Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Yards aside, Jets' defense comes up big


The New York Jets were going to give up a lot of yards to Matt Ryan and a lot of first downs to Tony Gonzalez. That much was certain.

But when Gang Green needed a blocked punt, they got it. When they needed a goal line stop, they got it. And when they needed a turnover, they got it. And with a big helping hand from Geno Smith and the offense, the Jets beat the Atlanta Falcons, 30-28.

"We showed that we can be great,” Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson said, via The Star-Ledger.

Ryan connected on 36 of 45 pass attempts for 319 yards and two touchdowns, but he was strip-sacked by Wilkerson in the fourth quarter, which turned into three more points for the Jets. It was a big play, but not as big as the play that ended the first half.

New York's stellar defensive front stuffed Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers at the goal line as Atlanta opted to go for a touchdown instead of a field goal heading into the break.

“At the end of the day, they thought they could score and we knew that we were going to hold them,” Wilkerson said. “We did our job.”

Rogers did have a pair of rushing touchdowns, but the Falcons' rushing attack was held to 2.9 yards a carry.

Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson accounted for two sacks, four tackles for losses and another quarterback it. Defensive back Antonio Allen blocked a punt in the first quarter to set up the game-opening field goal.

We most definitely came with it this week. Everybody was clicking," Richardson said after the game, via NewYorkJets.com. "The defense finished kind of sloppy but we'll tighten it up next week, we most definitely will."

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