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Falcons Look to Continue Second-Half Momentum against Struggling Jets

After three straight losses, a long-awaited victory finally landed in Atlanta. The Falcons brought out the whole running back committee to rush for 228 yards, with rookie Bijan Robinson leading the way. Jessie Bates lll made another case on why he was the best free agent signing this last off-season, with a pick-six, a forced fumble, and led the team in tackles (12). It may not have been the prettiest of wins, but as Arthur Smith said, "We need a win in the worst way possible," they sure as hell got it, at least in one of the more unconventional ways in today's NFL.

Atlanta will take some momentum going into East Rutherford to face the New York Jets. The Jets stand third in the AFC East at 4-7. New York has seen the worst out of their quarterback room, with Aaron Rodgers having that "non-season" ending Achilles injury, Zach Wilson playing like Zach Wilson, and then there's Tim Boyle. Now, there is talent on the Jets' offense with Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall, but the Jets' offense is just not good. New York is 30th in points and 31st in yards.

On the other side of the ball, the Jets rank 18th in points and 15th in yards against. C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams have been top performers for the New York defense, while Jordan Whitehead led the team in interceptions with four; Whitehead is a part of a Jets defense that ranks 9th in turnovers. The New York defense has kept the team from having an absolute crap shoot of a season, but they will be tasked with taking on a Falcons rushing attack that now ranks fourth in the league.

Game Info

Date: December 3rd, 2023

Start Time: 1pmET/11amPT

Location: East Rutherford, New Jersey

Stadium: Metlife Stadium

TV Info: FOX

Uniform Info:

Key Players- Offense

Bijan Robinson- Falcons RB

Look out, Bijan fantasy managers may have started to take Arthur Smith off their hitlist after he gave Bijan 16 carries, in which Bijan turned that into 98 yards for a touchdown. Bijan also contributed with 32 receiving yards and another touchdown over the Saints. It's nice to see Bijan do Bijan things with the amount of carries he's getting. Let's relive Bijan's rushing touchdown from last Sunday.

Garret Wilson- Jets WR

The 2022 Rookie of the Year is still having a pretty decent season with 695 yards and three touchdowns. But you often wonder how good Wilson would be this year if he had Rodgers throwing to him all season. Maybe we will see the Rodgers-Wilson combo near the end of the season, or perhaps we have to wait till next year. Regardless, Wilson is still a threat, no matter who's throwing the ball to him. It will also be fun to watch Drake London go up against Wilson, as both were first-round picks in the 2022 draft.

Key Players- Defense

Jessie Bates lll- Falcons S

Where do I start with this guy? Bates is arguably one of the best free-agent signings in Falcons history, at least off the top of my head. The newly acquired Falcon was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week after recording a pick-six, a forced fumble, and 12 total tackles. Bates is a prime example of why you pay good money to the star players in the NFL; he has truly been a game-changer on the Falcons' defense. Here's Bates's pick-six, just in case you missed it.

C.J Mosley- Jets LB

The nine-year veteran has been a prominent piece for this Jets defense. Leading the team in total tackles at 114, recording a half sack and recording an interception off of Patrick Mahomes. Mosley is part of a Jets defense that ranks 6th in the league. It will be a tough test for Ridder and the passing crew on Sunday.

Betting Odds

Points Spread: NYJ +1.5 (-115) | ATL -1.5 (-105)

Moneyline: NYJ (-130) | ATL (+110)

Over/Under: O 33.5 (-110) | U 33.5 (-110)

Lines via FanDuel as of Friday, December 1st

The big story Sunday was that Desmond Ridder was named the Falcons' starting quarterback for the rest of the season. Well, Sunday was an up-and-down kind of day. Ridder would end the day with 13 completions on 21 attempts, 168 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. A lot of Ridder's passing ability is defined in the play above. First of all, this throw is incredible. To be able to fit the ball in a tight enough space so the defender covering London can't get to it, but then to be able to keep it away from the defender coming up from the other side of London is nothing short of impressive. However, why was this ball thrown to London? Yes, maybe London is the primary read here, and London is Ridder's favorite target; both answers could be true. But, if you look at Scotty Miller, who is running a corner route on the left, he has pretty good separation on his defender. So, why wasn't the ball thrown to him? We may never know, but it's what's interesting about the Falcon's offense, and Desmond Ridder is some of the passes plays that are called, maybe one-read pass plays, or Ridder isn't looking off any other receiver- which has led to interceptions, but here it shows just how good Ridder's arm talent is. Here's Ridder's touchdown pass, which also shows how good he can be.

This game will be one of the more important games for the Falcons this season; here's why. The Jets aren't good this year (we know that), but they have won against the Eagles and only lost by three against the Chiefs. However, their offense is one of the worst in the league, as they arguably have the worst QB room, aside from Rodgers. To reiterate, their defense is good, and it has kept them in games this year. But, the worst part about this Jets defense is they rank 31st in rushing yards given up per game at 140.3 per game. Remember the Falcons offense that ran for 228 yards last week? Yeah, that's the same team facing one of the worst run defenses this week. Atlanta dramatically needs to take advantage of this and steamroll over the Jets. This is one of the games you should absolutely win, no doubt about it.

Last week, I picked ATL to lose, and of course, they won (I'm not complaining, just superstitious) to keep things on the serious side. I do like Atlanta this week, especially in the low-scoring affair where Atlanta does have the upper hand on offense. Ridder will HAVE to limit the turnovers and set up good play-action passes off of a run game that could quite possibly run for over 200 yards once more. Defensively, I'd like to see the pass rush come alive this game and take the confidence right of Tim Boyle. And heck, maybe the defense can go two straight games without allowing a touchdown.

Prediction: ATL: 20, NVJ: 10

(This means Ridder is the best QB in the league, right?)

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

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