The New York Jets topped the Atlanta Falcons 24-16 in their final game before Week 2.
Atlanta jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the first half behind solid performances from Marcus Mariota (6-for-10 for 132 yards and a touchdown) and Desmond Ryder (10-for-13 for 143 yards). -Quarter field goal drive and then halftime comeback once deep backups entered the game.
The Jets got a 34-yard crossing courtesy of wide receiver Lawrence Gager, a seven-yard run to running back La’Michel Perine, who jumped out of the crowded box to the rim, and a fumble by edge rusher Bradley Ane that he took to the house to give New York the lead for good. Atlanta had one last chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, but Felipe Franks’ pass flew over tight end Anthony Fircher’s head and went out of bounds.
Why the Jets won
Well, mostly their third-string offense found a way to move the ball, and Atlanta’s didn’t. It started with a drive late in the first half in which Denzel Mims made a big play to put the team within field goal range. After halftime, Chris Streveler made some plays with his arm and legs, including a touchdown toss to Cager and several scrambles that kept drives alive. Meanwhile, New York’s defense held Franks to 2-of-6 passing for eight yards after giving up 275 yards to Mariota and Rider on just 23 attempts.
Why the Falcons lost
Franks and the third-string offense were completely shut down by the Jets defense, while Streveler was able to find some holes in Atlanta’s coverage unit that Mike White didn’t have in the first half. Additionally, Atlanta’s offensive line failed to create any rushing lanes for Caleb Hundley, who was repeatedly stopped at or around the line of scrimmage. Additionally, Franks was not accurate when he intended to throw the ball.
Highlight the game
With New York taking a 1-point lead early in the fourth quarter, the Falcons faced third-and-8 from their own 40-yard line. It was then that Ane turned the game into a thrilling drama.
Ane didn’t bite Franks’ play-action fake too hard and stuck with the quarterback as he tried to tackle the left side. Franks’ legs got enough as he dove and tackled the soccer ball in an attempt to stop his fall. From there, all Ane had to do was pick it up and carry it to the end zone himself.
The Jets will square off against their MetLife Stadium brethren, the New York Giants, in the final game of the 2022 season. The Jets are technically the home team for that contest, for what it’s worth. They will go 3-0 in their tune-up games before preparing for the Ravens in Week 1.
The Falcons host the Jacksonville Jaguars in their postseason matchup. That game will be Saturday at 3 p.m., and they will then have more than two weeks to prepare for their season opener against the division rival New Orleans Saints.
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