Found October 08, 2013 on NY Sports 24/7:
The New York Jets (3-2) marched into the Georgia Dome last night and discombobulated the Atlanta Falcons’ season with a 30-28 victory, despite the overwhelming expectation from the NFL masses to not only lose on the road, but to be beaten badly by a desperate team. The Falcons (1-4) were down a few players to injury, and had lost three of their first four games to open the season. However, Atlanta still had star-players like WR Julio Jones and TE Tony Gonzalez to give defensive schemers like Jets head coach Rex Ryan fits in how to prepare for all the weapons at Falcons QB Matt Ryan’s disposal. Atlanta needed to win this game to keep significant playoff hopes alive. Yet, even knowing this, were unable to stop the Jets in the waning moments of Monday Night Football, and are now mired in its longest losing streak in seven years. Gonzalez became the second player in NFL history (Jerry Rice) to have a reception in 200 consecutive games, and Jones completely disrespected Jets CB Antonio Cromartie with a one-handed 46-yard reception in the fourth quarter. But the biggest story of this game wasn’t the Jets’ less-than-stellar fourth-quarter defense. It was rookie QB Geno Smith’s complete game – 16-20 for 199 yards and three TD’s – and his ability to maintain possession of the ball throughout without once having it wind up in the opposition’s hands. “It’s a mind set,” explained a smiling Smith. “I made it my business to come out here and not put the ball on the ground or put my teammates in jeopardy.” Smith didn’t either flinch when the Jets’ defense took extra penalties to extend the Falcons’ final drive and take the lead with under two minutes remaining in the final frame on a touchdown pass to backup TE Levine Toilolo. “It was always a dream of mine since I was a kid to be in those situations,” noted Smith. The Falcons exploited one of the Jets’ supposed defensive strengths by scoring most of its points on the ground, getting two touchdown runs from backup RB Jacquizz Rodgers. But the team couldn’t stop Geno when it mattered most. Smith went four-for-four on his game-winning drive, including an eight-yard scramble up the sideline to the Atlanta 38. After one more completion, Rex called a timeout with three seconds left and Nick Folk booted the Jets into second place in the AFC East. For Smith, though, putting in the extra effort at practice to cut down his turnover rate helped his team when it needed football possession most. Instead of a rookie playing quarterback, he looked like a wily veteran deftly guiding his team to victory.
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