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New York Jets beat host Atlanta Falcons
Rookie Geno Smith threw three touchdown passes to help the New York Jets beat host Atlanta 30-28. The Falcons dropped to 1-4.
The Associated Press
ATLANTA – After plenty of mistakes in his first four games, Geno Smith suddenly looked like an accomplished veteran for the New York Jets.
The rookie quarterback threw three touchdown passes, didn’t turn the ball over and guided the Jets on a clutch drive that set up Nick Folk’s winning field goal on the final play, giving New York a 30-28 victory over the struggling Atlanta Falcons on Monday night.
After the Falcons went ahead on the first play after the two-minute warning, Smith completed four straight passes and also broke off an 8-yard run that set up Folk’s 43-yard field goal as time expired.
The Jets (3-2) have been waiting for this sort of performance from Smith, who came into the game leading the league with 11 turnovers, including eight interceptions. The previous week, he was picked off twice and lost two fumbles in a 38-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
But this was a different Geno. He completed 16 of 20 passes for 199 yards, threw almost as many touchdown passes as he had in the first four games (four), and zealously protected the ball.
“My confidence is always sky-high,” Smith said. “Nothing can bring me down.”
Smith put in extra work at practice to cut down on turnovers, and it paid off.
“I made it my duty to come out here and not put the ball on the ground and not put my team in jeopardy,” he said.
The Falcons (1-4) rallied from a 27-14 deficit in the fourth quarter, going ahead on Matt Ryan’s 3-yard touchdown pass to Levine Toilolo with 1:54 remaining.
Atlanta, which was a 10-point favorite, is mired in its longest losing streak — three games — since 2007.
“What are we going to do, sit here and feel sorry for ourselves?” Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez said. “I’m not going to put my hands up and say the season is over.”