coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
On 10/01/2013 05:18 PM in NFL

New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons: Preview and Pick

New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons: Preview and Pick

The Atlanta Falcons will host the New York Jets in the week five NFL Monday Night football game. The Falcons have been considered by many to be a Super Bowl contender but after a string of bad losses, the Falcons are now in a must win against the Jets. The Jets have had some good and bad games so it all depends on what version of this team steps on the field.

New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons Odds

The NFL betting line for this game opened up with the Falcons as (-7.5) favorites in this AFC/NFC confrontation. The line automatically jumped to (-8.5) as the early money is pouring in on the Falcons despite the recent mini losing streak. The line could continue to grow leading up to game time so make sure to check with the top rated sportsbooks to get the most up to date betting line in this prime time game.

The Falcons have to get their offense back on track against the Jets. Matt Ryan was 12-for-13 targeting Tony Gonzalez Sunday, but 22-for-41 when targeting all other Falcons. Gonzalez's 12 receptions are more than he had total in the first three weeks (11). If Roddy White can get healthy alongside Julio Jones, this team can get back on the winning track. Luckily the Falcons defense should be able to feast on a Jets offense that is turnover prone.

Jets quarterback Geno Smith was sacked, lost a fumble or threw an interception on eight of his 40 dropbacks on Sunday, bringing his turnover total to 11 this season. Only the Giants have more turnovers as a team than Smith through four games. Smith has looked good at times however and if they can run the ball against the Falcons they have a shot.

The latest NFL betting trends in this clash show that both teams are in a tough spot. The Falcons are 23-10 against the spread (ATS) in their last 33 games following a loss, but after that the trends are all negative for the Dirty Birds. The Falcons are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Monday games, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.

The Jets are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games against a team with a losing home record, 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a loss and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game.

New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons Pick

With plenty of time to go before kickoff so, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/02/2013 03:00 PM

A quarter of the way into the season, first-round draft pick Dee Milliner is probably a little too familiar with watching the Jets from the sidelines or on television. Through the first four games, Milliner has played in just over 43% of the Jets’ defensive snaps, due to a benching by Rex Ryan and a hamstring injury that kept him out for Week 4. This wasn’t Gang Green’s master plan when he was taken with the ninth pick of this year’s draft.

It has been a rough start for the young cornerback, who has been publicly criticized by Ryan twice — once in the preseason and once after the Jets’ 13-10 loss to the Patriots. He also has suffered two injuries as a Jet, not to mention the time he spent rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery. Unlike rookie defensive end Sheldon Richardson, who has impressed thus far, Milliner has been a disappointment.

“You’re going to have them type of games,” Milliner said. “Yeah, (when) I first started off I was struggling a little bit, nothing (too) bad, stuff I should have known, should have known how to play.”

However, Milliner said this isn’t the first time in his career that he has struggled. He compared his current situation to when he first arrived at Alabama as a true freshman and was a little overwhelmed by the speed of the game.

“(I was) new on the block. Getting acquainted with everything,” Milliner said. “It was difficult to begin with at times, sort of the same thing right here. When you first start off, you want to do good, but unfortunately that was a rough time right there.”

Milliner’s former defensive backs coach at Alabama, Jeremy Pruitt — now the defensive coordinator at Florida State — said he couldn’t specifically recall how much Milliner struggled his freshman year, but has plenty of confidence that the rookie will eventually work through his early troubles. “I don’t remember any details of it. I’m sure he’s not the first person that’s ever struggled early on in his career,” Pruitt said. “The thing about Dee is he’s made of the right stuff, will keep grinding at it. He’s such a high character person, (he’ll) find a way to make himself into a pro.”

The key for Milliner getting on track at Alabama was that he got reps, something he has been short on with the Jets. “Over time, getting acquainted with everything, going through reps. You know what’s going on,” Milliner said. “So finally, when you’re out there, you’re used to it and you’re moving right along with the pace.”

Said Pruitt: “If he’s struggling, I’m sure they’ll coach him up and he’ll figure it out and get better.”

Veteran safety Dawan Landry said he believes it’s harder to transition into the NFL as a defensive back than at some other positions.

“Any mistake you make, the ball gets by you, you’re always the first guy looked at,” Landry said. “That just comes with the territory.”

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/02/2013 03:01 PM

The Jets are already looking at a tall order when they face the Falcons on Monday night in Atlanta, but now they will likely be without their best receiver. Santonio Holmes’ hamstring injury is worse than the Jets initially thought, and they aren’t expecting him to be ready for a return by Monday, according to a source.

Beyond that, Holmes’ timetable is very uncertain. The Jets have a tough stretch of games before their bye in Week 10. The status of Stephen Hill (concussion) for Monday is also unknown.

As an insurance policy, the Jets signed former Bills wideout David Nelson, according to a source. Nelson made 94 receptions in 32 games with the Bills, for just over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns. He worked out for the Jets last week.

