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Geno Smith Seems To Have Super Quality

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Jets' Geno Smith seems to have 'Super' quality

October 8, 2013 9:32 AM By NEIL BEST neil.best@newsday.com


Photo credit: AP | Jets quarterback Geno Smith walks off the field after the second half. (Oct. 7, 2013)


It is far too soon to say whether Geno Smith is the man to someday lead the Jets to a second Super Bowl. But it is not too soon to say this: The guy seems to have the makeup for the task.


That was evident on the field late Monday night, when he ignored a deafening crowd and placidly took apart the Falcons in eight plays and 55 yards over 1:54 to set up the winning field goal during a 30-28 Jets win.


And it was evident again as he explained it all later in a loud corridor at the Georgia Dome, verbally shrugging off what he had done and barely audible over the sound of equipment being loaded onto a truck.


"It doesn't do much for me," he said. "My confidence is always high. It's just good to get a victory."

Those words might read as cocky, perhaps even clueless. But when Smith says stuff like that he is so matter-of-fact, it comes off only as genuine.


Smith has a long way to go before accomplishing as much as his predecessor, Mark Sanchez, has in the NFL, including back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances. And let's recall that until his game went south, Sanchez mostly was regarded as a likeable, praiseworthy figure around here.

Still, there already are signs Smith is a thicker-skinned, more resilient personality than Sanchez, one who seems well suited to the spotlight of a big job in a big city.


When I asked him last week how he is dealing with off-field elements of his role, including fans and journalists, he said, "It doesn't really bother me much. I know it comes with the territory so I just do as I'm told. I love it. I appreciate it. I look forward to it every single day."


Again: The cool part was he sounded as if he meant it.


Adding to the drama of Monday night's tour de force was that it followed a tour de farce against the Titans during which Smith threw two interceptions and had two awful fumbles.


There was nothing of the sort against the Falcons. Smith was a model of efficiency, passing only 20 times but completing 16 for 199 yards, three touchdowns, a 147.7 passer rating and another late scoring rally.

It was the best performance of his career, and the best in 10 tries by a metropolitan-area NFL quarterback this season. It is not a stretch to say that if Smith goes on to bigger and better things, Oct. 7, 2013, will be recalled as his prime time, national TV coming out party.


How did Smith so quickly put the Titans game behind him? He said the support of the staff was critical.


"It's great to have guys like that on your side the way I've played the last four weeks," he said, referring to his 11 turnovers in the first month. "They tell me to go out there and just let it rip, play with no conscience."


His two finest moments among many Monday: a 1-yard scoring pass to Kellen Winslow on which he rolled to his right and deftly floated the ball over the defenders, and later when he checked out of a pass play to a third-down run by Bilal Powell that set up Folk's clincher.


"It takes [guts], bottom line," guard Willie Colon said of the latter. "He had no problem with owning his mistakes but at the same time taking command. Good for the kid."


Smith didn't sound or act much different after the loss to Tennessee or the shocker over the Falcons, which is an excellent sign, because as Sanchez and Eli Manning and everyone else who has played the position know -- stuff happens.


Consider that Tuesday, Newsday published results of an online (and unscientific) reader poll -- taken before the Falcons game -- asking who should start for the Jets. Smith edged Matt Simms, 49 to 41 percent, with the other 10 for Brady Quinn.


Tough crowd. But Smith might be just the guy to handle it.

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Jets report card: Almost straight A’s for Rex’s crew

By Brian Costello

October 8, 2013 | 9:49am

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Photo: EPA


The Jets didn’t have a ton of possessions, but they made them count. Rookie QB Geno Smith (16-of-20, 199 yards, 3 touchdowns) was close to flawless, the key being no turnovers. They had a full complement of running backs, all of whom made a big play. Tight end Jeff Cumberland (3 catches, 79 yards, 1 TD) was a key to the attack and the offensive line gave Smith time early and in the final drive.

Grade: A-


They dominated the first half and limited the Falcons to 64 rushing yards all night. A few killer penalties, some questionable, hurt them and they nearly blew the game in the final minutes when Julio Jones got past Antonio Cromartie for a big catch and the Falcons went on to score. Muhammad Wilkerson was a beast all night and tackle Sheldon Richardson looks like he’s a candidate for Rookie of the Year.

Grade: B+


It was a good night for Ben Kotwica’s crew. A blocked punt by Antonio Allen started the night off and set the Jets offense up with great field position for their first drive. Jeremy Kerley had a 24-yard punt return in the second half that set up a scoring drive. Even Clyde Gates got into the action with a 36-yard kick return.

Grade: A


Rex Ryan had his team ready to play, motivated by the talk all week that this was the Falcons’ chance to get things righted. The players cited Ryan’s Sunday-night speech as something that pushed them. Marty Mornhinweg called a tremendous game. He put Smith in great position to succeed. Give Kotwica credit because the special teams were crucial.

Grade: A

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Jets have themselves a quarterback

By Steve Serby

October 8, 2013 | 1:52am

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Photo: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA — There is a live professional football team in our midst, a team popping out of its skin, not so much to take over the town surrendered by the Giants, but to defy the odds and the naysayers who thought they were laughing stocks, and thought wrong.

And a babe shall lead them.

The babe’s name is Geno Smith, and all he did last night was laugh in the face of danger and throw three touchdown passes and with what sounded like the whole state of Georgia howling in his eardrums, marched his team down the field so Nick Folk could kick the 43-yard field goal as time expired in a rip-roaring 30-28 victory over the Falcons that can launch a season and change perceptions.

A 27-14 Jet lead had vanished, and when Smith took over at his 19, there was 1:54 remaining.

He never blinked.

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Geno Smith walks off the field following Monday’s win.

“It was always a dream of mine since I was a kid to be in those situations, to take my team down to get a last-second field goal or touchdown,” Smith said.

He hit Stephen Hill (for the first time all night) for 12 yards. Then Jeremy Kerley for 13. Then Hill for nine. Then Smith scrambled around left end for eight yards and got out of bounds. The Jets were at the Atlanta 38.

Now it was third-and-3 and Rex Ryan had burned two timeouts, and here came all the evidence you need the rookie quarterback is growing up. He called an audible to a run by Bilal Powell. It gained six yards. Ryan called his final timeout with 3 seconds on the clock.

Folk hero.

These are always the best kinds of victories, when a team fights it out on the road and learns something very important about its heart and soul.

And its rookie quarterback.

“You’ve got to give credit to Geno for having ice in his veins,” Willie Colon said. “Every time they question him he steps up.”

Ryan implored his team to play fearlessly in one of his impassioned team meetings, and it was the kid who was the most fearless one of all.

He would finish 16-of-20 for 199 yards, and a QB rating of 147.7. And not one turnover thanks in part to a brilliantly crafted game plan by Marty Mornhinweg that featured balance from the running game and mostly high-percentage throws.

