Atlanta Falcons vs New York Jets: Final Thoughts


It’s time for football again. After a good performance in the 31-24 victory over the Tennessee Titans last week, the Atlanta Falcons take on the New York Jets tonight at MetLife Stadium. Here are my final thoughts.

A chance to keep building

Last week, the Falcons’ starters looked good in just about every department. On offense, Matt Ryan was slinging the football to Julio Jones with ease and it resulted in a touchdown. The defense stepped up to the plate also, applying pressure on Marcus Mariota and causing two turnovers for the rookie signal caller. Atlanta got good interior pressure throughout a dominant first quarter display.

Offensively, the Falcons will face a tougher task against a strong Jets defense. Even sans Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson, who could both be out tonight, the front seven is a force to be reckoned with, and they are tough to run or pass against. Although don’t tell Lions’ rookie Ameer Abdullah that.

RELATED: Full Falcons-Jets preview

Defensively, Atlanta will need to keep running backs Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Zac Stacy in check while maintaining the likes of Brandon Marshall, Jeremy Kerley and Eric Decker in the passing game. It will be a good test to see how far the Falcons’ defense has come so far under Dan Quinn. The result of this game doesn’t matter, but the performance from the starters will be key.

The return of the running backs?

After missing the opening preseason game with hamstring injuries, both Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman could return for the Jets game. If they do, we can expect them to be limited, but I would be surprised to see either in action. It will come down to late fitness tests today, but why risk either player with two exhibition games still to come?

Quinn would love to see the two of them in action with Kyle Shanahan’s zone blocking scheme, and the more reps they can get the better, but hamstring issues can linger and there’s no reason to rush them into action unless they are 100 percent healthy.

If we see either player return, they will have an opportunity to prove why they should be the lead back in Week 1 with an impressive outing against a top run defense. If neither plays, it will be down to the reserves again to continue their battle for a place on the roster.

The backup QB battle continues

T.J. Yates is currently listed as the backup to Matt Ryan on the depth chart, but this won’t be the case for much longer if he plays like he did against the Titans. In that game, Sean Renfree looked far more comfortable, albeit against weaker competition. This battle is far from done, so we will be watching closely on the performance of Yates.

If Renfree puts in another good showing, he could wind up as the Falcons’ backup quarterback before long. But there’s still a lot of work for him to do if he’s to become the man to backup ‘the man’.

What are you looking forward to in this game?

Next: Falcons at Jets: What to expect

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