Just a heads up before we begin the rundown. I'm looking for a better title for the weekly game info segment. Better than "GGN Game Preview", anyway. I used to call it "The Rundown", however I found too many sports sites and movies with The Rock in them shared the same name. So we need creative minds. I'm looking at you, Vill. Or anyone. Winner gets either one left handed NY Jets glove signed by nobody or a heavily lived-in Jets t-shirt I sleep in most nights. The nights where I both sleep or wear clothes anyway.
While doing serious research for this weeks game, I discovered a few things. First of all, the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders are smoking hot. I know you could say the same thing about every NFL teams female counterparts but publishing this article was a serious moral dilemma between using pictures of them or Rex Ryan's scowling face. Also while doing research this week I found out that crime doesn't pay and Matt Ryan's wife is pretty darn good looking too. That's about it for this week.
Where Each Team Is
The Jets have come back down to Earth as was expected, even if not quite so soon. Santonio Holmes and other important players will be sitting this game out. A disastrous game against the Tennessee Titans destroyed any momentum the Jets were riding off of a surprisingly pleasant start to a season with a rookie QB where most media outlets and analysts were predicting a catastrophic season (which may very well still come). Nobody is really "up" on the Jets after last week, but there's something to consider here before you call it a year: the team is .500 and it's only week 5. Will Geno Smith and Rex Ryan lead the team to the Super Bowl or even the playoffs? Almost certainly not. But there is a huge amount of parity (and injuries) this year and now isn't the time to throw in the towel. Rookie QBs make rookie mistakes, they also have breakout games like Geno Smith already has and will again this year. Patience, young gangsters.
The Falcons are 1-3 which causes many a headstrong fan of opposing teams to say the Falcons aren't very good. Although it's true that the Falcons defense is seriously lacking this year, the Falcons three losses came against teams with a current combined record of 11-1 this season, and they've narrowly lost some of these games. The Falcons are nothing to bawk at, reader beware.
Random Fact: Once the nation of Belgium unsuccessfully attempted using cats for postal delivery.
Sister Site: The Falcoholic
Location: The Atlanta Falcons play in the Georgia Dome which is shockingly in Atlanta, Georgia.
Field: Dome, artificial turf.
Weather: It doesn't really matter as it's a dome stadium, but if you're hanging out in Atlanta Monday night it's supposed to be a high of 76 and a low of 54 degrees. That's Fahrenheit for all you communists abroad with your crazy metric system and left-side-of-road driving.
Record: Falcons lead the all-time series 6-4.
What happened last time? The Falcons narrowly beat the Jets by a score of 10-7 on December 20th, 2009.
Who is favored? Opening line has the Falcons by 7 1/2. Woof.
(Players designated "Probable" status are omitted)
Questionable: Kellen Winslow Jr. (TE) Knee, (Clyde) Edmond Gates (WR) Knee.
Jets: On offense the Jets are 29th in points, 12th in yards, 15th in the air and 12th on the ground. The Jets are either at average or above average levels in all measures of offensive ranking except for points. The Jets are one of the absolute worst teams in scoring yet otherwise they are moving the chains effectively compared to the rest of the league. Geno Smith's turnovers ending so many drives may potentially be what is driving the Jets so low in that ranking.
The Jets defense remains impressive in ranking even after taking a beating from the Titans last week. The Jets are 13th in points allowed, 2nd in yards allowed, 8th against the pass and 4th against the run. Rex Ryan continues to consistently deliver a top-tier defense on the field no matter who he has for players.
Falcons: On offense the Falcons are 14th in points scored, 7th in total yardage, 4th in pass yards and 23rd in rushing yards. The Titans went into last week the 30th best passing offense in the league and still managed to embarrass the Jets even after their starting QB went down. This week the Jets will face a top five passing offense, although their leading receivers are questionable.
On defense, the Falcons are 21st in points allowed, 26th in both overall and passing yards allowed and 5th against the run. The Falcons are pretty well known for being a weak defense this year, but the fact that their rushing defense ranks so highly is of great concern to the Jets who will need to keep pace with Atlanta's offensive machine.
AP Pro ranking has the Jets sitting at 23 and the Falcons at 18.
Random Fact: If you have 4 Quarters, 2 Dimes, 5 Nickels, and 6 pennies you probably have a hard time picking up women and need a 2nd job.
Attacking the Falcons
The only way you can truly test the Falcons defense and win is to competently pass against them all night, which is a bit of a problem for this team. Geno Smith has to have a good game because Bilal Powell, Chris Ivory, and Mike Goodson cannot possibly shoulder the full weight of the offense against a top five run defense.
Antonio Cromartie and Kyle Wilson both need to have strong games, assuming White and Jones play opposite them and are healthy enough for the game. Its hard to imagine the Jets leaning heavily on Walls again unless they absolutely have to.
Kellen Winslow II is badly needed for this game, although he is questionable and they'll likely make the call on him come game day. Stephen Hill will be the unchallenged #1 receiver on Monday night as Santonio Holmes rests his Hamstring. Hill must secure and protect the balls Smith delivers to him or the game is lost.
I'm not expecting the Jets running back rotation to deliver much against the Falcons run defense and neither should you.
Falcons to Watch
Tony Gonzalez will be looking to feast on a wealth of targets as the other receivers are hobbled and their playing status is in the air. Gonzalez is a machine and will be a challenge for the Jets linebackers safeties and extra defensive backs. If Julio Jones plays, watch him if your eyes can keep up with his speed.
Bro's Bottom Line
You need to discard the Falcons record and look at their overall performance, rankings, and schedule. If you think this is going to be anything short of a brutal challenge for even a Rex Ryan defense, you are kidding yourself. This will be a very hard game to remain competitive in, let alone win. The Jets are missing vital cogs on both sides of the ball and face arguably the most formidable offense of any opponent yet.
That's not to say winning Monday night will be impossible. The Jets are performing above expectations in virtually every aspect but scoring points and turnovers, although one could say those are the most important aspects of the game. Geno Smith will have to bring it all together with a rag tag offense devoid of weapons. The needle has threaded before and it will again. Any given Sunday.