After the Jets defense surrendered 14 straight points in the fourth quarter and relinquished the lead for the first time in the game at 28-27, rookie signal-caller Geno Smith bailed the team out in a big way. Smith drove the Jets 56 yards on six plays and set up Nick Folk for the game winning 43-yard field goal as time expired. Ryan and company captured an unlikely victory and shrugged off a wave of negativity and criticism in the process.
The Jets seized the early momentum after forcing Matt Ryan's unit into a three-and-out on the opening possession of the contest, and safety Antonio Allen flew through to block the ensuing punt and the Jets took over on the Atlanta 44-yard line.
Gang Green's drive would stall at the Falcons' four-yard line and Nick Folk booted through a 22-yarder to give the Jets the early 3-0 advantage. Atlanta would strike back assembling a ten play, 80 yard drive capped by Ryan's shovel pass to Jason Snelling on 3rd-and-goal.
New York's rookie commanded a touchdown drive of his own marching 67 yards on seven plays and found tight end Jeff Cumberland for a 20-yard score.
On the Jets' next offensive possession, Smith connected with Cumberland again for a 47-yard pass down to Atlanta's 16-yard line. On the next play wide receiver Jeremy Kerley hauled in a quick throw from Smith and dove in the end zone to extend the Jets' lead to 17-7.
Just before the end of the half, Gang Green made a goal line stand for the ages as it stopped Atlanta on the one-yard line with no time remaining and raced to the locker room with a double digit advantage.
The Falcons wasted little time in closing the gap as Ryan directed an eight play 65-yard drive as Jacquizz Rogers waltzed into the end zone for a four-yard score. Two possessions later the Jets would add a field goal to make it 20-14 with 3:17 left in the third quarter.
At the start of the final period Gang Green forced the Falcons on a three-and-out and Kerley returned the ensuing punt 24 yards to Atlanta's 38-yard line. After a 15-yard penalty for a horse collar tackle advanced the ball to the Falcons' 25, power back Chris Ivory rumbled up the middle for 19-yards; hurdling his way in the air towards the goal line. Two plays later, Smith ran a play action fake and lobbed the ball in the back of the end zone for Kellen Winslow who kept both feet in bounds for the score. With a commanding 27-14 lead at their disposal, it seemed as if the Jets were on their way to a comfortable victory.
The Falcons had other plans in mind.
Ryan and company breezed down the field on ten plays for 80-yards, capped by a 19-yard run by Rogers. The Jets went three-and-out on their next offensive possession and gave the Falcons the ball back with 5:40 remaining in the contest. On the second play of the ensuing possession, Ryan flung a pass deep down the sideline for wide receiver Julio Jones, who reeled in a one-handed catch for 49-yards.
Seven plays later, Atlanta faced a 4th-and-3 from the Jets' seven-yard line and linebacker DeMario Davis broke up a pass intended for Rogers and appeared to halt the Falcons in their tracks. A late flag hit the field and Davis was called for holding, giving Atlanta new life and it took advantage. Ryan found tight end Levine Toliolo for the go-ahead score.
The Jets were able to wrestle victory from the jaws of defeat as Smith engineered a brilliant eight play, 50-yard drive and Folk knocked his 44-yarder through the uprights at the buzzer to give New York the walk-off win.
The Jets improved to 3-2 while the Falcons dropped to 1-4 on the season. Gang Green is one-game back on the New England Patriots for first place in the division and faces the Pittsburgh Steelers this upcoming Sunday at MetLife Stadium.