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Falcons 10 Jets 7: Kicked Away

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The Jets fell back to .500 after suffering a crushing 10-7 loss to the Falcons today at the Meadowlands. Once again this team loses in the final minute. Once again this team wastes a great defensive effort. Once again we have to ask how the heck the Jets lost a game they seemed to control. It's the story of the season.

More after the jump.

The Bad:

Jay Feely: Jay, I'd like to introduce you to Doug Brien, John Hall, and Cary Blanchard. Feely helped kick the Jets out of the Playoffs by not connection on a pair of makable field goal tries. If he does his job, the Jets are comfortably ahead in the fourth quarter. No, he doesn't get a pass because the wind was bad. This is Feely's second season in the Meadowlands, and he spent time with the Giants before. He has plenty of experience in the Meadowlands. Does he get blame for kicking it too low on the blocked try? You bet. Last week's hero is this week's goat.

Kellen Clemens: Fine, we've established you can't play quarterback. Now you can't even get a hold down? The whole reason the Jets made him the holder was because of the botched field goal try in overtime against the Bills. The Jets wanted a guy capable of throwing it on a broken play. Using the backup quarterback presents a different problem. He's not on the field and doesn't handle the ball. Maybe Brad Smith would be a better choice. He sees action and can make something happen with his legs and arm if things break down.

James Dearth: His long snaps were terrible. They didn't help matters.

Sending Three on Fourth Down: The Jets are an aggressive team. That's how they became the top statistical defense in the league. It's how they shut the Falcons down all game. Why go away from what works and only rush three on the play that decided the game?

Offensive Line: The rare performance where the other team was successful loading up the box because the offensive line wasn't getting enough of a push. I'm not going to get on Thomas Jones (19 carries, 52 yards) because I didn't really see anywhere for him to run most of the time.

Missed Opportunities: Five trips in Falcons territory ended in no points. That's a recipe for heartbreak.

Danny Woodhead: Very unimpressive game. Didn't come up with a pair of catches he should have had early. Later he showed no ability to break tackles. He was slow to break after the catch on a third down, and his run back on the kickoff following the winning touchdown put the Jets' back to the wall.

Alan Faneca: Idiotic personal foul killed the last drive before it really started.

Donald Stickland: Terrible penalty on the last drive. Even worse coverage.

The Good:

Darrelle Revis: Roddy White had 4 catches for 33 yards. He almost had as many times begging the officials for a flag as he had receptions. Revis shut him down.

David Harris: 10 tackles and was effective as a blitzer. The Jets surely won't be going to Miami for the Super Bowl, but Harris should go there for the Pro Bowl.

Kerry Rhodes: The missed tackle was bad, but Kerry played a great game aside from that. He registered 6 tackles and was excellent in coverage. This was the player we were expecting at the start of the year.

Brad Smith: A great kickoff return to start the second half and made good reads out of the Tiger formation.

Mark Sanchez: Yes, Sanchez goes here. He did some bad things, namely holding it too long, not throwing it away in some spots, and once again not sliding. I think you need to find a new scapegoat for the last drive. Can you blame him for the last interception? The Jets needed to get it downfield. He had to try and force something. The first pick was bad, but I was impressed with the way he responded. The rest of the game, he was making good throws and making good decisions with the ball. Even on the second pick, there was a window open. We were worried whether the cold was in his head. The throw seemed to give him confidence he can play in the cold. That's huge for the future. When you look at the numbers, it won't look great. In the grand scheme of things, I view today as a net positive. He proved he can make plays in the element. Mark will have to play better next week to get a win, though.

Braylon Edwards: 5 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown. He also drew doubles which in theory should have opened thing up for others and did good work as a blocker. Admit it. You were nervous he'd drop the touchdown pass.

 

I hate to let the defense off the hook. I mean another game winning drive late is upsetting, but the fact of the matter is the game should never come down to the last drive when you only give up 10 points. This game was lost by the field goal unit and the offense not finishing drives. I have nothing left to say. You'd think I'd be used to it by now. Just like last year, we see a season essentially die in a snowstorm the Sunday before Christmas.