The Atlanta Falcons survived the rain and self-inflicted mistakes to defeat the New York Jets 25-20 at Metlife Stadium Sunday, ending their three game losing streak. Atlanta improved to 3-1 on the road this season. Quarterback Matt Ryan was 18-for-29 with 254 passing yards and two touchdowns. The reigning MVP overcame two fumbled snaps in the first half.
“That was some of the hardest conditions I’ve played in for the length of the game,” Ryan said after Sunday’s win. “I’ve played in situations where we’ve had some heavy rain or tough wind for a little bit, but really from kickoff until the end of the game, it was coming down pretty hard. You just have to find a way and you have to do the best you can. I thought our guys did a great job.”
The running game did get going Sunday. The Falcons had 32 rushing attempts for 140 yards (4.4 yards per carry average). Tevin Coleman had a long run of 52 yards. Even Matt Ryan had a long run of 14 yards.
“We’re still committed to it, and a down day is still having over 100 yards for us because of our commitment to that, but obviously I was probably more pleased from a pass protection standpoint than all the way finishing through on the run game,” Quinn said during Monday’s press conference. “The reason it’s so important is the play action and the keepers that go with that allow some of the play action plays to step up like the big play to Julio [Jones] when they get a linebacker or safety to have to step up because of that. It’s really an important part of what we do.”
The Jets scored three points in the second half and were held to 43 rushing yards in the game.
“Defensively, to hold them to 43 yards (rushing), that was a real emphasis,” Quinn said. “The defense hadn’t performed how they thought they were capable of over the last few weeks in the run game, so I thought that was significant, especially on a day that was going to feature some weather and both teams were going to lean on the run game.”
The Falcons sit at 4-3 and Sunday’s match-up against the Panthers has garnered national attention. Tuesday, Panthers trading wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a 3rd round and 7th round pick, and most importantly Sunday’s game marks the Falcons’ foray into NFC South play. With nine games to go, Atlanta will play six division games.