Smith was asked about the audible.

“In that situation, we got the look we wanted, got the check called, and Bilal did a phenomenal job making a guy miss [and] picking up the first down,” Smith said.

He thanked his coaches for showing such confidence in him.

“They tell me to go out there and just let it rip — play with no conscience,” Smith said.

Asked to elaborate, Smith said: “Just not second-guessing myself. Not going out there and over-thinking. Just going out there and playing. If you make a decision, live with it. Just know that it has to be the right decision.”

Smith’s 20-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jeff Cumberland over the head of Joplo Bartu had made it Jets 10, Falcons 7. It sent a surge of electricity through the entire team. And immediately the kid was really feeling it. He hit Cumberland in stride for 47 yards. Smith threw right for Kerley, who broke a tackle and was in the end zone with the 16-yard touchdown catch. Smith punched the air emphatically with his right fist. Jets 17, Falcons 7. Boobirds inside the Georgia Dome.

Then it was Gang Green’s turn again. Ryan had marched the Falcons all the way to the Jets 1, because Dawan Landry would not let Julio Jones in the end zone. Fourth down. :07 on the clock. Falcons coach Mike Smith was going for it. Ryan looked for Tony Gonzalez. Got a holding call against Demario Davis. First down. :01 on the clock. Munchkin RB Jacquizz Rodgers tried right tackle. He found Sheldon Richardson and what looked like the rest of the old New York Sack Exchange waiting for him. Jets yelping now inside a hushed Georgia Dome. Ryan leaping, both arms thrust skyward.

Smith made it 27-14 after Kerley had set him up at the Atlanta 24 with a 24-yard punt return, at the end of which came a horse-collar tackle against punter Matt Bosher, when he rolled right and lofted a beauty of a touch pass on third-and-goal at the 1 in the right corner for a tap-dancing Kellen Winslow Jr., over safety William Moore.

“Great call by Marty,” Smith said. ”Got the look that we wanted once again. Had to put some touch on it to get it over the safety … great catch by Kellen.”

The Jets, 3-2, have themselves a season. And they may have themselves a quarterback, too

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how can Serby say that Geno's a real QB? Geno doesn't have a wife and kids.

... sorry but Serby is on my permanent sh*t list for that.

Edited by kay_gee
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Something special brewing for the Jets

By Mike Vaccaro

October 8, 2013 | 3:00am

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Nick Folk kicks the game-winning field goal in Monday's game against the Falcons.

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images


ATLANTA — It is the most glorious sound a road team can hear, and Nick Folk didn’t bother to wait for it. The moment the football cleared the line of scrimmage — hell, the instant it came off his foot — Folk knew he had just won the game for the Jets, had put the finishing touches on a scintillating 30-28 upset of the Falcons.

The sound was coming — the sound of silence, the silence of 70,246 dirty birds brought to their knees by what now, officially, must be considered one of the best surprises of the season after five weeks. Folk punched the air with both fists before it could register with the crowd, before the clock even stuck 0:00.


“Best feeling on earth,” the Jets’ kicker said. “You’ve won the game and you want to celebrate winning the game as soon as possible.”


You know the feeling, right? Maybe you had a pillow over one eye as the ball was snapped late Monday night, and maybe you closed your eyes, waiting to hear the roar flatline, same as you probably watched a fourth quarter out of so many hellacious Jets yesterdays, the Falcons coming back from 27-14 down, going up 28-27, unleashing those old goblins that pay permanent rent on your soul as a Jets fan.


And then, this. And then, a victory that nudges them to 3-2 in a week when every other member of the AFC East lost. And then, this season, thought by so many to be lost before it started, to be over before it began, to be hopeless beyond the point of salvation.

“Maybe outside this room,” Muhammad Wilkerson said. “But not in here.”


Wilkerson is one of the reasons the Jets could stubbornly retain hope when the consensus was heading the other way. The Jets bid farewell to a franchise defensive player last spring, allowing cornerback Darrelle Revis to seek exile in Tampa; it has taken exactly five weeks to target Revis’ replacement as the face of the Jets defense.



If he isn’t there already.

“He’s borderline unstoppable,” Calvin Pace said.


And when he is, when he’s making the kind of game-changing play he made last night, strip-sacking Matt Ryan and turning the energy at Georgia Dome completely upside down … well, suddenly the season doesn’t look like a zombie trek to nowhere, does it?


Especially since the Jets have now twice found ways to win games that their historical DNA says they should have had no business winning. Week 1 against Tampa was one thing, a fortunate penalty allowing Folk to rescue them at the gun. This was something else, something different, something better.


This was a loud dome and a desperate foe that came so achingly close to the Super Bowl last year, and this was a 13-point lead that became a one-point deficit thanks to the requisite number of harrowing plays and referee whistles.

And then became a two-point victory because the rookie quarterback, Geno Smith, took a dozen giant leaps forward, because receivers who couldn’t catch a cold against the Patriots three weeks ago suddenly had Krazy Glue on their fingers, and because Folk knew he’d get the call, and would answer that call, it just depended on if it was “short, medium or long. I was ready either way.”


They all were.

“I’m glad we won this way,” said coach Rex Ryan, who with every positive steps seems to regather a little more of his old confidence, a little more of his old swagger. “It took every one of us, and we were fearless.”


There were only six penalties. There were zero turnovers. There was Wilkerson’s big play, and there was a blocked punt, and there were a couple of near-misses that showed how much in lock step the Jets were on both sides of the ball.

“Fearless,” Ryan said, “and not reckless.”

Suddenly a New York football season that seemed destined for a garbage bin has hope, and it’s the unlikely half of the partnership providing it, the green half, the team that was supposed to be an antidote for other cities across 16 games and 17 weeks.


“Everyone thought we were the team that Atlanta was going to get right on, turn their season around,” offensive lineman Willie Colon said. “We just told ourselves, ‘We don’t have to be that team.’ ”

No. They get something else, something better. They’ve gotten themselves a football season, a real one, and they’ve earned their way there. They kicked the plug out of the Georgia Dome wall, silenced the song of the south. And suddenly that feels like it can be just the beginning.


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Goal-line stop keys Jets victory

By Brian Costello

October 8, 2013 | 1:42am

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Jets defenders Demario Davis and Sheldon Richardson stop Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers at the goal-line during Monday's game.

Photo: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images


ATLANTA — The Jets’ defense sent the team to the halftime locker room with a huge wave of momentum after mounting a goal-line stand.


The Falcons had first-and-goal at the 4-yard line with 33 seconds left and they trailed 17-7. Jets rookie tackle Sheldon Richardson stopped running back Jason Snelling for a 1-yard loss on first down. Matt Ryan then threw an incompletion before hitting Julio Jones for a 4-yard gain on third down. Jones was stopped at the 1, setting up a fourth-and-1 decision for Atlanta coach Mike Smith.


