Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Dream Drive

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Dream Drive

Article excerpt

ATLANTA - No matter what happened in the final two minutes, the Jets already had proven Monday night they are a much better team than most experts thought.

But they wanted the validation on the scoreboard, too. And they got it on Nick Folk's 43-yard field goal as time expired, giving the heavy underdogs an improbable 30-28 victory over an Atlanta team that began the season as a Super Bowl contender but now is 1-4.

Geno Smith capped a terrific game by leading the Jets (3-2) from their own 20 into field-goal range, despite a hostile crowd putting up a deafening roar, to set up Folk's kick.

The Falcons had gone 63 yards in 10 plays for the go-ahead score. They benefited from a fourth-down defensive holding call on linebacker David Harris against tight end Tony Gonzalez. But the touchdown went to backup tight end Levine Toilolo, who made a leaping 3-yard grab with 1:54 left for a 28-27 lead.

But it wasn't enough, and Atlanta coach Mike Smith must have rued his decision at the end of the first half to pass up a chip-shot field-goal attempt, only to see his team get stuffed by the Jets at the 1-yard line.

Early in the fourth quarter, it didn't appear the Jets would need such heroics. Jeremy Kerley's 24-yard punt return and a 15-yard penalty on punter Matt Bosher for a horse-collar tackle set the Jets up at the Falcons' 23.

They cashed in four plays later on Smith's 1-yard play-action toss to a wide-open Kellen Winslow Jr. for a 27-14 lead with 12:00 left.

But Atlanta then drove 80 yards in 10 plays to make it 27-21, with Jacquizz Rodgers running 19 yards for the score.

Atlanta managed two first downs in its first four plays from scrimmage, but just as quickly, the Jets stopped the advance and forced a punt. Antonio Allen blocked it, and the result was a first down for the Jets at the Atlanta 44.

The Jets reached a first down at the Atlanta 13 on a spectacular catch by tight end Jeff Cumberland, who juggled the ball then caught it on the second try after it bounced off Atlanta safety William Moore.

A 7-yard pass to new Jet David Nelson set up a second-and-3 from the 6, but Atlanta's defense stiffened and the Jets settled for Folk's 22-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead. …

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