Can the Jets bounce back against the struggling Falcons?

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Can the Jets bounce back against the struggling Falcons?
Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a rough recent stretch for the Green & White. A heartbreaking loss to New England followed by a similar collapse against Miami has put the Jets in a deep hole in the division standings.

Now, heading into Week Eight, the Jets are focused on last year’s Super Bowl contender, the Atlanta Falcons, in what will likely be another tough task for New York.

Luckily for Todd Bowles and the Jets, the Falcons have been in a similar position over the past few weeks. After winning their first three games of the year, Atlanta has dropped their last three, and just hasn’t looked like the Super Bowl contender we saw less than a year ago.

And in even better sights for the Jets, the Falcons last three losses have come from the Bills, Dolphins, and Patriots – the other three AFC East teams. On the flip side of that good note, the Jets have also dropped games against each of those teams this season.

So in retrospect, this match up is looking like it could go either way, despite Atlanta holding a -4.5 point spread.

By the Numbers:

The Jets, over the past three weeks, have averaged 23 points per game with a mediocre offensive attack. The Falcons have averaged nearly 10 points a game below that, with standout players in Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, and Matt Ryan not looking like the offensive powerhouse we are all accustomed to.

The Jets are also averaging more points per game (21.3) than the Falcons (13.6) in their losses to Buffalo, New England and Miami.

Atlanta’s defense has been more stout in those games though. In their last three losses against AFC East opponents, the Falcons have allowed an average of 19 points per game, while the Jets have allowed an average of 25.3.

New York will look to continue their Home game winning streak though, as they are currently undefeated at MetLife Stadium this year (3-0). They are also riding the hot hand of Josh McCown, who quite surprisingly is second only to Alex Smith of the Kansas City Chiefs in completion percentage with a very respectable 69.2 percent. McCown has also remained involved in many categories amongst top 10 quarterbacks, something Matt Ryan has struggled to do so far.

In that respect, Ryan had quite an opportunity to showcase his talents last week against one of the league’s worst defenses in the New England Patriots. However, the Falcons only managed to put up one score in the Sunday Night showdown. They’ll be looking to get back on track this week against the Jets who currently rank 26th overall on defense (2505 yards) and 23rd against the pass (1619 yards).

The Jets shouldn’t assume that the Matt Ryan and the Falcons will continue to struggle, however. Despite some of their latest inefficiencies, the Falcons still rank as the NFL’s 14th overall offense with 2235 total yards. In recent games, the Jets have lost in part to lackadaisical deep coverage. Atlanta could easily expose the Jets like New England and Miami have both done in recent weeks.

Just Thoughts:

The Jets have continued to lose in heartbreaking fashion, blowing double digit leads in their last two games. It is very possible they get off to a similar, fiery start again this week against Atlanta, but it is also very possible they choke late in the game again, and suffer their third straight loss. Not to mention that things only look bleaker for the Jets as the season continues to fly by.

The Falcons are a good team despite their record. In a tough division, they will be eager to gain some ground sooner than later as they currently sit at the number three spot behind New Orleans and Carolina. They have a tough road ahead, similar to the Jets, but a win this week would give them opportunity to get momentum rolling again for a playoff push.

– Kyle Hirshkind is the Managing Editor for cover32/Jets and covers the New York Jets. He is also a weekly contributor to cover32/Fantasy. Like and follow on


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