“Wisdom comes alone through suffering.” – Aeschylus
For New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, this can be considered a season of learning and growing pains. They (the team) indeed had some high points and some low points, as part of the learning process. The Jets perhaps learned a football lesson in their game on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons at Giants Stadium in that the Falcons have a weapon in tight end Tony Gonzalez, and they’re not afraid to use it. Quarterback Matt Ryan was miondful of that fact as he tossed a 6-yard touchdown pass to Gonzalez with 1:38 left in the fourth quarter, leading Atlanta to the 10-7 win over New York.
The Jets got on the scoreboard early as James Ihedigbo tipped Michael Koenen’s punt that went 28 yards before it was downed at the Falcons 35. On the Jets’ next play, Sanchez reared back and fired a pretty pass that hit Edwards in stride at the 15. Edwards – a few steps ahead of Christopher Owens – zipped into the end zone for a 7-3 lead with 2:48 left in the opening quarter. The Jets had a chance to increase their lead with a 19-yard field goal with 6:40 left in the half, but Clemens mishandled a low snap and Jay Feely never had a chance to kick.
Looking to make it 10-3, Feely’s 37-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Chauncey Davis with 4:27 left, keeping Atlanta in it. On third-and-9 from their 42, Roddy White had a 16-yard catch and the Falcons moved up 15 more yards on a facemask penalty on Donald Strickland. Jason Snelling followed with a 20-yard run up the middle to the 7. After Snelling’s 1-yard run, Ryan was incomplete to White in the end zone, and again to Gonzalez on a pass that was nearly picked off by Darrelle Revis. With the game on the line, Ryan found Gonzalez at the front of the end zone for the winning score.
Ryan had a mediocre effort as he went 16-of-34 for 152 yards and a TD while Sanchez was 18-of-32 for 226 yards with a TD and 3 interceptions. Jason Snelling led the Falcons rushing attack with 59 yards on 16 carries while Thomas Jones led the Jets with 52 yards on 19 carries.
Jerious Norwood led the Falcons receivers with 2 receptions for 47 yards; Edwards led the Jets receivers with 5 receptions for 105 yards and a TD while Jerricho Cotchery caught 6 passes for 49 yards. Atlanta (7-7) plays again next Sunday when they host the Buffalo Bills in their home finale while New York (7-7) goes to Indianapolis to take on the undefeated Colts – also next Sunday.