Winners and Losers from the Atlanta Falcons game at the New York Jets

The Falcons defense won versus the Jets and looked fantastic in the game.

Atlanta Falcons v New York Jets
Atlanta Falcons v New York Jets / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The Atlanta Falcons won a gritty, grimey battle with the New York Jets 13-8 backed by an amazing defense and some clutch turnovers. The Falcons offense was having a horrid day and could use some revamping with five games left that likely won't come until the end of the season. Atlanta could turn into a division-winning team that still has major upheaval on its coaching staff in the offseason. The Falcons have shown that they can win this division and with three division games left are in the driver's seat in the NFC South. They're lucky at this point that the schedule only contains the Bears, the Colts, and the other NFC South teams.

Winner: K Younghoe Koo

The Falcons' best offensive weapon is Younghoe Koo. He had a perfect game again going 2-for-2 on field goals and 1-for-1 on extra points. Outside of the touchdown to Mycole Pruitt, Koo was the only reason why the team even had points on offense at all. His steady play throughout the season makes him the best offensive weapon for the Falcons. But again, this is another situation where the Falcons need to make their offense better so that Koo stops being listed in this article.

Loser: TE Kyle Pitts

Sure, Kyle Pitts had a great game compared to the rest of the season with four catches for 51 yards. However, he had two penalties on him in this one. One was for pass interference and another was for holding. Both plays were situations where he didn't need to commit the penalty, and the Falcons would have benefitted from it due to the play result or a penalty going the other way. He also slowed up on a deep pass that he drew an illegal contact penalty on, but had he continued to go for the ball, he could have had a deep catch.

Winner: CB/PR Dee Alford

Dee Alford played one of the best games he has in a Falcons uniform since he started with the team last season. Alford had excellent coverage throughout the game and only had one crucial catch made against him where he still had good coverage. He also was a good punt returner for the team and had the best punt return game for the Falcons this season with four returns for 35 yards. Alford was also excellent at tracking the ball recovering the fumble that came his way in the second quarter.

Loser: RBs Cordarrelle Patterson, Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier

While the offensive line didn't have the best game in this one, the Falcons' running backs didn't do a great job running the ball, either. They did end up getting holes but weren't taking the cut-back lanes that were there or were trying to string down the line on stretch plays instead of taking the hole presented. In terms of the running game, only getting 2.9 yards per carry on designed runs was a huge issue for the offense throughout the day. The Jets have one of the best front sevens in the NFL, and they were closing holes all day, so that does play a factor.

Winner: S Jessie Bates

While the Falcons did allow two catches of 30-plus yards in the game, Jessie Bates did a good job of helping them limit the big plays outside of that making sure the defense was aligned properly. He also made a huge interception on a deep pass with the Jets driving down the field in the third quarter. Bates has been the best free agent signing for the Falcons in years. He's helped solidify the defense and has turned in one of the best seasons the Falcons have had at safety since the 2012 season when William Moore and Thomas Decoud both went to the Pro Bowl.

Loser: QB Desmond Ridder

Desmond Ridder had a solid overall game in this one with no turnovers created, and the one fumble he did have, he recovered. However, he was only 12-for-27 (44 percent) on the day. He only had 121 yards passing and just one touchdown on the day. He does look like he's improving, but this wasn't a good game for him. That being said, if this is the new version of a "bad day" for Ridder, it's something the Falcons can live with moving forward.

Winner: EDGE Arnold Ebiketie

When the game is on the line and the Falcons need someone to get a sack, Arnold Ebiketie gets the call to get after the opposing quarterback. Ebiketie came into this one in the clutch situation got a sack and forced fumble on the final third down. He also created another pressure forcing Trevor Siemien into another defender that created an incomplete pass on the final fourth down. Ebiketie is rounding into the best pass rusher on the Atlanta Falcons, but it wouldn't hurt in future years to add another guy to help Ebiketie become an even better one moving forward.

Loser: HC Arthur Smith as a play-caller and play designer

This was one of the worst games Arthur Smith had as a play-caller. When the running game had a semblance of positivity, he'd go away from it. His passing game concepts continually had multiple guys in the same area of the field and created log jams. He had multiple people in the same passing lanes with terrible spacing. The Falcons need him to bring in someone who can help re-design his passing plays and help him with his play-calling decisions moving forward. But that's a whole other article for another day.

Winner: HC Arthur Smith as a head coach

When it comes to Arthur Smith as the head coach today with game management and clock situations, he was damn near perfect. He forced the Jets to call their timeouts and smartly chose to punt right before the end of the game with two minutes left to trust his defense. He also won both of his challenge calls including one that gave the team a turnover. The other challenge prevented a third-down conversion. Smith showed that he can be a good head coach. But at this point, he needs to give up his play-calling duties and bring in someone to help out there.

Loser: Atlanta's entire offensive line

After having a game against the Saints where the Falcons' offensive line created over 200 yards rushing and just three quarterback pressures, the line allowed eight quarterback hits and three sacks while only averaging 2.6 yards per carry on the game. They were getting bullied by one of the top front-sevens in football. They need to regain the magic from the Saints game moving forward. They have better matchups for the offensive line and can take advantage. This was a bad day, but hopefully, it's not the norm for the line moving forward.

Winner: DC Ryan Nielsen

The reason the game was won was because the Atlanta Falcons' defense allowed just eight points. They had eight tackles for loss, four sacks, five quarterback hits, and key stops all game. They allowed just two conversions on 15 third down attempts and created three turnovers on four fumbles forced and 1 interception. The Falcons have shown that they can be a great defensive team in a clutch game. Defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen has done a great job building his defense, and if this is what it looks like in the first year, Atlanta could be a great defensive team moving forward.

Game MVP: EDGE Bud Dupree

Someone on the Falcons' defense needs to be the game MVP since the team only won because of the defense. Bud Dupree played one of the best games he ever played for the Falcons with two sacks, one fumble forced, and two tackles for loss. He also played extremely well against the run and held the edge when the Jets tried to attack him on that side. The Jets only averaged 2.5 yards per carry in this one and a lot of it had to do with the Falcons run defense stuffing Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook in the backfield a lot. Dupree helped a lot by taking doubles and setting the edge.

All advanced stats are courtesy Pro Football Focus or Football Outsiders. All traditional stats are courtesy of official team websites, NFLGSIS or CFB Stats. All RAS and athletic testing numbers are courtesy of and Kent Lee Platte's RAS Football website.