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(Monday, October 7th)
Final Score: NY Jets 30, Atlanta 28
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Ryan was about to add another fourth- quarter comeback to his resume, but Geno Smith answered with a two-minute drill well beyond his years as the New York Jets stole a surprising 30-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Nick Folk's 43-yard field goal as time expired.
Ryan guided the Falcons on a pair of fourth-quarter scores to erase a 27-14 deficit, the second coming on a 3-yard pass to Levine Toilolo after a defensive holding penalty kept the drive alive with two minutes remaining.
Smith was undeterred, completing three straight passes for 34 total yards and scrambling for eight more to reach Atlanta's 38-yard line.
A tough run by Bilal Powell on 3rd-and-3 set up Folk's game-winner.
Smith, responsible for 11 turnovers over the first four games, played mistake- free and threw three touchdown passes while completing 16-of-20 passes for 199 yards in the first road victory of his young career.
"It took every one of us," elated Jets head coach Rex Ryan said. "I'm glad we won this way. We played fearless."
Jeff Cumberland had three receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown for New York (3-2), which was coming off an ugly 38-13 loss at Tennessee.
Atlanta (1-4), meanwhile, has dropped three in a row for the first time since 2007 -- the year before Ryan took over under center.
Ryan, who had compiled 34-6 home record coming in, shook off a slow start and finished with 319 yards and two touchdowns on 36-of-45 efficiency.
Jacquizz Rodgers ran for two touchdowns, the second a 19-yard jaunt that cut the Falcons' deficit to 27-21 with 8:03 remaining in regulation.
Julio Jones made a spectacular one-handed 46-yard grab on the first play of Atlanta's next drive, which was extended when Tony Gonzalez caught a 4-yard pass on 4th-and-1 from the Jets' 18-yard line.
Atlanta was faced with another fourth down just before the two-minute warning, and Ryan's pass fell incomplete. However, a questionable holding penalty gave the Falcons hope, and Toilolo caught the go-ahead score two snaps later.
The only problem was the Falcons left 1:54 on the clock for the Smith, who stoically orchestrated the deciding march with the help of all three timeouts.
"It's extremely frustrating," Gonzalez said of Atlanta's 1-4 start. "It puts us in a deep hole...but we have a lot of football left to play."
Although Darrin Walls dropped a potential interception on Atlanta's opening drive, the Jets gained good field position anyway by blocking a punt.
A circus catch by Cumberland moved New York into the red zone, and Smith was stopped a yard short of the first down on a rollout to bring out Folk for a 22-yard field goal with 5:46 left in the first quarter.
Atlanta caught its own break a little later when Roddy White fumbled near midfield, only to have Jones pick up the bouncing pigskin and gain an additional 18 yards down to the Jets' 19. Jason Snelling capped the drive with a 4-yard touchdown off a shovel pass on the second play of the second quarter.
Cumberland made big plays on the next two Jets possessions, first catching a 20-yard touchdown pass over linebacker Joplo Bartu, then adding a 46-yard catch-and-run to set up another score.
Jeremy Kerley's 16-yard touchdown catch gave the Jets a 17-7 lead, and it stayed that way at halftime despite the Falcons having five chances inside the 5-yard line in the final minute.
A pass interference penalty on 4th-and-goal from 1 gave Atlanta another try, and Rodgers was stuffed at the line of scrimmage on the last play of the half.
Rodgers got another shot midway through the third quarter after the Jets went three-and-out. This time, the diminutive back snuck through the line and went in for a 4-yard score to cap an 8-play, 50-yard drive.
Ryan was stripped by Muhammad Wilkerson deep in his own territory, and the turnover resulted in a 36-yard Folk field goal in the final minute of the third.
White was whistled for offensive pass interference early in the fourth quarter to negate a first-down catch with the Falcons trailing, 20-14. Kerley returned the ensuing punt 24 yards and was taken down on a horse-collar tackle by Falcons punter Matt Bosher.
The 15-yard penalty moved the Jets to the Atlanta 23-yard line, and on 3rd- and-goal from the 1, Smith threw a pinpoint pass to Kellen Winslow in the right corner of the end zone to make it a two-possession game.
Snelling left early with a concussion, while White exited after his fourth- quarter penalty with a hamstring injury ... Gonzalez caught 10 passes for 97 yards. He has at least one reception in 200 straight games -- joining Jerry Rice as the only two players to do so -- and also passed Marvin Harrison for sixth place in career receiving yards (14,607) ... Jones had eight receptions for 99 yards ... The Falcons gained 26 first downs to New York's 15 ... The Jets rushed for 118 yards and held Atlanta to 64 yards on the ground.
10/08 01:49:14 ET