With seven seconds to go, Smith decided to go for it and the Jets sniffed out a play-action pass to tight end Tony Gonzalez. But linebacker Demario Davis was flagged for pass interference, giving the Falcons one play from the 1. They ran Jacquizz Rodgers up the middle, and he promptly was stuffed by Richardson and a wave of Jets.


The team sprinted off the field into the locker room and coach Rex Ryan lifted his arms over his head.


“It was huge,” Ryan said. “We had to stop them like five times down there. We got the penalty and we had to bull our necks and stop them again. I’m really proud of our guys. I’m not sure who made the tackle down there at the end.”


* * *

The Jets had all three of their top running backs for the first time this season. They got Mike Goodson back from his four-game suspension and Chris Ivory returned from a hamstring injury. Goodson, Ivory and Bilal Powell each had a big play in the game and the team averaged 5.4 yards per carry.


Powell led the way with 38 yards on 12 carries and made several big plays down the stretch.


“If Powell’s not the most underrated player in this league, I don’t know who is,” Ryan said. “What a tremendous player.”

Goodson had a huge 26-yard run out of the Wildcat and showed a speed dimension the Jets have been lacking.


“It’s exciting,” Goodson said. “It felt good to get out there and get those hits and get out there with my brothers.”


Ivory had a 19-yard run that set up a score and finished with 27 yards in the game. Overall, the Jets rushed for 118 yards on 22 carries.


* * *

OLB Antwan Barnes injured his knee late in the game. … The Jets snapped a four-game road losing streak. … Ryan now has 41 wins, tying him with Herm Edwards and Walt Michaels for third-most among Jets coaches. … Rookie Brian Winters started at left guard and Jaiquawn Jarrett started at safety for the first time this season.

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Ryan praises ‘fearless’ Jets

By Steve Serby

October 8, 2013 | 1:46am

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Jets head coach Rex Ryan walks off the field following Monday's win against the Falcons.

Photo: EPA


ATLANTA — The Jets found an identity last night. They will fight you from one end zone to the next. The kind of team that is so dear to Rex Ryan’s heart.


“You know what? I’m glad we won this way,” a defiant Rex Ryan said after Jets 30, Falcons 28. “I’m glad we won this way because it took … every … one of us. And it wasn’t that you leaned on one side, and the other side whatever … it took every one of us, and we played fearless. Even our kicker’s fearless, ‘Folk hero’, I already got that one written for everybody.”


Ryan kept using the word fearless as he stood at a podium outside a visiting locker room filled with fighters wearing big smiles.


“Like I said, we played fearless,” Ryan said. “As soon as our offense got the ball, there wasn’t one guy on that sideline didn’t think we were going to win the game. It absolutely took everybody we had.”


There was a galvanizing goal-line stand at the end of the first half. There was Ryan the defensive genius winning a chess game until the fourth quarter with relentless Matt Ryan. There was a ground and pound attack (22 rushing attempts for 118 yards) that averaged 5.4 yards per carry.


“We might not be pretty or whatever, but we don’t care,” Ryan said. “We’re a football team, and we’ll compete to the very end.”


He was proud of Geno Smith, the hero. He was proud of every last Jet. “It was just a great team effort, and I’m so happy we won this way,” Ryan reiterated. “But that just shows that we are a football team, and like I said, we’re fearless, and that’s what it took today.”


There was the dominance of Mo Wilkerson.


“He’s a tremendous player … man, just proud of our football team,” Ryan said.


He was asked if people’s view of his team might change now.


“It doesn’t matter,” Ryan said. “With us, all we care about is the Jet fans, and what’s inside our walls. That’s all we care about, and outsiders are going to say what they’re going to say, and they have. They’ve already spoken when they picked us 32nd in the league, OK? But again, it doesn’t matter. We just care about ourselves, we care about our Jet fans.”

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Geno leads Jets to upset win over Falcons

By Brian Costello

October 8, 2013 | 12:08am

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Jets quarterback Geno Smith celebrates his team's victory over the Falcons.

Photo: AP Photo/David Goldman


ATLANTA — Rex Ryan asked his team to play fearlessly on Monday night.

Led by their rookie quarterback, they listened.


The Jets stunned the Falcons, 30-28, at the Georgia Dome in a thrilling game with twists and turns that ended with Nick Folk booting a 43-yard field goal through the uprights as time expired.

Folk’s field goal concluded an eight-play drive with less than two minutes left, during which Smith proved he can be calm in the toughest situation. Despite a frenzied crowd, Smith completed all four of his passes, ran for 8 yards and audibled out of a pass into a run that gained a first down and set up the kick.


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Jets kicker Nick Folk reacts to his game-winning field goal in Monday’s game against the Falcons.

“[The coaches] told me to go out there and let it rip and play with no conscience,” said Smith, who competed 16-of-20 for 199 yards and three touchdowns. “I went out there and made the plays.”


Yes, he did. Teammates say before the final drive Smith was calm.


“There was no Disney pep talk,” guard Willie Colon said. “We didn’t have no time for that. Good offenses get it done.“


Smith connected on a 12-yard pass to Stephen Hill, then a 13-yarder to Jeremy Kerley, another 9-yarder to Hill and then ran around end for an 8-yard gain. He gave it to Bilal Powell for a 4-yard gain and then connected with Clyde Gates for a 3-yarder. On third-and-3 at the Falcons’ 31, he checked out of a pass and into a run that gained 6 yards from Powell and set up the kick.


“It takes [guts],” Colon said of the audible.


And Smith pulled out a victory the Jets looked like they might let slip away. Leading by 13 points in the second half, the Jets appeared to be on their way to the win when Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense awoke and put together two fourth-quarter scoring drives.


Ryan found Levine Toilolo for a 3-yard touchdown with two minutes left that put the Falcons up 28-27. But it was not the Same Old Jets. Instead, Smith drove the team down the field and gave Jets fans reason to believe this season can be much more than anyone anticipated.


“The key word was fearless,” Rex Ryan said. “I challenged our team the night before to play that way and that’s exactly how we played.”


The Jets improved to 3-2 with the win and face the winless Steelers at home Sunday. The Falcons fell to 1-4 after not being able to establish any running game and failing to stop the Jets’ offense.


The Falcons ran into an angry Jets team that was beat up by the media after last week’s loss to the Titans that included four turnovers from Smith.


“We’re forced to watch ESPN like everybody else and everybody [dumps] on the Jets,” linebacker Calvin Pace said. “This is a statement win and the message lets everybody know what the Jets are about.”


The Jets’ big win nearly vanished with the throw of a pink penalty flag. David Harris was flagged at the goal line for holding Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez on a fourth down incompletion. The penalty gave Atlanta a new set of downs and Matt Ryan found Toilolo for the 3-yard touchdown to give the Falcons a 28-27 lead with two minutes left. Moments earlier Julio Jones had caught a 46-yard pass to move Atlanta into scoring territory. They then converted a fourth-and-1 on a pass to Gonzalez.