If both Holmes and Hill can’t play Monday night, that would leave the Jets with a receiving corps of Jeremy Kerley, Clyde Gates, Ben Obomanu, Ryan Spadola and Nelson.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/02/2013 03:02 PM

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Omar Gaither, a newcomer to the team but a veteran in the league, has seen his share of rookie quarterbacks in seven previous NFL seasons.

So when the topic of facing New York Jets rookie Geno Smith on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" was brought up, Gaither's eyes got a bit wider.

"You hate to say it, but it’s almost like you start to lick your chops a little bit more," Gaither said. "It seems these days, they come in and they’re playing well. Obviously we had some rookies come into the league last year and play very well. But a rookie’s a rookie."

An ankle injury suffered by middle linebacker Akeem Dent could mean Gaither will man the middle against the Jets. Dent has had success blitzing, so you wonder if Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan might do the same with Gaither.

Whatever the case, the Jets’ Smith has cracked under pressure at times already this season.

"You give him multiple looks. You just try to confuse him," Gaither said. "That’s what they would do against a rookie corner. That’s what they would do against a rookie tackle. Someone who just doesn’t have that experience, you always try to take advantage of that."

Smith has completed 78 of 136 passes for 1,090 yards with four touchdowns and eight interceptions. His overall passer rating is 68.6 and he’s 26th in the league in fourth-quarter passing (69.2). He’s been sacked 14 times, double the amount Matt Ryan has been taken down.

The fact the Jets are hurting at receiver won’t help Smith’s cause. So it makes sense for the Falcons to bring intense pressure. They have just seven sacks, led by Osi Umenyiora with two. The Falcons are ranked 28th in the league in sacks per pass play.

Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux said Smith is similar to Carolina’s Cam Newton.

"I’m sure we will have something put together well planned for Geno on Monday," Babineaux said. "We’re just going to try and frustrate him; make sure he’s not comfortable. We have to continue to make sure that we don’t make the game easy for him."

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/03/2013 02:38 PM

Back in 2009, the Jets had a rookie quarterback named Mark Sanchez who turned the ball over too often so they decided to color-code the playbook in order to make it clear when he was supposed to take risks and when he was supposed to play it safe.

The red-yellow-green system came and went, but Sanchez never found a way to cut down on the turnovers. That and a preseason shoulder injury for Sanchez are the reasons why they have another rookie quarterback this season. With Geno Smith turning the ball over 11 times in the first 4 games, it feels a bit like history repeating itself and the suggestion was made on these pages earlier this week that the Jets might consider a similar response.

Or the same response. Seth Walder of the New York Daily News reports that coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday that he’s thinking about reinstituting the old system of managing risk to deal with Smith’s propensity for handing the ball to the other team.

“I’ve been thinking about it. Kind of a fine line, as you guys even talked about it earlier, about being aggressive but being smart with it as well,” Ryan said. “We want to be aggressive, there’s no question, you want to be aggressive, but you don’t want to do something to the detriment of your football team. Clearly, turning the football over, has been a real problem, not just this season but the last couple of seasons as well. And we all know what that leads to.”

It looks like wide receivers Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill will miss Monday night’s game against the Falcons, which shapes up to a difficult night for the offense and a long one for the defense even if they don’t turn the ball over. Turnovers would make things much worse, making it imperative that the team do whatever it can to eliminate them.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/03/2013 02:38 PM

The Falcons are struggling to find consistency in several phases of the game, and injuries are a big part of the problem.

So the news that left tackle Sam Baker could miss next Monday’s game with the Jets comes as unwelcome news.

According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Baker isn’t expected to be able to go after aggravating a knee injury against the Patriots.

Baker missed Week Three’s loss to the Dolphins, and hasn’t been particularly effective when he was in the lineup. But backup Lamar Homes hasn’t been any better, after having lost the starting right tackle job to late veteran pickup Jeremy Trueblood

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/03/2013 02:39 PM

Wide receiver Santonio Holmes hurt his hamstring late in Sunday’s 38-13 loss to the Titans and it looks like the team is planning to be without him for a spell.

Brian Costello of the New York Post reports that Holmes is expected to miss a few weeks as a result of the injury. Stephen Hill was also diagnosed with a concussion after a hit in the loss, a pair of developments that will lead the team to sign wide receiver David Nelson.

Nelson worked out for Jets and a few other teams recently as part of an effort to land a job after being cut by the Browns at the end of preseason. Nelson was familiar to the team before that workout as he spent the last three years with the Bills. His last NFL appearance actually came against the Jets in the season opener last season when Nelson had two catches before tearing his ACL and missing the rest of the season.

He had 61 catches in 2011, though, and the Jets will certainly need all the help at receiver they can get if Holmes and Hill are out or limited in the next few weeks.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/04/2013 01:32 PM

While the Atlanta Falcons caught their fair share of breaks last season, they haven't been nearly as fortunate this time around.

A visit from the New York Jets and their struggling rookie quarterback could be just what they need to regroup.

Hoping to avoid losing three straight for the first time during the Matt Ryan era, the Falcons try to add to Geno Smith's woes Monday night.

