An inside look at Sunday’s Jets-Falcons Week 5 matchup in at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium:
Jets QB Zach Wilson vs. Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees
Wilson had his best game last week, throwing for two touchdowns and making two throws of 50 yard or more. He displayed the talent that made him the No. 2-overall pick in the draft. Now, he has to do it again.
The Falcons defense has given up more points than any team in the NFL entering Week 5. They do not have many stars on that side of the ball, and their personnel should not scare the Jets. But Pees has 47 years of coaching experience and could confuse the young quarterback.
Jets coach Robert Saleh said Wilson has done everything this week to build off his work against the Titans.
“That’s where I think he’s phenomenal, is his process,” Saleh said. “He takes the good with the bad and vice versa, and he’s just always trying to find ways to get better. So, he’s had a really good week of practice. He, again, every week, the emphasis for him is footwork, eyes, progression; footwork, eyes, progression. And as long as he can stick with that, he’ll continually get better. The off-schedule stuff that we saw, you really can’t teach some of the stuff that he just does, he naturally, instinctively does. But, the footwork, the eyes to progression, that’s where he’s going to get better.”
This one is tough to figure out. Neither team is good. The Jets are coming off a win. The game is in London. I think the Jets defense is due for a clunker, especially coming off a game last week in which the Titans had 100 plays. Matt Ryan gets them.
Falcons 33, Jets 17
Start Me Up: The Jets have not scored a point in the first quarter this season. They have been outscored 55-10 in the first half. That has led to them playing from behind for most of the season. They took their first lead of the season in the third quarter last week against the Titans. The Jets have been talking about starting faster.
“You don’t ever want to be playing from behind,” quarterback Zach Wilson said. “But there’s also the mentality that sometimes we’re not always going to start fast and maybe it’s how you finish. You need to be able to keep fighting. So, you can look at it from both ways. But of course, you preach it, we want to start fast, we want to come out right from the beginning and let them know what kind of team we have.”
Missing The Target: The Jets have gotten an incredible run of injury luck with their opponents. The Falcons will be without leading wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who is out due to personal reasons. They also will be missing Russell Gage (ankle). Last week, the Titans did not have receivers A.J. Brown or Julio Jones. Two weeks ago, the Broncos were without top receiver Jerry Jeudy. Can the Jets take advantage of no Ridley?
“We may see some different personnel groupings, doesn’t really affect our game plan, it came in so late. Things are already in,” coach Robert Saleh said. “As far as calling the game, that will be stuff that you talk about over the next couple of days. But Ridley is a heck of a football player.”
Sack Exchange II: The Jets defensive line has emerged as the best unit on the team. They managed seven sacks last week against the Titans and are getting contributions from a lot of different players. Quinnen Williams (3.5), John Franklin-Myers (3) and Bryce Huff (2) all have multiple sacks.
“It’s just a product of what we can be,” Williams said. “Just like a stepping stone on what we want to be and the right direction we’re going as a defensive line, as a defense in general in generating pressure, on getting the quarterback off his throws and stuff like that. You can see a lot of chemistry coming together with our defensive line.”
Crafty Cordarelle: The Falcons may be missing receivers, but their secret weapon this season has been Cordarelle Patterson, who they are using at running back and wide receiver. Patterson has scored five touchdowns this year — four receiving and one rushing.
“I don’t even know what to say he is,” Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said. “Yeah, he lines up at, probably, running back more than any other position, but still, he’s at tight end at times, he’s at wide receiver at times. They’re definitely finding a lot of interesting, unique, creative ways to utilize his skillset. He’s long and he’s fast and he’s physical and he plays hard. He’s going to be a great challenge.”
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