Until the fourth quarter, the Jets defense had done the job all night against the high-powered Falcons offense. Led by linemen Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, the Jets held the Falcons to 64 yards rushing.

A key stop came just before halftime when Falcons coach Mike Smith decided to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1 with seven seconds left. The Jets sniffed out a pass to Gonzalez, but Demario Davis was called for pass interference, giving the Falcons a first down. With 1 second left, the Falcons gave the ball to Jacquizz Rodgers, but he met a wall of Jets led by Richardson.


The Jets had only three possessions in the first half, but scored on all of them. Smith moved the team down the field effectively and the Jets had their full complement of running backs for the first time this season.


“We might not be pretty, but we don’t care,” Ryan said. “We’re a football team and we’ll compete to the very end.”


It looked like the Falcons were going to take control of the game in the second half. A couple of sacks from former Giant Osi Umenyiora got the home crowd into it and you could see Ryan finding a rhythm. But the Jets held them off through the third quarter.


They took a 27-14 lead on a 1-yard touchdown pass from Smith to tight end Kellen Winslow before the Falcons came roaring back. Rodgers scored on a 19-yard run with 8:10 left that cut the lead to 27-21 and set up the final dramatics.


After a big road win, the Jets might now be taken seriously.


“It doesn’t matter,” Ryan said. “With us all we care about is the Jets fans and what’s inside our walls. That’s all we care about. Outsiders are going to say what they’re going to say and they have. They’ve already spoken when they picked us 32nd in the league.”

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New York's No. 1 team shows it's ready for prime time

October 8, 2013 1:30 AM By NEIL BEST neil.best@newsday.com


Photo credit: Getty Kevin C. Cox | The Jets' Clyde Gates and Antonio Cromartie celebrate a defensive stop against the Atlanta Falcons during their game at the Georgia Dome. (Oct. 7, 2013)

Neil Best

Neil Best

Neil Best first worked at Newsday in 1982, then returned



The bar has been set so low for the Jets that last week, coach Rex Ryan found himself fielding a question about the perception that the team had "exceeded expectations" at 2-2, coming off an awful loss to the Titans.


To his credit, he didn't bite, saying: "Certainly not in our building. That doesn't exceed our expectations."



It was the right thing to say at the time, even if it smacked of politically correct coach-speak. But after what went down here Monday night, the Jets' desire to be taken seriously must be taken seriously.



Their 30-28 upset of the Falcons at the Georgia Dome improved them to 3-2 and stamped them as a rapidly developing feel-good story in the NFL -- not to mention the Great New York Sports Hope of Autumn 2013.


When Ryan was asked again after the victory if his team had proved itself, he said: "It doesn't matter. With us, all we care about is the Jets fans and what's inside our walls. That's all we care about. Outsiders are going to say what they're going to say. They've already spoken when they picked us 32nd in the league, OK? But again, it doesn't matter. We just care about ourselves and we care about our Jets fans."


The Jets are not getting carried away. Quarterback Geno Smith wisely suggested that ESPN analyst Steve Young "calm down" after he suggested that Jets fans are thinking Super Bowl.


But we can say this nearly a third of the way into the season: Given the local sports chasm left by our playoff-free baseball teams and the bumbling Giants, the Jets look as if they are capable of keeping us engaged for weeks to come -- or at least until Kevin Garnett starts glaring at the Knicks.


There are sure to be ups and downs ahead, including from young Mr. Smith, but watching the rookie dissect the alleged Super Bowl contenders from Atlanta was a revelation.


As bad as Smith was in committing four turnovers against the Titans, he was that good Monday night, finishing with a near-perfect passer rating of 147.7 amid the din in the Dome, especially in leading a drive that began with 1:54 to play and set up Nick Folk's 43-yard field goal as time expired.


Bonus points for checking out of a pass play on third-and-3 at the Atlanta 31 and instead handing the ball to Bilal Powell, whose 6-yard run for a first down situated Folk nicely.


Smith all but shrugged off the accomplishment, calling the last-minute dramatics "fun."

"It's always a dream of mine since I was a kid to be in those situations and take my team down and get the last-second field goal or touchdown," he said.


It was the end of a wild, wacky night, part of a ride that presumably will continue for these Jets, a raw, mercurial outfit certain to cause its fans plenty of agita, along with a few thrills, the rest of the way.


Ryan said the goal entering the Falcons game was to avoid turnovers while not playing timidly, a balance that is much easier said than accomplished.

"We were not reckless," he said. "We were just the opposite: We were fearless, and that's how we have to play."


Let's go back to another thing Ryan said late last week when pressed on the Jets' underdog image, and what a victory over the Falcons might do to change it.


"We just want to win, so if that proves we're a contender or whatever, [winning is] our mission,'' he said. "That's what we want.

Quite honestly, guys, if we cover the point spread and don't win, we don't feel good about it.


"There might be others that do, but we don't. So we're in the win business, and that's all we focus on."

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Jets' tight ends step up vs. Falcons
October, 8, 2013
By Matt Winkeljohn | Special to ESPNNewYork.com
ATLANTA -- New York Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland was not surprised that offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and quarterback Geno Smith had him in mind Monday night, when two of Smith's three touchdowns passes went to tight ends. 

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Daniel Shirey/USA TODAY SportsJeff Cumberland was the Jets' leading receiver against the Falcons.
Cumberland's 20-yard scoring strike in the second quarter and fellow tight end Kellen Winslow's 1-yard touchdown reception in the fourth both came against favorable matchups in the Jets' 30-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons

The one to Cumberland pitted him against Falcons rookie linebacker Joplo Bartu, who was undrafted out of Texas State. 

On the Jets' next possession, Cumberland ran the same route straight downfield and caught a 47-yarder, with Bartu again trailing in coverage. That set up Smith's second touchdown pass, a 16-yard connection to wide receiver Jeremy Kerley

The fourth-year tight end caught three passes for 79 yards and a score. 

“Me and Marty had a one-on-one talk last week, and he said some things he wanted to do with me and get me more involved in the offense,” Cumberland said. “I gave a little outside move [on the touchdown], but it was pretty much a vertical route and I just used my speed and maneuvered around, and Geno found me. 

“We saw through our film that some teams were able to go vertical on them, and those two plays that's what we did.” 

While Cumberland wasn't surprised to have his number called, Winslow may have been irritated his wasn't called more often. 

He entered the game as the Jets' leading receiver with 16 catches, but was targeted just once on Monday, on the 1-yarder that Smith lofted over Falcons safety William Moore in the back-right corner of the end zone. 

Winslow caught the ball, keeping his feet inbounds, and with 12 minutes left in the game the Jets led 27-14. 

