A strong defensive performance that kept the Falcons' running game bottled up and an effective platoon rushing attack were major factors in the Jets' upset, but it was the steady, if unspectacular play of rookie quarterback Geno Smith that carried the day. Smith put up the best game of his young career, going 16-of-20 for 199 yards, three touchdowns, and most significantly, zero turnovers.
John B at Gang Green Nation breaks down Smith's outing, which included leading the game-winning field goal drive.
His throws were generally on target. The touchdown to Jeff Cumberland was a very difficult pass with little margin for error that he threw perfectly. The touchdown to Kellen Winslow II was another very nice throw. Then when the Jets were down in the last 2:00, Geno kept his composure. He didn't make a mistake. He calmly took what the defense gave him and got the team into field goal range. He also avoided turnovers. It was subtle, but it looked like he was protecting the ball a lot better as a runner tonight than he had in the first four weeks.
After the their first three-game losing streak of the Mike Smith era, the Falcons drop to 1-4, and, according to Dave Choate of The Falcoholic, are officially long shots to make their fourth consecutive playoff appearance.
There's no question that at 1-4, these Falcons are in grave trouble. The playoffs are not an impossible dream, but they are an unlikely one unless things turn around. The Falcons are playing mistake-filled football, they have no pass rush for long stretches, they have a bunch of injuries and their high-powered offense is sputtering out all too often behind a line that can't block. Add it all together and you've got a team that is not playing good football, or anything even vaguely resembling good football, for full games. It has cost them four times this season, and there's no reason to believe it will stop costing them.