The New York Jets host the Atlanta Falcons Sunday at MetLife Stadium, their eighth game of the season, but the Falcons don’t look like the team that played against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl in February.
Like the AFC East Jets, in last place in their division, Atlanta, an NFC South team, has only won three games this season. They were an 11-5 team in 2016-17. Fortunately for them, the New Orleans Saints, leading that division, are only 4-2, and the Carolina Panthers, who were Super Bowl contenders the year before, are 4-3.
The Jets fell to 3-4 last Sunday after their 31-28 road loss to the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins overcame a 14-point fourth quarter deficit with a backup quarterback, Matt Moore, who came off the bench after starter Jay Cutler suffered multiple cracked ribs from Jets’ linebacker Jordan Jenkins. The Jets’ head coach, Todd Bowles, commented on the play of his defensive end, stating, “He was good in the run game. He hustled. He played with a lot of heart.”
Bowles continued, “Penalties set us back on offense. Penalties got them down the field on defense.” Moore was the beneficiary, compiling 188 yards and two touchdowns.
“The penalties are very frustrating, but we have to keep working at it,” Bowles further explained. “We work at it all the time and keep chipping away. The guys understand it’s important. We just have to keep grinding.”
Win or lose Sunday, the Jets will have to stay on their grind without any letup next week. It’s a short week, a quick turnaround having to play their division rivals, the Buffalo Bills Thursday. They’ll only have three days to prepare for the Bills, 4-2 in the division, a team they lost to on the road earlier in the season (Game 1), and to continue working on reducing those penalties.