Smith said Winslow was expressing some frustration on the sideline during the game, and when approached by reporters afterward and asked to respond, Winslow said, “I don't think that would be a good choice.” 

Winslow had been listed as questionable for the game, and only practiced once last week because of chronic knee pain. 

Smith sure liked Mornhinweg's choice of play there. “Great call by Marty,” said the quarterback, who completed 16 of 20 passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns without any turnovers. “Got the play we wanted, had to put some touch on the ball to get it over the safety, William Moore. He's a great player, and it was a great catch by Kellen.” 

Cumberland was impressed by the rookie quarterback. 

“He's been in some big-time games in college [for West Virginia], and to come in here and be that composed [was great],” Cumberland said. “We knew it was going to be 60 minutes of football, and that's what it was.”
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Yep, another 'Folk hero' headline
October, 8, 2013
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com
ATLANTA -- With the game on the line, Nick Folk is money. 

Folk kicked the 43-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the New York Jets to a 30-28 comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons Monday night at the Georgia Dome. It was his sixth game-winning kick since 2010 with the Jets, including a 48-yard winner in the season-opening win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Not bad for a guy who has to fight for his job every training camp. 

"It felt good," he said of his latest "Folk Hero" moment. "It went down the middle. I hit it pretty good. I hit it pretty solid." 

Folk noted that Week 5 Monday night games have been "pretty good to me over the years." In 2010, he made five field goals in a 29-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings

Each year, the team signes a veteran challenger. This year, it was Billy Cundiff and, later,Dan Carpenter. Folk sent them both packing. Who could argue with the results? So far, he's 11-for-11 in field goals, including makes from 22 and 36 yards Monday night before the game winner. 

"I feel like I’ve been hitting the ball pretty well for a while now," he said. "Going back to last year, I think -- you take away my three block kicks or you add them in as makes ... you put those in, I’m a 90-percent guy last year."
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Jets' goal-line stand pivotal against Falcons
October, 8, 2013
By Matt Winkeljohn | Special to ESPNNewYork.com
ATLANTA -- In a game decided by Nick Folk's 43-yard-field goal as time expired, the Jets beat the Falcons 30-28 Monday night because they got huge assists from their defense. And perhaps, no play mattered more than one easily forgotten. 

Muhammad Wilkerson had himself a night with seven combined tackles, including two for a loss. But the big defensive end's sack and strip of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan late in the third quarter proved pivotal. 

[+] Enlargeny_g_jets_kh_300x200.jpg
Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesThe Jets' defense stuffed the Falcons before halftime to keep momentum and a 17-7 lead.
That was the game's only turnover, and it led to the second of Folk's three field goals to put the Jets ahead 20-14 with 39 seconds left in the third. Without that, Geno Smith and the offense would've had to find the end zone at the end to win. 

Talk about a team effort. 

“We feel great,” Wilkerson said. “We won collectively.” 

The Jets' defense, despite facing 70 plays on a night when the Jets ran just 46, stood especially stout at the end of the first half in holding the Falcons scoreless on six snaps inside New York's 12-yard line. 

Trailing 17-7, Atlanta took over with 7:19 left in the first half, burned every second of it and didn't score a point when coach Mike Smith passed on a field-goal try from the 1-yard line on the final play. 

On first-and-goal from the 4, tackle Sheldon Richardson dropped Falcons back Jason Snelling for a 1-yard loss. After an Atlanta timeout, Ryan's pass to Harry Douglas deflected off the receiver's hands. 

Then, a short pass to wide receiver Julio Jones netted four yards and left fourth-and-goal at the 1 as safety Dawan Landry stopped him short of the goal line. 

With seven seconds left, Smith called timeout. Ultimately, the Atlanta coach decided to go for it. 

“I knew that they were going to do it. I could just feel it by the mentality of the game,” said linebacker DeMario Davis. “They were right there on the 1-yard line. I don't know what they were thinking, but they went for it and we were able to rise to the challenge.” 

Smith explained his decision: “We felt like we needed to score a touchdown in that situation ... In hindsight, it is probably not the way we wanted it to work out.” 

Ryan's fourth-down pass sailed past tight end Tony Gonzalez, but pass interference was called and the Falcons got a new set of downs from the 1 with one second left. Jacquizz Rodgers took the ensuing handoff and was stuffed for no gain and the Falcons were without three points that sure would have come in handy at game's end. 

“We bowed up and stopped them like we're supposed to,” said Wilkerson, who helped pressure Ryan into a few quick throws. “They felt they could score, and we knew that we were going to hold them. We did our job and stopped them. That's a credit to the coaches for putting together a great game plan.” 

The Falcons moved the ball better in the second half, scoring 21 points and gaining 227 of their 363 yards, but the Jets' stand at the end of the first half mattered more. 

Even when Atlanta took a 28-27 lead on Ryan's 3-yard pass to tight end Levine Toilolo with 1:54 left in the game, Wilkerson didn't lose faith. He believed in Geno Smith, and the offense. 

“I felt like I do all the time when the offense gets the ball, like they were going to drive down the field and get some points,” said the 6-foot-4, 315-pounder. “Collectively, as a team, we play together. It's 'Monday Night Football,' prime time ... We showed that we can be great. 

“This team has a lot of heart. Rex [Ryan] always tells us to stick together, keep fighting. Believe in your brother next to you, and we did that tonight.”
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Jets polishing chip on shoulder
October, 8, 2013
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com
ATLANTA -- The New York Jets didn't say, "We told you so." Well, they kind of did. 

In the aftermath of Monday night's stunning, 30-28 last-second win over the Atlanta Falcons, Rex Ryan and a couple of players continued to play the no-respect card. This was an impressive road win, so, yeah, they were entitled to do some yapping. 


Ryan was asked if this win will change the perception of the Jets (3-2), who moved to within one game of the first-place New England Patriots

"Outsiders are going to say what they're going to say, and they have," he said. "They've already spoken. They picked us 32nd in the league, OK? It doesn't matter. We just care about ourselves and we care about Jets fans." 

He was referring, of course, to ESPN's Week 1 power poll, which ranked them 32nd. 

"For whatever reason, everybody wants to crack jokes on us," linebacker Calvin Pace said. "The Jets are not going to this, the Jets not going to do that. No matter, man. It fuels us." 

Guard Willie Colon agreed with Ryan, saying the Jets' 3-2 start won't change anything from the outside. 

"We have to be consistent," he said. "We've got to put good games on tape consistently. Our tape is our résumé. If we can put games on tape that show we're legit, maybe it'll change. Right now, people are like, 'Keep winning and talk to us later.' We've got that chip on our shoulder."
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Geno Smith turns in turnover-free gem
October, 8, 2013
By Rich Cimini | ESPN.com

ATLANTA -- Instead of micromanaging Geno Smith by making him wear a color-coded wrist band, New York Jets coach Rex Ryan came to his football senses and actually challenged his rookie quarterback to take the opposite approach Monday night. 

