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Falcons 27 - Jets 14
By Justin Paley
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
October 25th, 2005
Vinny Testaverde didn't help the Jets chances against Atlanta by fumbling the ball three times in the team's 27 - 14 loss. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Vinny Testaverde didn't help the Jets chances against Atlanta by fumbling the ball three times in the team's 27 - 14 loss. (Jets Insider.com Photo)
Coming into the Georgia Dome Monday night against the Atlanta Falcons, the Jets knew to win they had to control time of possession, not turn the ball over and score early. The Jets did none of those things, falling behind early and was never able to recover falling to the Falcons, 27-14 as the Jets are now 2-5.

The Jets held QB Michael Vick in check for the most part as Vick finished 11-of-26 for 116 yards but threw a career-high three interceptions. Vick ran nine times for 18 yards and two scores. RB Warrick Dunn ran wild carrying 24 times for 155 yards.

The Jets had one of their worst games offensively. QB Vinny Testaverde finished 11-of-18 for 139 yards and threw an interception and lost three fumbles. Testaverde left the game in the third quarter with a strained Achilles. He will be re-evaluated tomorrow.

Testaverde was replaced by QB Brooks Bollinger (12-of-20, 94 yards) who led the Jets to a touchdown drive in the fourth quarter capped off by RB Curtis Martin’s one-yard touchdown run pulling the Jets within 27-14. But the Jets were unable to score again, turning the ball over on downs in Falcons territory on their last drive.

“When you spot a team like that that many points in the first half, very difficult to win,” head coach Herman Edwards said. “We turned it over too many times and couldn’t overcome it.”

The Jets patch-work o-line did not do a good job protecting the quarterbacks, allowing four sacks. “You can’t let guys get free shots at the QB,” Edwards said. “Especially in our situation. We have a lot of QB’s on our roster. If that continues we’ll have ten by the end of the year. We have to figure out how to protect guys.”

After forcing the Falcons to punt on their first possession, the Jets began their first drive at their own 10-yard line. On the second play of the series, C Pete Kendall fumbled the snap and the Falcons recovered at the Jets 20.

Kendall starting at center in place of the injured Kevin Mawae took full responsibility for the mistakes. “It’s real simple,” Kendall told ESPN Radio after the game. “I made three mistakes, three critical mistakes. They turned it into points and that was the difference in the game. First one, the snap was short. There’s no excuse for it…have to get ball to Vinny, have to complete snap. Second one didn’t get it communicated clearly enough, didn’t’ get it done, rests on my shoulders…last one called check. I was only one who didn’t get the check, I was one closet to QB. I went the wrong way and the guy caused the strip. I gave them 17 points tonight. It’s embarrassing. I feel horrible. These players and coaches worked too hard for me to go out and make it look like a little league team. I let the entire organization down and our fans.”

Seven plays later, QB Michael Vick pump faked rookie S Kerry Rhodes and squeezed inside the left pylon for a touchdown. Todd Peterson’s extra point was good and the Falcons went up 7-0 early in the game. The drive lasted 4:13 and took seven plays and went 85 yards.

The Jets turned it over on their next drive as Testaverde was sacked by DT Antwan Lake and Falcons DE Patrick Kerney returned Testaverde’s fumble 21 yards to the Jets 26.

The Falcons were unable to find the end zone but did get points off the turnover as Peterson made a 22-yard field goal to put his team up 10-0.

After both teams traded punts, the Jets again turned the ball over as DT Rod Coleman pressured Testaverde who fumbled the ball. DE Chauncey Davis scooped it up and returned it 24-yards to the end zone as the Falcons went up 17-0 with 12:33 left in the second quarter.

While the Jets did not turn the ball over on their next drive, they were unable to do anything offensively, going three-and-out.

Ben Graham’s punt pinned the Falcons deep at their own 5-yard line. On the first play of scrimmage, RB Warrick Dunn burst down the right sideline 65 yards before finally being pushed out of bounds by CB David Barrett. The Falcons caught a break when Vick fumbled and RT Barry Stokes recovered. After the drive stalled, Peterson came on to kick a 41-yard field goal and extend the Falcons lead to 20-0 with 7:02 left in the first half.

On the ensuing kickoff, it appeared rookie CB Justin Miller returned it 95-yards for a touchdown but it was negated by a holding penalty by LB Kenyatta Wright and brought back.

The Jets were finally able to get on the board as Testaverde ran for a one-yard touchdown with 2:49 left. The drive took eight plays, 63 yards, and 3:43. Testaverde was 3-for-4 for 59 yards on the drive. WR Justin McCareins was solid on the drive making a 39-yard catch one-on-one against CB DeAngelo Hall that moved the Jets to the Falcons 23. On 4th-and-1 from the Falcons 3, RB Curtis Martin ran for the first down keeping the drive alive.

After forcing the Falcons to go three-and-out, the Jets took over at their own 32 with 1:46 left in the first half. On 3rd-and-2, WR Wayne Chrebet caught a pass for a first down. The Jets then called their last timeout and there was a review called from the press box. After reviewing the play, the officials said that Chrebet did not make the catch and the Jets had to punt. Edwards said he called the timeout because the clock kept going and the referees were not spotting the ball.

