TV Schedule: Monday, Oct. 7, 8:40 p.m. ET, ESPN
Stadium: Georgia Dome
Line: Atlanta (-10)
Not many people are too sure what to make of the Atlanta Falcons through four weeks. The 1-3 squad has severely underperformed this season and a lot of blame will unfairly be put on Matt Ryan‘s shoulders. Ryan has passed for 1,330 yards and eight touchdowns this season thanks to the help he has been getting from Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez and Harry Douglas. Jones leads all receivers with 33 catches for 481 yards and two touchdowns while Gonzalez has 242 yards and three touchdowns — proving once again he is the ageless wonder. Steven Jackson may be back soon at running back and this 23rd-ranked rushing attack needs him desperately.
On the other side of the field, the New York Jets have been playing just like the Jets do as of late. Rex Ryan‘s squad has been a train wreck this offseason and it all started with the Mark Sanchez debate. Is he good enough to be an NFL quarterback. That debate was silenced after he suffered a season-ending injury late in the team’s third preseason game and Ryan’s warm seat just got a bit warmer. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith was forced to take over and he has struggled a bit as the No. 1 guy behind center. Smith has 1,090 yards and four touchdowns through the first four weeks. This offense has been one of the worst in football.
Defensively, the Jets are, surprisingly, the second-best squad in the league in terms of yardage allowed per game. Allowing just 283 yards per game as well as have a balanced run and pass defense is great news for a struggling quarterback like Smith — it keeps the Jets in games. The Falcons have the sixth-best run-stopping defense in the league, but they rank 25th in total yardage allowed per game.
PREDICTION: Jets 17, Falcons 38