"Let 'er rip and play with no conscience," Smith said of his coach's edict. 

Smith played out of his mind, all right. 

Eight days after the ugliest four-turnover performance you will ever see, Smith delivered a possible turning-point game for him and the Jets, rallying them to a dramatic, last-second upset of the Atlanta Falcons30-28, at the Georgia Dome. 

[+] Enlargenfl_g_smith_300x200.jpg
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesGeno Smith left the Georgia Dome with his third victory in five games as a starter.
Smith was terrific for the first 58 minutes, and he was even better in the final two, directing a seven-play, 55-yard scoring drive to set up Nick Folk's 43-yard field goal as time expired. Smith was flawless on the final drive, completing four passes to three different receivers and calling an audible -- an audible! -- on the third-down play before Folk did his thing. 

If Folk had missed, it still would've been a silver-lining night for the Jets (3-2), simply because of Smith's dramatic improvement. Sure, it would've hurt, but the initial pain would've faded, replaced by the big picture -- Smith's positive strides. 

That they won the game, too, beating a team that fancied itself as a Super Bowl contender, was the ultimate double-delight for the Jets, who moved to within one game of the first-place New England Patriots in the AFC East. 

"We showed that we can be great," said defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, who was just that against the Falcons (1-4). 

Team success aside, this showed Smith's potential. He's not a turnover machine, after all. After 11 giveaways in the first four games, he played a clean game on a national stage. 

No turnovers.

Let's repeat that: no turnovers. 

"I thought he did an outstanding job for us throughout the entire game," Ryan said. 

This was the kind of game the Jets envisioned when they chose Smith in the second round. That he kept his cool on the road, with ear-splitting noise, showed plenty of moxie. For a change, everybody isn't talking about his strong arm and his physical gifts. Everybody's talking about his calm under pressure. 

"He's wise beyond his years," running back Mike Goodson said. 

Smith didn't put up "wow" numbers, mostly because Marty Mornhinweg featured the running game, but the former West Virginia star capitalized on his chances. He completed 16 of 20 passes for 199 yards, three touchdowns and a 147.7 passer rating. And he did it without injured wide receiver Santonio Holmes and with a couple of newcomers, Goodson and wide receiver David Nelson

importantly, he did it in crunch time. 

Thanks to a fourth-quarter defensive collapse, the Jets fell behind 28-27. Smith got the ball on the 20-yard line with 1:54 on the clock. There wasn't a rah-rah speech in the huddle. 

"There was no Disney pep talk," guard Willie Colon said. "No time for that. Good offenses get it done and that's what we did." 

Smith hit Stephen Hill for a 12-yard gain, Jeremy Kerley for 13 more and Hill for another 9. Smith scrambled for 8 yards and got out of bounds, stopping the clock with 37 seconds left. After a Bilal Powell run, Smith hit Clyde Gates for 3 yards. 

Now it was third-and-3 from Falcons' 31, on the fringe of field-goal range. Mornhinweg sent in a pass play and put Smith in shotgun. The kid looked at the Falcons' defense and changed the play to a run, moving behind center for the snap. 

"That takes [guts]," Colon said of Smith's play change. 


It almost blew up, but Powell shed a tackler in the backfield and ran for 6 yards. In came Folk, who is money with the game on the line. Smith loved the moment. 

"Always calm, since I was a kid," he said, describing his emotions on the final drive. "To be in that situation, to take my team down and get a field goal or touchdown. … It's great to come away with a victory." 

After last week's debacle against the Tennessee Titans, Smith said he "needed to change my mentality," explaining he couldn't afford to be uptight. He would've been that way if Ryan had gone through with the ridiculous idea of slapping a remedial wrist band on him, a la Mark Sanchez, circa 2009. 

Smith heeded Ryan's words -- let 'er rip. It's a fine line, playing aggressively but not recklessly, which Smith had been doing. In Tennessee, he struggled to complete two passes in a row, let alone an entire drive with no margin for error. 

"He's a rookie and we made him look like a 10-year vet," Falcons safety William Moore said. 

It's amazing how quickly things can change in the NFL. A week ago, a crestfallen Smith apologized to defensive teammates for all his mistakes. On this night, they were raving about him. Ryan didn't gush too much, preferring to keep it about the team. 

"The key word is 'fearless,'" he said. "I challenged our team the night before to play that way, and that's exactly how we played." 

Starting at quarterback -- for a change.
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Green Day: Is it time to believe?
October, 8, 2013
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com
ATLANTA -- Baseball is over in New York and the New York Giants stink, meaning the New York Jets have to carry the hopes of a frustrated sports region -- at least until the NBA season gets serious. 

The Jets are 3-2, coming off a wild and dramatic win over the Atlanta Falcons. The big green bandwagon is starting to fill up, folks starting to get emotionally invested in the surprising Jets. 

Are we talking about a legitimate playoff contender here? 

Hold everything. They're not there yet. 

Monday night was a big win in every sense, especially the way Geno Smith played, but it's not a season changer. You can't take them seriously until they win, like, two in a row. If they go out next Sunday and fall to the winless Pittsburgh Steelers, it offsets what they accomplished in Atlanta. 

It's all about consistency. Right now, the Jets are an up-down team with wins over opponents that are a combined 3-11. We'll know a lot more about them over the next four weeks. After the Steelers, they hit the Murderer's Row portion of the schedule -- the New England Patriots (4-1), Cincinnati Bengals (3-2) on the road and the New Orleans Saints (5-0). 

Yes, the Jets are moving in the right direction, defying so-called experts such as myself. Now they have to prove this wasn't a one-game tease. If they can split the next four and get to 5-4 at the bye week, then you're talking about a pennant race.
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William Moore: We made Geno Smith look like a 10-year vet

Posted by Josh Alper on October 8, 2013, 7:04 AM EDT
350x-73.jpg?w=250Getty Images

The Falcons defense was asked to defend a one-point lead with 1:55 to play on Monday night and they couldn’t do it.

Jets quarterback Geno Smith completed four passes and scrambled for a first down to move the Jets into position for Nick Folk’s game-winning 43-yard field goal. Smith was composed and controlled during the drive, showing none of the skittishness that helped lead to 11 turnovers in the first four games. The offensive game plan and strong work from the supporting cast had much to do with that, but so did the play of the Falcons defense.

“He’s a rookie and we make him look like a 10-year veteran,” Falcons safety William Moore said, via the Associated Press.

The Falcons defense did that thanks to aneffort that was short on consistent pass rush and long on soft coverage in the secondary. That combination gave Smith time to throw and people to throw to all night, something that hasn’t been the case often in the first four weeks. The Jets didn’t have gaudy rushing numbers, but they were generating enough on the ground to remain out of long third down situations most of the night. That led to a 6-of-11 conversion rate for the Jets and only added to Smith’s overall comfort level.

