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Jets shock the Falcons with a 30-28 win on the game’s final play

By 69 News & Associated Press, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 08 2013 06:31:34 AM CDT

AP

Atlanta Falcons punter Matt Bosher (5) tackles New York Jets wide receiver Clyde Gates (19) during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, in Atlanta.

ATLANTA -

Geno Smith wasn't flustered. Not after all the mistakes in his first four games. Not after the Atlanta Falcons went ahead on a touchdown with less than 2 minutes remaining.

Looking like a wily ol' veteran instead of a rookie, Smith calmly guided the New York Jets to another victory.

Smith threw three touchdown passes and directed a drive that set up Nick Folk's 43-yard field goal on the final play, giving the Jets a 30-28 victory over the staggering Falcons on Monday night.

"It's always been a dream of mine since I was a kid to be in those situations," Smith said.

After the Falcons went ahead on Matt Ryan's 3-yard touchdown pass to Levine Toilolo with 1:54 remaining, Smith completed four straight passes and broke off an 8-yard run that set up Folk's field goal as time expired.

The Jets (3-2) have been waiting for this sort of performance from Smith, who came into the game leading the NFL with 11 turnovers, including eight interceptions. He completed 16 of 20 passes for 199 yards and threw almost as many touchdown passes as the four he had in the first four games.

"My confidence is always sky-high," Smith said. "Nothing can bring me down."

Smith put in extra work at practice to cut down on the turnovers, and it sure paid off. He was sacked four times but never lost the ball.

"It's a mindset," he said. "I made it my duty to come out here and not put the ball on the ground and not put my team in jeopardy."

The Falcons (1-4) rallied from a 27-14 deficit in the fourth quarter. Jacquizz Rodgers scored on a pair of touchdown runs, and Ryan also threw a scoring pass to Jason Snelling.

But they couldn't stop Smith when it mattered.

"He's a rookie," Atlanta safety William Moore said, "and we make him look like a 10-year veteran."

Considered a Super Bowl contender at the beginning of the season, Atlanta is mired in a three-game longest losing streak - its longest since 2007 - heading into a bye week.

The Jets led 17-7 after a goal-line stand on the final play of the first half, which turned out to be awful big at the end of the game.

Atlanta had two cracks at the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 1. The first attempt resulted in an incomplete pass, but the Jets were called for pass interference when they grabbed Tony Gonzalez as he tried to get open.

The Falcons again passed on a chip-shot field goal, and curiously decided to hand it to their smallest back - Rodgers is just 5-foot-6 and 196 pounds - for a power run behind their shaky offensive line. Rodgers was swallowed up by the New York line, sending the Jets racing off the field in celebration while the Falcons staggered to their locker room to a round of boos from the Georgia Dome crowd.