The New York Jets seemed poised to keep their somewhat magical season going by upsetting the Atlanta Falcons. However, those hopes were dashed by squandered opportunities and plenty of costly miscues and the Jets fell to 3-5 with a 25-20 loss to the defending NFC champions on a rainy day at MetLife Stadium.
The Falcons certainly didn’t dominate the game at any point. But the Jets once again made far too many mistakes to capture a victory. New York has now dropped three straight after a 3-2 start. Here’s what went wrong during the Monsoon at the Meadowlands:
Special teams stunk
New York’s special teams units were dismal across the board. Chandler Catanzaro missed two of his four field goal attempts from 46 and 48 yards, respectively. Sure, the conditions weren’t ideal for such kicks, but the Jets left six precious points off the board.
Catanzaro’s two missed field goals weren’t the biggest special teams mistakes the Jets committed, however. Punt returner Jeremy Kerley nearly cost the Jets the game with a muffed punt that was recovered by Atlanta on New York’s own 13-yard line with seven minutes to play. New York’s defense stood tall — with some help from Atlanta’s terrible offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian — and forced Atlanta to settle for a field goal. But New York went from needing a field goal to a touchdown thanks to that costly muffed punt.
New York’s offensive line struggled mightily
The Jets offensive line isn’t very good and struggled mightily against Atlanta’s front seven. The Jets couldn’t block in any regard today. New York rushed for a whopping 43 yards on 22 carries. Josh McCown was sacked three times in pivotal situations and was hit seven times by the Falcons.
New York wasn’t expected to have a great unit. But the offensive line might have been the biggest detriment if not for the lousy performance on special teams. General manager Mike Maccagnan would be wise to revamp this unit during the offseason.
Atlanta’s secondary weapons thrived
The Jets did a relatively good job defending Julio Jones Sunday. Morris Claiborne was spectacular in coverage before he exited the game with a foot injury in the second half. Jones gashed Darryl Roberts for a 53-yard reception, but finished with only three receptions for 74 yards on the day.
However, Mohamed Sanu and Austin Hooper killed the Jets all day long. Hooper scored Atlanta’s first touchdown after he shook off Marcus Maye in the end zone. He finished with four receptions for 47 yards and the touchdown. Sanu was even more dominant and was arguably Atlanta’s best weapon all day long. He caught six passes for 74 yards and had the play of the game with an incredible diving catch in the end zone after Matt Ryan kept the play alive by wiggling around the pocket. The touchdown gave Atlanta its first and only lead of the game.
Blame it on the rain…
You could argue the monsoon conditions gave the Jets a better chance against Atlanta’s high-powered offense. Ryan coughed the ball up four times on snap exchanges and lost two of them. The Jets only mustered three points off of those miscues, however. If the Jets could have converted one of those into a touchdown, they might have gotten a different outcome.
But it certainly played a role for the Jets too. Mainly, it made life much harder on kicker Chandler Catanzaro. It’s fair to feel bad for any devoted Jets fans who braved that weather to watch the team lose in gut-wrenching fashion.