Instead of taking a knee at their own 26, Vick decided to air it out and his pass intended for TE Alge Crumpler was intercepted by LB Jonathan Vilma with 29 seconds left.

The Jets took over at their own 40 and Testaverde completed a pass to Coles for 12-yards. It appeared Coles had gotten out of bounds but the referees ruled that Coles was in and the clock continued running. Instead of spiking the ball, Testaverde let the clock run out as the Jets went into the locker rooms trailing 20-7.

On their first play of the second half, McCareins was whistled for offensive pass interference negating a long completion. A few plays later, the Jets punted.

The Falcons added to their lead as Vick capped off a 13 play, 48 yard drive by rolling out to his right side on 4th-and-goal and running in for his second rushing touchdown of the night. The drive lasted 6:20. Dunn had the key block on Vilma allowing Vick to go in untouched. The Falcons converted two fourth downs on the drive.

The Jets turned the ball over for the fourth time on their next drive when Testaverde threw a ball up for grabs and instead of the intended target Coles coming down with it, Hall did for the interception. On the play Testaverde hurt his right Achilles.

Testaverde said he strained it in the second quarter and then strained it again in the third quarter. “It seemed like it got worse,” Testaverde said. “I came up limping and couldn’t get a good push off.”

The Falcons were unable to produce points off the turnover and QB Brooks Bollinger came in with 1:03 left in the third quarter. Bollinger and the Jets avoided a bullet when Coleman got past Brandon Moore and Bollinger appeared to fumble the ball and the Falcons recovered. But the Jets challenged and it was ruled Bollinger’s arm as forward and an incomplete pass. The Jets couldn’t take advantage and had to punt.

The Jets defense came up big as Vilma hit Vick as he was passing and Vick’s floater was intercepted by CB Ty Law. It was Law’s fourth interception of the season.

Bollinger and the Jets took over at the Falcons 35. They capitalized as RB Curtis Martin ran to his right for a one-yard touchdown. K Mike Nugent’s extra point was good and the Jets pulled within 27-14 with 11:52 left in the game. Martin’s touchdown, the 99th of his career, was the highlight of his evening as he rushed 14 times for 28 yards.

Vick underthrew Curmpler on the next drive and the pass deflected off Crumpler into the hands of CB David Barrett for an interception.

The Jets began their final drive with a little over 10 minutes left in the game at their own 27. On 3rd-and-5 from their own 32, Bollinger found WR Wayne Chrebet for 10-yards and a first down. Five plays later on 3rd-and-2 from the Falcons 35, Bollinger ran three yards for the first down. On 4th-and-5 on the Falcons 27 with 4:35 left, Bollinger passed to Coles for seven yards. Facing 4th-and-1 from the Falcons 11 with under four minutes left in the game, LB Demorrio Williams knocked down Bollinger’s pass at the line of scrimmage.

After producing a first down, the Falcons were able to take a knee and run out the clock.

Edwards said the main priority going into the bye week will be to get everyone healthy. Among the corrections the Jets will work on is better protection from the offensive line, figuring out a way to stop the run, getting points early and not turning over the ball.

“I think it’s time for us to reflect over the bye and realize what we have to do to get back into the season,” DE Shaun Ellis said.

INSIDER TIDBITS

-WR Laveranues Coles had a team-high nine catches for 91 yards.

-It was the first time the Jets have ever turned the ball over twice in the first quarter under Edwards.

-The Jets have been outscored 40-7 in the first quarter this season.

-Testaverde’s three fumbles was a career high.

-DE John Abraham’s first quarter sack of Vick was his 48th career sack, moving him into a tie for sixth-place on the team’s all-time sack list with former DE John Elliott.

-The Jets are 16-20 all-time on Monday Night Football and 2-3 under Edwards.

-The Falcons now lead the all-time series 5-4.

-The Jets have gone over 300 minutes without a passing touchdown.

-The Jets were just 4-13 on third down.

PHOTO GALLERY: For the complete gallery of Jets Insider.com Exclusive Jets/Falcons game pictures CLICK HERE

INJURY REPORT

-QB Kliff Kingsbury (3rd QB), QB Jay Fiedler, QB Chad Pennington, RB Derrick Blaylock, DB Oliver Celestin, C Kevin Mawae, and DE Trevor Johnson were the Jets inactives.

-LB Eric Barton played for the first time in four weeks but is lost for the season after tearing his left triceps in the first quarter. WR Laveranues Coles injured his left elbow and was getting x-rays after the game. As mentioned above, Testaverde left the game in the third quarter with a strained right Achilles/calf and will be evaluated tomorrow. Edwards said he anticipates Testaverde being the quarter in two weeks if he’s healthy.

The Jets have a bye next week before returning to the field in two weeks at the Meadowlands against San Diego. Check back to Jets Insider.com for all the Jets news!