"We have as tough a challenge as there is in the National Football League in this opponent’s back yard," Rex said. "I think their record might be 1-3, but their record at home since Matt took over is more than impressive. So that’s where our focus is and what’s down the road or behind us isn’t important right now. Every bit of our focus is on our opponent."
Here's the focus on Matt Ryan's record in 40 starts in the Georgia Dome since 2008: 65.2% passing accuracy, 64 touchdowns to 27 interceptions, no lost fumbles, a 95.8 passer rating, and a 34-6 record.
Yet the Jets aren't throwing in the green towel. They have a productive running game, the
2. Breaking Up Is Hard to Do — The other half of our minus-10 turnover deficit problem is a dearth of defensive takeaways for 3½ games. One problem with no interceptions since Tampa Bay is that the Jets DBs haven't even been getting their hands on passes, let alone picking them. The only pass defense at Tennessee was Walls' diving breakup in the third quarter. Pressbox stats are a little short, but not by much, in giving the Jets an NFL-worst five PDs this season. Rex wants aggressiveness in coverage and now is the time for our pass defenders to assert themselves.
3. Corner Rotation — We've had three different starting corners —
4. Changing of the (Left) Guard? —
5. Security Blanket on the Shelf? — One way for the Jets offense to take heat off its battered WR corps is to turn to the running game, with
|First Downs Gained/Game||18.3||21.8|
|First Downs Allowed||14.0||19.8|
6. Falcons on Edge — Our pass rushers want to stop Atlanta's featured back — which will be Jacquizz Rodgers with Steven Jackson declared out — because they then want to be barging into Matt Ryan's kitchen. Will it all be easier due to the Falcons' O-line issues? RT Lamar Holmes was benched last week for Jeremy Trueblood, yet reemerged against the Patriots at LT after Sam Baker hurt his knee. Baker's out for this game. And the Jets are taking aim on the edges.
7. New Faces, New Numbers — Besides Goodson, No. 23, there's WR
8. Return of the Red Zone D — Last week the Jets defense was No. 1 in the NFL in opponents' red zone TD rate. This week they're tied for ninth at 38.5% after giving up three TDs off of short fields after turnovers to the Titans. No matter, says DC Dennis Thurman: "It's a mindset. We take the field, our job is to stop them and we've got to get them stopped." If RZ numbers mean anything, the Jets may have an advantage Monday — the Falcons are 29th (7-for-18, 38.9%) at scoring inside the 20. But keep in mind that Matt Ryan-to-Tony Gonzalez from the 6 beat the Jets at home in 2009.
9. Field Position Imbalance — The field has been tilted away from us all season, not just vs. the Titans. Our average start on all drives is our 21.8-yard line. The opponents' average is their 33.6. A big part of this disparity is attributable to our turnover issues. But
10. Back in the Pink — Be prepared for pink shoes, pink gloves and pink penalty flags. This is one of the NFL's annual games highlighting Breast Cancer Awareness. The Jets will also don the pink next week vs. the Steelers for this important reminder that early screenings save lives.
|JETS-FALCONS RIVALRY FACTS||Record/Score|
|Regular-Season Series Record||Falcons 6-4|
|Last Game||Falcons 10-7, 2009|
|Last Jets Win||Jets 28-3, 1998|
|Regular-Season Record @Falcons||Falcons 3-2|
|Last Game||Falcons 27-14, 2005|
|Last Jets Win||Jets 28-14, 1986|
|Monday Night Record||Falcons 1-0|
|Only Game||Falcons 27-14, 2005|