Atlanta (1-3) opened a franchise-best 8-0 in 2012 before finishing 13-3, with seven of those wins coming by seven points or less. The Falcons, though, haven't really seen things go their way in their first four games, which have been decided by a combined 24 points.

"You just don't panic," said wideout Roddy White, who continues to play through an ankle injury. "You are what you earn in this league, so we're 1-3. You just go out there and correct the problems that you have and get ready for the next game. We know at 1-3 that we can't get back to .500 after one game."

After giving up the go-ahead touchdown with 38 seconds left in a 27-23 loss at Miami in Week 3, Atlanta fell 30-23 to undefeated New England last Sunday night. Ryan completed 34 of 54 passes for a career-high 421 yards and two touchdowns, but the Falcons' potential game-tying drive was stopped on the Patriots' 10-yard line in the final minute.

They haven't lost three in a row since a six-game skid in 2007.

"Obviously, we're not where we want to be," said Ryan, who dropped to 34-6 at home. "We've got to claw ourselves back to where we want to be. It's a long haul. There's still a long way to go."

Atlanta's troubles can largely be attributed to its inability to convert in the red zone. The Falcons, who failed to score a touchdown on five of six possessions inside New England's 20, rank 29th in the league in red-zone production at 38.9 percent.

"It's killing us right now," White said. "It's something that we continue to work at, but we've got to do a little more and win some one-on-one battles, especially when it's time for one person to make the play when it's presented."

The defense has also struggled, giving up 26.0 points per game to rank 22nd in the NFL, a big step back from last season's mark of 18.7. Atlanta has also recorded just seven sacks.

The Falcons, though, would appear to have a favorable matchup against Smith, who is tied for the league lead with 11 turnovers after throwing eight interceptions and losing three fumbles.

Four of those turnovers came last Sunday in a 38-13 rout at Tennessee. Smith threw for 289 yards and a score but was sacked five times, bringing his season total to 14.

"It's just taking ownership to your mistakes and manning up," he said. "A lot falls on my shoulders as far as taking care of the ball, but that's something I have to do.

"No one wants to make those mistakes. It's something that has to stop now in order for us to progress and to get better as an offense and as a team."

The Jets (2-2) are on the verge of opening 0-3 on the road for the second time in three seasons, and while Atlanta hasn't been playing up to par, they know they have a difficult task in store.

Julio Jones leads the league with 481 receiving yards and Tony Gonzalez is coming off his best game of the year, hauling in 12 receptions for 149 yards and two scores last week.

"They're big, fast. It's definitely going to be a huge challenge for us," coach Rex Ryan said. "Playing on a Monday night with their crowd, we know it's going to be a very hostile environment."

Giving up only 79.3 rushing yards per game, New York will face an Atlanta team which continues to play without injured All-Pro running back Steven Jackson (hamstring) and has run the ball 31 times for just 94 yards in splitting its first two home games.

New York has some injury concerns of its own with starting receivers Santonio Holmes (hamstring) and Stephen Hill (concussion) banged up. If they can't go, David Nelson could be thrown into the fire after signing Wednesday.

Running back Chris Ivory (hamstring) is also uncertain to be available, but Mike Goodson is set to debut after serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/05/2013 09:51 AM

The Falcons won’t be at full strength when they welcome the Jets to the Georgia Dome on Monday night.

The team has ruled out left tackle Sam Baker and linebacker Akeem Dent for the game. Baker missed the Week Three loss to the Dolphins with a knee injury and then aggravated it in his return to the field against the Patriots last Sunday night. The injury obviously hasn’t made much progress since then, so the Falcons will go with Lamar Holmes, who recently lost the starting right tackle job to Jeremy Trueblood, at left tackle on Monday.

Dent left the Patriots game with an ankle injury and hasn’t practiced this week. He’ll be replaced by Omar Gaither in a linebacking corps already without Sean Weatherspoon.

Wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White were both limited participants in practice and both are expected to play. Running back Steven Jackson didn’t practice and is expected to miss another game and return after the Week Six bye, but coach Mike Smith said Thursday that Jackson hasn’t been ruled out of the lineup yet.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
10/05/2013 09:51 AM

From Curtis Martin and Ty Law to Danny Woodhead and Tim Tebow, there’s a long history of players making a move from one side of the Patriots-Jets rivalry to the other.

It got a little longer on Friday when the Jets claimed tight end Zach Sudfeld off of waivers from the Patriots. Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports that Sudfeld, who was waived on Thursday when the Patriots signed wide receiver Austin Collie, is changing addresses in the AFC East.

Sudfeld made the Patriots as an undrafted free agent this summer and drew a lot of positive notices during training camp and the preseason as he got a lot of reps with an offense looking to fill the holes left by Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. He didn’t have a catch in three regular season games, though, and his playing time steadily diminished.

The Jets probably aren’t just trying to tweak the Patriots. There was enough promise in those early performances to merit a look and the Jets are definitely in need of guys with pass catching skills. Jeff Cumberland and Kellen Winslow see the bulk of the time at the position, but Winslow’s injury history makes him a question mark in terms of making it through the entire season.