After a fourth-quarter collapse in last weekend’s loss to the Dolphins, Todd Bowles said his Jets needed to find their “killer instinct.”
One week later, they’re still searching.
Despite another hot start from the offense in monsoon conditions at MetLife Stadium, the Jets fell to the Falcons, 25-20, Sunday for their third-straight loss. Atlanta, the defending NFC champions, ended a three-game losing streak of its own.
Down by two points with seven minutes remaining in regulation, Jeremy Kerley muffed a punt deep in his own territory that the Falcons recovered at the Jets’ 13-yard line. A booming kick from punter Matt Bosher sailed over Kerley’s head, and the Gang Green returner attempted to catch it instead of letting it go.
The Jets defense kept Matt Ryan and the Falcons out of the end zone, but Matt Bryant connected on a 29-yard field goal to extend the lead to five points.
A pass interference call on Austin Seferian-Jenkins – the Jets’ seventh flag of the afternoon – set the offense back on the ensuing possession. Lachlan Edward’s punt was then brought back for a touchdown by Falcons returner Andre Roberts. But the score was nullified by a block in the back penalty.
The Falcons (4-3) then converted a 3rd-and-5 on a 25-yard catch and run from Mohamed Sanu with just more than three minutes remaining. They ran the clock down to 1:16 before Bosher pinned the Jets (3-5) at the 4-yard line with a coffin-corner punt.
Josh McCown and Co. took over with no timeouts but failed to advance past their own 40-yard line before time expired.
The Jets didn’t trail until 12:22 remained in the contest. They carried a one-point lead into the fourth quarter and had the ball in Falcons territory. But on a 3rd-and-9 from the Atlanta 23-yard line, McCown was sacked for a loss of seven yards, leaving the Jets with a longer field goal in torrential downpour. Kicker Chandler Catanzaro then pushed his 46-yard attempt wide for his second miss of the day.
The Falcons started at their own 38-yard line, and four plays later, they found the end zone for the go-ahead score. On first down, Tevin Coleman rattled off a 52-yard run down. Juston Burris, who was playing in place of the injured Morris Claiborne (foot), missed a crucial tackle that provided Coleman with open field. Ryan then connected with Sanu for an eight-yard touchdown to give the Falcons a 22-17 lead.
Ryan dropped the snap on the two-point conversion try, keeping the advantage at five points. It was the fourth time in the game Ryan fumbled snap from under center. The Jets recovered three of them, including two in the first half that produced three points.
The Jets scored on their opening drive for the third-straight game Sunday. They found the end zone for the second time in the first half when McCown hit Robby Anderson for a 24-yard touchdown. Anderson led the Jets with six catches for 104 yards and a score.
McCown finished 22 of 27 passing for 223 yards and two touchdowns. The Jets rushed for just 43 yards. The Falcons totaled 386 yards of total offense.