ATLANTA, GA- For the upcoming week five home game against the New York Jets on Monday, October 7 at 8:40 p.m. the Atlanta Falcons have adopted yet another mission statement: score touchdowns.
The New York Jets are off to a surprising 2-2 start after narrowly losing to the Patriots in week two and getting dominated by the Tennessee Titans in week four. The Falcons will have to do the latter in order to right the ship.
The rushing attack was anemic due to Tom Brady developing a somewhat cohesive relationship and rhythm with his new outfit of receivers. In order to put the Jets on their heels the Falcons are going to have to start on the ground.
The free agency acquisition in Steven Jackson is sitting out again on the contest slated for Monday night. The dual rushing attack of Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers served well enough during week three against the Dolphins.
The Jets defense has actually done pretty well in terms of stopping the run. Allowing an average of 79.2 yards per game after four games; opponents obviously have balanced this out by airing it out on the secondary of the Jets. The New York based team has allowed a rough average of 223 yards per game through the air.
Whatever the stats may indicate the Falcons need to control the line of scrimmage. I am excited to see if Jeremy Trueblood’s addition will take some of the pressure coming from the right side. This should give Matt Ryan the confidence to stop feeling pressure that’s not really there.
Even on plays where he has time, his mental timer to get rid of the ball goes off a tad early. This ability is what makes Ryan a great quarterback, and it is also what limits the big play opportunities that Julio Jones and Roddy White can provide.
Geno Smith coming off of a rough outing against the Titans will try to improve his game on the Falcons. In order to prevent this, somebody other than Osi Umenyiora has to generate pressure up front. Bilal Powell is getting used to the offense after the first two incredibly average games this season.
After all is said the glaring fact remains. This game is do or die, if the Falcons can’t beat the Jets, there will be little chance this team will even make the wild card. After this game and the bye week the Falcons will play two division games in four weeks. It won’t get any easier from here on out.