Atlanta Falcons fall to New York Jets 30-22 in preseason


Dan Quinn was given his first taste of defeat as head coach as the Atlanta Falcons were beaten by the New York Jets in the second week of preseason. It was a game of positives for the starters, but concern for the reserves.

Just like in last week’s victory over the Tennessee Titans, the Falcons’ starters flew out of the blocks and dominated the first quarter. The defense ramped up the pressure on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who narrowly escaped a sack on the opening drive. The Jets punted, and the ball was in the hands of Matt Ryan.

Ryan picked up where he left off last week, completing 4 of 5 passes for 75 yards and a touchdown. He connected with fullback Collin Mooney for a 60-yard completion on the opening drive, and fired a a 2-yard strike to Leonard Hankerson to give the Falcons a 14-0 lead after one. The latter was set up by a brilliant 61-yard punt return by Devin Hester.

The defensive starters continued to apply pressure to Fitzpatrick, with Adrian Clayborn breaking through for a sack on third down late in the first quarter. Vic Beasley impressed too, showcasing his lightning burst to bat down a Fitzpatrick pass.

In control, the reserves stepped onto the field. That’s where it turned sour for Atlanta.

Backup quarterback T.J. Yates, who struggled against Tennessee last week, was sacked in the end zone for a safety, before the first-team Jets offense blew away the Falcons’ defensive reserves. Fitzpatrick completed a pass to Brandon Marshall for 30 yards before Chris Ivory sprinted clear for a 33-yard touchdown.

A successful two-point try later, and it’s 14-10.

On both sides of the football, the Falcons struggled without the starters. Two field goals in the second quarter gave the Jets a narrow 16-14 halftime lead, but this was just the beginning of the humiliation.

Atlanta couldn’t get anything going offensively to start the second half, punting twice. Rookie quarterback Bryce Petty led the Jets down the field and into the end zone to make it 23-14. Just moments later, Jerome Smith coughed up the football on a handoff from Sean Renfree. It was scooped up and taken to the house by Rontez Miles. 30-14.

Michael Ford would reduce the deficit, but the Falcons would fall to defeat.

The good news is the starters were outstanding. The bad news is the depth doesn’t look too promising. Quinn lost his first game as head coach, but there are enough positives to take from this game. Next up, the Miami Dolphins.

Be sure to stay tuned to Blogging Dirty as we continue to break this game down over the weekend.

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