It was a passive approach by the Falcons defense against a quarterback who spent the first four weeks showing he could be rattled fairly easily. That’s a big reason why the Falcons are 1-4, a record that has been part of the path to a playoff berth in just six of 118 cases since 1990.

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Mike Goodson Gives Jets Some Needed Electricity

Posted 4 hours ago

2012-randy-lange-headshot-thumb-60x60.pnRandy LangeEditor-in-Chief, newyorkjets.com@rlangejets Blog: Randy's Radar


With a few new parts added to the Jets' machine this past week, some might have doubted that they would provide a spark for the Monday night game at Atlanta.


But they gave a spark and then some.


"Pretty much it was like being shot out of a cannon," RB Mike Goodson of returning from his four-game NFL suspension to make his debut in green and white and help us clip the Falcons' wings by 30-28.


"It was good. They got me the ball early," Goodson added. "It was on a first-down play and they had to go chase me around the edge."


Goodson won that race, taking the direct snap out of the Wildcat around left end for a 26-yard gain to the Falcons 41, starting the Jets' second scoring drive of the game that concluded with Geno Smith's 20-yard strike toJeff Cumberland in the end zone.


Surely he had some butterflies fluttering around in his stomach for this debut.


"Definitely, a little bit," he agreed. "But once the National Anthem was sung, after that it was pretty good."


Goodson said his hamstring, which flared up on Friday, was a little tight, which would explain the limited use of the fifth-year back. Nevertheless, he provided decent production on his 11 offensive plays for the night, gaining 32 yards on three carries and taking one reception 9 yards on his first offensive contribution as a Jet, converting a third-and-2 on the opening drive.


Asked how he felt things went, he preferred to talk about the group rather than the individual.


"I'm just excited the way our team played, the way Geno [smith] played, the offensive line," he said. "And we're spreading the ball around."

Certainly that was true in the backfield as the original three-headed tailback rotation conceived of in the offseason finally came together in this game. Bilal Powell started and gained 38 yards on 12 carries, andChris Ivory came in for four carries and 27 yards, including his 19-yard burst up the middle that set up Smith's third and last TD pass of the night to Kellen Winslow for a 27-14 lead early in the final frame.


Others who were making debuts of different kinds in this game were:


■ WR David Nelson, signed last week, who caught two first-quarter passes for 9 yards


■ Third-round rookie Brian Winters, who has played this year but was making his first pro start for Vlad Ducasse at LG.


■ WR Michael Campbell, signed from the practice squad and on the field for our kickoff coverage team, including on the game's opening kickoff.


Extra Points


Geno Smith finished with a passing line of 16-for-20 for 199 yards, three TDs and no interceptions for a 147.7 passer rating. That's the sixth-best rating since about 1975, with the first five spots going to Ken O'Brien (158.3 twice), Chad Pennington, 158.3 and 148.1) and Vinny Testaverde (147.9).

With Geno and the offense offering no giveaways for the first game this season while the defense turned the ball over once

on Muhammad Wilkerson's strip-sack of Matt Ryan, the Jets were plus-1 in turnover margin, the first time they've been plus on the road since Game 10 at St. Louis last year.


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NY Jets' Nick Folk makes another game-winning kick, this time over Falcons With game on the line in Atlanta, Folk comes up big again as he nails 43-yard field goal to give Jets victory. BY KEVIN ARMSTRONG / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2013, 1:56 AM
jinsider8s-3-web.jpg KEVIN C. COX/GETTY IMAGES  

Jets kicker Nick Folk trots off the field after booting the winning field goal Monday night.


ATLANTA – Kicker Nick Folk nailed his second game-winning field goal of the season when he converted a 43-yard attempt to give the Jets a 30-28 victory over the Falcons at the Georgia Dome Monday night.

“Right down the middle,” Folk said at his locker afterward.

“Actually, I think it was a little to the left,” punter Ryan Quigley said.


“Thanks, man, thanks,” Folk said.

Folk made all three attempts against the Falcons to add to his perfect start to the season. Now 11-for-11 through five games, Folk also beat the Bucs when he nailed a 48-yard field goal.

“I like the way he’s carrying himself,” special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica said.



Look who’s sitting atop the coaching standings in New York this morning.

Rex Ryan slipped ahead of Giants counterpart Tom Coughlin with Monday night’s win. Ryan is 37-33 over the last five seasons he has been in New York and Coughlin is 36-34 during that time.

“Everybody is like, ‘S--- on the Jets,’ ” linebacker Calvin Pace said. “We believe in Rex. We believe in each other.”


Each coach has four playoff wins in that span. Coughlin and the Giants are currently 0-5 while Ryan’s Jets improved to 3-2. On the flip side, Coughlin has won two Super Bowls, while Ryan reached the AFC Championship Game in back-to-back seasons.

Remember Osi Umenyiora?

The former Giants pass rusher was wearing No. 50 in Falcons red inside the Georgia Dome, and recorded a blindside sack of quarterback Geno Smith in the third quarter. Umenyiora leveled Smith as if he were Giants general manager Jerry Reese, his longtime contract nemesis.


Somehow, Smith managed to hold on to the ball.

Umenyiora collected another sack in the fourth quarter and finished with six tackles and two quarterback hits. Umenyiora has four sacks on the season while the Giants have five.

CB Dee Milliner (hamstring) and WR Santonio Holmes (hamstring) were inactive.

Falcons FB Steven Jackson and LT Sam Baker were also inactive. TB Jason Snelling left the game with a concussion.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/jets-insider-folk-yeah-nick-drills-kick-article-1.1479175#ixzz2h8thxmhX

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NY Jets defense comes up big for Rex Ryan vs. Falcons Seemingly every time Atlanta tried to muster up the courage to go for it in short yardage situations, the Jets defense stood up to the challenge. Comments (4) BY KEVIN ARMSTRONG / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2013, 2:02 AM

Jacquizz Rodgers is stopped short of the goal line by a host of Jet defenders on the final play of the first half Monday night in Atlanta.


ATLANTA — It was the kind of stand Jets’ coach Rex Ryan relishes.

With a first and goal at the 4 yard line, the Atlanta Falcons were in position to punch in a touchdown right before halftime and cut the Jets’ lead to 17-14.


But not on this night, not against this defense. Even a defensive holding call against the Jets on the penultimate play of the half didn’t matter. The Jets just stopped the Falcons one more time, stuffing a Jacquizz Rodgers running play as time expired in the first half.

“Stressful at first but it feels good," rookie defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson.



It sure did. While Geno Smith got all the praise for the victory, it was Gang Green’s defense that kept Atlanta off balance for most of the night, keeping the Jets in the game and in position to win at the end.

At times, defensive lineman Mo Wilkerson and the Jets defense overwhelmed the Falcons offensive line. In the third quarter alone, Wilkerson whirled passed two linemen, then strip sacked quarterback Matt Ryan. He then leveled tailback Jacquizz Rodgers for a loss of one yard.


