It may be too early to declare Monday night’s win a statement game for the Jets — and it is certainly too early to say their young quarterback has arrived — but in their improbable 30-28 comeback win against the Falcons, the Jets have their blueprint for the remaining 11 games.
Head coach Rex Ryan said his 3-2 team played “fearless” in upending the Falcons who a season ago were a game away from the Super Bowl. But more than anything scheme-wise from the Jets, the team limited their mistakes including no turnovers. After committing 20 penalties in Week 3 and 10 penalties last Sunday, the Jets had six penalties for just 24 yards on Monday night.
“The biggest thing I’m proud of is that we did not turn the football over. We were not reckless, we were just the opposite, we were fearless,” Ryan said. “That’s how we have to play.”
The poster boy for the Jets success was Geno Smith, who had yet to put together a complete game in his young NFL career. He was smart and efficient with the ball and, in the fourth quarter, he was composed in leading the two-minute drill to set up Nick Folk’s game-winning 43-yard field goal as time expired.
Smith said he “needed to change [his] mentality” and eliminate the mistakes from the previous week. Smith had four turnovers — two fumbles and two interceptions — which led to 28 points for Tennessee last week.
There was talk throughout the week that the Jets would simplify things down for Smith. On Monday night, he paid back a coaching staff that showed only confidence in his ability.
“Everyone has complete confidence in me and that’s great to have guys like that on your side with the way I’ve played the past four weeks,” Smith said. “They told me to go out there, let it rip [and] play with no conscience. I went out there and made the check. It worked out for us.
“[I was] just not second-guessing myself — not going out there and over-thinking things. [I am] going out there and playing. If you make a decision, live with it. Just know that it has to be the right decision.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.