One of the key factors in last night's victory was the Jets' offense consistently needing to travel 20 yards less to score than the Atlanta offense. The average Jets drive started at their own 41. The average Falcons drive started at their own 21. The Jets had six scoring drives last night. Three of those six started in Falcons territory. Only the game-winning field goal drive began with the Jets more than 67 yards away from the end zone.
Much credit goes to the defense and especially the special teams. During the successful years of the Rex Ryan tenure, the Jets had a huge edge in special teams in many big victories. We haven't seen big plays to turn the game like the blocked punt or Jeremy Kerley's big punt return in a while.
This has to be the formula. The Jets need to make life simple for a rookie quarterback. That means being able to run the ball, but it also means the defense and special teams have to carry the load. Better starting position means the Jets need less successful plays and less first downs to score. We saw Geno Smith take full advantage of a reduced work load last night. The Jets asked less of him, and he delivered big time when he was called upon.
A successful season is starting to come closer to the Jets' grasp. Winning the field position battle is going to be an important step towards making it happen.