“Borderline unstoppable," linebacker Calvin Pace said.

Everywhere Matt Ryan looked, there appeared to be a Jets pass rusher. If it wasn't Wilkerson, it was Richardson or safety Jaiquawn Jarrett coming on a blitz. The Jets were able to interrupt Ryan's rhythm with timely pass rushes and a stout approach against the run. The Falcons were limited to 64 rushing yards, but Matt Ryan kept them in the game with 319 yards in the air.


Ryan did give rally the Falcons from to a 28-27 lead with under two minutes left into the game, but even that wasn’t easy, as the Jets appeared to stuff Atlanta in the red zone, only to have a defensive holding penalty give Atlanta a second chance to take the lead.

"The biggest thing is that we finished the game," cornerback Antonio Cromartie said.

There was no lack of aggressiveness from Wilkerson or Quinton Coples. Both were fined for their hits on Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker in last week's loss. Coples and Wilkerson are appealing their punishment and played without hesitation. Coples picked up a quarterback hit while Wilkerson gave the Jets 10 tackles.

"Rex always tells us to stick together, keep fighting, believe in your brother next to you," Wilkerson said, "and we did that tonight."

For all the stands made by the Jets, from the strip sack of Matt Ryan to the tackles for loss and leveling hits, it was goal line stand that doubled as the biggest statement.

"We didn't get to him as much as we wanted but, but we definitely got to him in clutch situations," Richardson said.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/jets-stands-delivers-article-1.1479179#ixzz2h8uVln33

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"It's great to have guys like that on your side the way I've played the last four weeks," he said, referring to his 11 turnovers in the first month. "They tell me to go out there and just let it rip, play with no conscience."

This is essentially the exact opposite of the way Mark Sanchez was brought along, and it's great to see. The turnovers have to stop, but not at the expense of production. Right now, Geno is ranked 6th in the NFL with an 8.3 ypa number. He's pushing the ball downfield with a set of alleged skill position players. Schottenheimer (and Rex) completely shut Sanchez down to avoid the turnovers, Marty is instead telling his young QB not to play scared. To go out there and move the football. And it's paying off.

There will be more turnovers, but I'll accept the learnterceptions as long as Geno continues to fearlessly move the football.

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Playing-time breakdown: Jets
October, 8, 2013
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com
A look at the snap counts from the New York Jets’ 30-28 win against the Atlanta Falcons

nyj.gifOFFENSE (Based on 46 snaps) 

Quarterback – Geno Smith 46. 

Running back – Bilal Powell 34, Tommy Bohanon 15, Mike Goodson 11, Chris Ivory 8. 

Wide receiver – Jeremy Kerley 37, Stephen Hill 31, Clyde Gates 23, David Nelson 15. 

Tight end – Jeff Cumberland 35, Kellen Winslow 19, Sheldon Richardson 1. 

Offensive line – D’Brickashaw Ferguson 46, Brian WintersNick Mangold 46, Willie Colon,Austin Howard 46, Vladimir Ducasse 1. 

Offensive analysis: It was a season-low 46 snaps, so there wasn’t a lot of playing time to go around. Winslow played a season-low 41 percent of the snaps, which may explain why he seemed upset after the game. Smith also mentioned that Winslow was “frustrated” at times. Winslow was questionable with his knee issue, so that may have been a factor. … Goodson and Nelson played key reserve roles in their Jets' debuts. … Richardson made his first appearance as a blocking tight end. Dude can do a lot of things. 

DEFENSE (Based on 76 snaps) 

Line – Muhammad Wilkerson 68, Richardson 53, Damon Harrison 28, Leger Douzable 20,Kenrick Ellis 10. 

Linebacker – David Harris 76, DeMario Davis 73, Quinton Coples 60, Calvin Pace 55,Antwan Barnes 18, Garrett McIntyre 16. 

Secondary – Dawan Landry 76, Antonio Cromartie 76, Darrin Walls 74, Jaiquawn Jarrett 48,Kyle Wilson 41, Josh Bush 25, Antonio Allen 16, Ellis Lankster 3. 

Defensive analysis: A couple of interesting personnel moves by Rex Ryan and coordinator Dennis Thurman. They give an expanded role to Jarrett, who was heavily involved in the coverage of TE Tony Gonzalez. The future Hall of Famer still had a big game (10 catches for 97 yards), but the coaches evidently felt better with Jarrett on him. It made for less playing time for Allen. They also pulled Bush out of moth balls. In the first four games, Bush played a grand total of 12 defensive snaps, none in the last two games. In this game, they used more two-deep safety looks than usual, resulting in an increased role. ... Barnes' playing time was limited by a knee injury.
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This is essentially the exact opposite of the way Mark Sanchez was brought along, and it's great to see. The turnovers have to stop, but not at the expense of production. Right now, Geno is ranked 6th in the NFL with an 8.3 ypa number. He's pushing the ball downfield with a set of alleged skill position players. Schottenheimer (and Rex) completely shut Sanchez down to avoid the turnovers, Marty is instead telling his young QB not to play scared. To go out there and move the football. And it's paying off.

There will be more turnovers, but I'll accept the learnterceptions as long as Geno continues to fearlessly move the football.


Excellent point, but I think some of the difference can be traced to the personalities of the two QB's, too.  Sanchez has always been someone who shrinks when things go bad while Geno appears to have an inner confidence that does not allow that.

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Are the Jets realistically playoff contenders after their win over the Falcons?


Rex Ryan must be smiling after the Jets' Monday night victory over the Falcons. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Charles Curtis/NJ.com By Charles Curtis/NJ.com


on October 08, 2013 at 10:18 AM, updated October 08, 2013 at 11:03 AM


Are the Jets realistically playoff contenders after their win over the Falcons?




With one game-winning boot off the foot of Nick Folk, the Jets are suddenly 3-2, just a game behind the Patriots in the AFC East.


But are you a believer in the Jets as a playoff contender after their last-second victory on the road last night?


Geno Smith proved he could keep the mistakes to a minimum and flashed serious talent, engineering the drive that would lead to the Folk field goal. Though the running game struggled Bilal Powell and Mike Goodson might be a deadly combination going forward. Defensively, the Jets stuffed the run and stepped up in a crucial moment at the end of the first half, making sure the Falcons couldn't get in the end zone. Gang Green really did look like a playoff team last night against a dynamic offense.



Additionally, take a look at the teams in the division -- the 2-3 Bills are about to start Thad Lewis at quarterback this week. The Dolphins lost two on a row and will come off their bye week facing the Pats and Bengals in two of their next three contests. New England, meanwhile, just scored six points last week and face the powerful Saints on Sunday -- Tom Brady hasn't looked like himself thus far this season. So it's possible the Jets can continue stay competitive in the AFC East.

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