Can New York Jets Take Advantage Of Struggling Atlanta Falcons?

By Steven Carollo
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

To the surprise of many, the NFC South division-inning Atlanta Falcons from a year ago are currently 1-3 and three games out of first place, behind the 4-0 New Orleans Saints.

In what was virtually a must-win game for the Falcons last week in Week 4 at home against the New England Patriots, the Falcons had no answer for Tom Brady and the Patriots’ passing game and fell short by a touchdown, 30-23.

So this week is another must win game for the Falcons, and this time it is the Monday Night game against guess who? The 2-2 New York Jets.

One would easily figure that since this is a must-win game for the Falcons and with the Jets having a rookie quarterback in Geno Smith, that chances are this game is going to be all Falcons, all day. However, I think this game will be closer than most people think.

I am not one for guarantees, but I think the Jets could definitely keep the game close.

While the Jets do not have the greatest offense in the world by any means, the Falcons’ defense this season has been pretty bad. The minimum amount of points they have given up in a single game is 23, and they are ranked near the bottom in most defense categories, including sacks, which should help out Geno tons.

Another reason is the coaching on both sides. Both Rex Ryan and Mike Smith are definitely not two of the best coaches in the NFL, but with all of the pressure on Smith and the Falcons, I can see some key situations in the game where Smith makes some bad coaching decisions and plays too conservatively, like he did in the playoffs last year against the San Francisco 49ers — and we all know how that ended.

Finally, while Ryan isn’t a great head coach, he does know his defense and he has proven it so far this season as the Jets currently have the no. 2-ranked defense in the NFL. You put the Jets’ defense against a Falcons’ offense and head coach who may not be feeling so sure of themselves anymore, and you could see some major second-guessing on the Falcons part, which the Jets’ defense can take advantage of.

Overall, I think the Jets can keep this game close. I won’t say they will win since the Falcons are better overall and will be the home team against the Jets, but I also never said the Jets beating the Falcons on Monday Night Football this week was impossible.

Both teams have question marks, but with all of the pressure being on the Falcons not living up to expectations, the underdog Jets could give them a shock.

Steven Carollo is a sports writer for Follow him on Twitter, add him on Facebook, connect with him on LinkedIn, and join his Google network.

Related Links:

Week 5: Atlanta Falcons Prepare for a Must-Win Game
Jets vs. Falcons NFL Week 5: TV Schedule, Betting Lines, Prediction
New York Jets: Monday Night is Put Up or Shut Up for Wideouts

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