The New York Jets topped the Atlanta Falcons, 24-16, in the final game of the second week of the pre-season.
Atlanta led 16-0 in the first half behind the effective performances of Marcus Mariota (6 of 10 for 132 yards and touchdown) and Desmond Ryder (10 of 13 for 143 yards), but New York came up a second late – drives a four-field field goal and then staged a comeback after the end. The first half once deep backups enter the game.
The Jets got their landing thanks to wide receiver Lawrence Kager on a 34-yard crossing, running back La’Mical Perine for seven yards, bouncing back to the edge of a crowded box, and darting Anna Bradley’s edge on a rebound home to give New York the lead to forever. Atlanta had one last chance to tie the game near the end of the fourth quarter, but a Felipe Franks pass sailed over the head of tight end Anthony Verckers and went out of bounds.
Why did the planes win?
Well, mostly because their third-series attack found a way to move the ball, and Atlanta didn’t. It started with a run late in the first half, with Denzel Mims playing a big role in getting the team into goal range. After the break, Chris Streveler did some plays with his arm and legs, including a touchdown to Cager and several scrambles that kept the leadership alive. Meanwhile, the New York Franks’ defense kept only 2 of 6 passes for eight yards after giving up 275 yards to Mariota and Ryder in just 23 attempts.
Why did the hawks lose?
The Franks and the third series offense were completely shut out by the Jets’ defense, while Streveler was able to find some holes in the Atlanta cover unit that weren’t available to Mike White for most of the first half. Additionally, Atlanta’s offensive line failed to create any rushing lanes for Caleb Huntley, who was repeatedly stopped at or around the line of scrimmage, including a few short distance chances. Additionally, Franks was not accurate when relying on him to throw the ball.
With New York holding a one-point lead early in the fourth quarter, the Hawks faced third and eighth from the 40-yard line. That’s when Anae introduced what turned out to be a game-defining game.
Anae did an excellent job of not chomping too hard on Franks’ fake game and holding onto the quarterback while trying to scramble to the left side. He dunked and got enough of Franks’ legs to bring the quarterback to the ground, as his attempt to cement his fall with the soccer ball led to confusion. From there, all Anae had to do was pick him up and take him to the end zone himself.
The Jets meet their MetLife brethren, the New York Giants, for their last pre-season game of the 2022 season. The Jets are technically the home team for that game, for whatever it is worth. They will look to improve to 3-0 in their tight matches before preparing for the Ravens in Week 1.
The Falcons host the Jacksonville Jaguars in their final pre-season competition. That game will take place on Saturday at 3 p.m., after which they will have a little over two weeks to prepare for their season opener against rival New Orleans Saints.
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