerson, it was Sheldon Richardson, the rookie, or Damon “Big Snacks” Harrison in Matt Ryan’s face. Darin Walls played a stellar game alongside Cromartie, although he dropped two crucial interceptions, him dropping those passes are better than Roddy White catching them.
But when it comes to the defense, David Harris was the spark. From start to finish, Harris was a savage in the middle of the field and made it seem as if he were the anchor to the Jets defense again. The defense proved themselves to be the defense they usually are, a top 5 defense of 11 guys who want to do nothing more than hurt the opposing quarterback and running back.
Unfortunately, the Jets run game did not come to play on Monday Night, but rookie quarterback Geno Smith picked up the slack. Smith had 16 completions on 20 attempts, 199 yards, and 3 touchdowns through the air. He worked the ball around to eight recievers, while getting into a rhythm with Jeremy Kerley early with a series of short passes. His performance also led to Jeff Cumberland having the best game of his career with 3 reception for 79 yards and a beautiful touchdown.
Geno Smith really bounced back from a horrendous game last week in Tennessee and gave all of Jet Nation what they wanted – a win in Atlanta. Naturally, when the Jets were controlling the game they let the Falcons claw their way back to a lead. With 1:54 left in the fourth quarter, Geno Smith took control of his offense, and cool as a cucumber he was. With 3 quick passes in a row the jets found themselves threatening to get into field goal range, Smith took matters into his own hands and ran for 7 yards to put Nick Folk in an okay position to win the game, Bilal Powell then powered the ball down the Falcons defense throat, putting Nick Folk in solid striking distance. Folk hit the 43-yard field goal as the clock struck 0:00 and a great feeling of hope, pride, and accomplishment was emitted into the air from the New York Jets. This was Genos’ third win in the NFL, and his third game winning drive.
It really was key for Smith to have shown he has it with adversity in his face.
Last week I believed the Jets could knock off the Atlanta Falcons, despite being on the road. I felt all that would hold them back from winning this game was penalties. The penalties were a disgrace in the first quarter of the season, but they weren’t too bad Monday Night. I see nothing but good things for the New York Jets in the future of this season, especially if they could play like this week every weekend. Should be interesting how Geno responds to Dick Lebeau and the Pittsburgh Steelers defense on Sunday in the Meadowlands. We know Lebeau isn’t going to make it easy.
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