The New York Jets travel to Atlanta to take on the defending NFC South Champion Atlanta Falcons, who are off to a disappointing 1-3 start after their loss to the New England Patriots last week. The Jets will try to bounce back from their loss at the hands of the AFC South co-leading Tennessee Titans. Let’s get to know the Jets week 5 opponent..
Week 5: Atlanta Falcons (1-3), last week: a loss vs New England (30-23)
2013 Offensive Rankings: 14th in Points Per game (23.5), 7th in total yards (398.5 per game), 4th in passing yards (316.5 per game), 4th in passing attempts (43.2 per game), 5th in passing touchdowns (8), 10th in interceptions thrown (3), 8th in yards gained per attempt (7.0), 23rd in rushing yards (82 per game), 29th in rushing attempts (18.7 per game), 24th in rushing touchdowns (1), 11th in yards per carry (4.4), 1st in the league in the percentage of their drives that end in a score (40%), first in percentage of drives ending in a turnover (9.5%), 1st in average number of plays per drive (6.3) and 1st in average time of drive (2 minutes and 53 seconds).
Overview: Offensively, the Falcons boast what some consider a fantasy football lineup. Their offensive stars include wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White (arguably the best receiving duo in football), and tight end Tony Gonzalez. They are led by the former Boston College Eagle Matt Ryan, who is currently on pace to throw for 5,320 yards after his 421 yard performance against the Patriots last week. Julio Jones has replaced Roddy White as the team’s number one receiver, and he’s notched 33 catches for 481 yards and two scores through the first four games so far. The aforementioned White has battled injuries during the season so far, and has 10 catches for 84 yards and has yet to find the end zone. Tony Gonzalez is second on the team with 23 catches for 242 yards and 3 TDs, and is coming off a 12 reception, 149 yard, 2 touchdown game. Slot WR Harry Douglas has been another weapon in the passing game for the Falcons this year, as he has 14 catches and 213 yards through the first quarter of the season. Offseason addition Steven Jackson was expected to bring balance to the Falcons offense, but he has only played in two games due to injury. Jaquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling have seen the most carries on the team, with 38 and 21 respectively. Rodgers is the team’s leading rusher, but he was held to 32 yards on only 7 carries last week as the game was a rout heading in to the 4th. The Falcons offensive line allowed 2 sacks against the Patriots last week, but Matt Ryan has only been sacked once every 24 dropbacks.
- Running Back Steven Jackson
- Running Back Michael Turner
- Running Back Steven Jackson
- Left Tackle Sam Baker
2013 Defensive Rankings: 22nd in points allowed (26 per game), 25th in yards allowed (393.2 per game), 26th in passing defense (301 per game), 24th in passing touchdowns allowed (9), 6th in rushing defense (92.5 per game), 13th in yards per carry allowed (4.0), 10th in rushing touchdowns allowed (2), and 26th in turnovers forced (4).
Overview: The Falcons are led on defense by former New York Giant Osi Umenyiora, who has two sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception returned for a touchdown this season. Evidence that teams have picked apart a very young secondary, four of the Falcons five leading tacklers are their starting corners and safeties. The defense did not sack Tom Brady once last week, as Brady has more than enough time to look downfield and find Julien Edelman and Kenbrell Thompkins repeatedly (both put up over 100 yards). The Falcons top 10 ranking in rushing defense is misleading, because teams have chosen to throw against them. The Patriots ran for 132 yards on 31 carries, and the only team to not run for at least 75 yards was the St. Louis Rams, who finished with 69 team rushing yards. The Falcons do not rush the quarterback well either, as they only have seven sacks so far.
- Defensive End Osi Umenyiora
- Cornerback Desmond Trufant
- Defensive End John Abraham
- Cornerback Brent Grimes
- Cornerback Dunta Robinson
- Linebacker Will Witherspoon (IR)
- Cornerback Asanta Samiel (questionable)
- Akeem Dent (questionable)
Jaquizz Rodgers is the team’s primary kick returner, averaging 23 yards per return. Because of Rodgers, the Falcons lead the league in average starting field position; most of their drives begin at their own 26. Harry Douglas is the team’s punt returner, but he is only averaging 4.4 yards a return. Matt Bryant is 8-9 on field goals so far this year, with his only miss coming from 30-39 yards away. Bryant is perfect on extra points. Matt Bosher is the team’s punter, and he is averaging 47.2 yards per punt, with a long of 63.
The Atlanta Falcons lead the all-time series 6-4, and Mike Smith was able to beat Rex Ryan in their lone match up, 10-7, in December 2009. Matt Ryan was 16 of 34 for 152 yards and a touchdown in this game, as Rex Ryan’s defense thoroughly confused Matty Ice. The Jets were done in by 3 Mark Sanchez interceptions and loss on a 4th quarter touchdown pass from Ryan to Gonzalez.
Series’s Most Memorable Highlight