A pair of Chandler Catanzaro missed field goals proved costly as the New York Jets let another second-half lead slip away during a nor'easter on Sunday afternoon at the Meadowlands, dropping their third-straight game 25-20 to the Atlanta Falcons (4-3).
Despite four drops from his receivers on the day, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 254 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the day while Atlanta running backs accrued a combined 140 yards.
In such bad weather, the Jets' (3-5) inability to get their run game going inhibited their offense from possibly putting the game away when given earlier opportunities. New York backs gained just 43 yards on the afternoon.
The Jets once again got off to a surprisingly good start, putting up seven on their opening drive when McCown hit tight end Eric Tomlinson for a 20-yard touchdown, the first of his career.
Atlanta answered with a touchdown from a tight end of its own, Austin Hooper, but it was sandwiched by a pair of possessions that ended in fumbles inside their own territory thanks to the inclement conditions.
New York was only able to grab three points out of both turnovers though as Catanzaro managed to convert one of his two field goal attempts.
After a Matt Bryant field goal, the Jets took a 17-10 first-half lead when McCown hooked up with Robbie Anderson for a 24-yard score.
On one of the longer attempts of the day, Anderson showed great poise holding onto the ball while running out of the end zone given the conditions.
Anderson led all receivers with 104
Bryant would tack on a pair of field goals — one in the final seconds of the second quarter and another in the third quarter — to bring the Falcons to within a point with 5:16 left in the third.
Another Catanzaro missed field goal allowed the Falcons to take their first lead of the afternoon with 12:22 left in the fourth quarter when Ryan hit local Rutgers alum Mohamed Sanu on a third-and-goal from the eight in the back of the end zone.
The score was set up by a 52-yard run by Tevin Coleman, who rushed for 82 yards on the day in total.
A failed two-point conversion put the Falcons up five, which should have been a one-point lead for the Jets had Catanzaro hit all of his field goal attempts.
He did manage to hit one from 46 yards out with 8:42 left in the game to pull the Jets within two.
Another gaffe aided by the rain saw the Jets' deficit grow with 6:42 remaining when a Falcons punt was fumbled by Jeremy Kerley on New York's 13-yard-line and recovered by Atlanta.
But the defense hung tough and held Ryan's offense to just a field goal.
The referees ensured the Jets would stay in it a little while longer when they called a block in the back call to negate an 80-yard punt return touchdown by Andre Roberts with four minutes to go. But the Jets simply ran out of time before mounting a serious charge toward a last-minute comeback.