You would have thought by the offseason coverage that the Jets were going to find a way to go 0-17 in 16 games. Rex Ryan was going to get fired, after the season if he was lucky enough to last that long. They were everyone's punch line (and in fairness, they bring some of that on with some odd antics).
Nobody's laughing now, and nobody is getting fired. The Jets went on the road and defeated the Falcons, the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs last year, on a field goal as time expired. The Jets didn't let a phantom fourth-down defensive penalty phase them. The Falcons scored with 1:54 left after that gift to take a lead, but rookie quarterback Geno Smith calmly led his team downfield for Nick Folk's game-winning field goal.
The Jets are 3-2 after the 30-28 win. Nobody figured that would be the case.
The Jets' defense has been very good and Smith has showed a lot of poise for a rookie. It's absolutely amazing and baffling that there were some in the Jets' organization who thought after two weeks that Matt Simms should start over Smith (again, the Jets bring some of these punch lines upon themselves). Smith hasn't been perfect, but few rookies are. He has shown he has the ability to develop into a pretty good NFL quarterback.
Smith was 16-of-20 for 199 yards and three touchdowns against the Falcons. According to ESPN, Smith is the second rookie quarterback in "Monday Night Football" history to go on the road and lead his team to a win, and the other was in a replacement game during a players' strike.
Atlanta, which fell to 1-4, had another questionable short-distance gaffe on a weird decision by coach Mike Smith, who ran over right tackle on the last play of the first half instead of taking a field goal. They could have used those three points at the end of the game. The Falcons are digging themselves a massive hole in the NFC, and a home loss to a 10-point underdog won't help. But this game was more about what the Jets did than what the Falcons couldn't.
Smith was 4-for-4 for 37 yards and had 8 yards rushing on the Jets' final drive. Because they're the Jets, they're likely to get way too much attention this week for this dramatic win and a 3-2 start. But the Jets will certainly take that over the crazy predictions of doom and gloom they were hearing a couple months ago.
Ryan might even start making some crazy predictions of his own soon, just like old times.
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