Geno Smith and the New York Jets stunned the Falcons in Atlanta on Monday Night Football en route to a 30-28 victory. After Nick Folk kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired, Twitter was humming with snappy commentary on the game and bold predictions for both teams moving forward.
Coming off one of the worst individual performances of this NFL season that saw Geno Smith commit his eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th turnovers of the season, it was largely unknown how the Jets' rookie play-caller would fare on the national stage.
It turns out, however, that the bright lights of the Georgia Dome may have been exactly what Smith needed to get back on track.
The former West Virginia Mountaineer notched his most promising performance of his young career, throwing for 199 yards and three scores. More importantly, though, Smith's passes landed only in the hands of New York's receivers and not in those of the Atlanta secondary.
To punctuate the evening, Smith authored a 55-yard drive to put the Jets in field-goal range with only seconds left in the game.
Geno Smith last night had his 3rd game-winning drive in 4th quarter. MOST in the NFL this season.— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 8, 2013
Smith's performance Monday Night likely solidified his title as the Jets' starting quarterback, at least for now.
Some Tweets poked fun at former quarterback Mark Sanchez, who has been omnipresent on the New York sideline this season.
Mark Sanchez was hoping for a challenge on that Geno Smith TD pass.— SportsNation (@SportsNation) October 8, 2013
Through tonight, the Jets have paid Geno Smith a total of $2.15M. They've dished out $2.5M to Mark Sanchez this year.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) October 8, 2013
After the debacle that was the Jets' Week 4 matchup with the Tennessee Titans, many Jets fans were calling for Rex Ryan to bench Smith. Mike Greenberg of ESPN, however, wanted to remind everyone that all rookies experience episodes of first-year growing pains.
So, next time Geno Smith plays like a rookie, and he will, can we not start talking about benching him again? Thanks. #Jets— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) October 8, 2013
Once again New York's defense looked tough. The Jets now have the second-best defense in the NFL, and it certainly showed Monday night. Gang Green sacked Matt Ryan four times for a combined loss of 29 yards.
No matter what, give this much to the Jets: Their defense is NOOOOOOO JOKE!!! Atlanta had better wake up. Their season could be in jeopardy.— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) October 8, 2013
With their win Monday night, the Jets improve to a surprising 3-2 on the season. And when the floundering Pittsburgh Steelers come to MetLife Stadium next weekend, that mark could very well improve to 4-2. If Geno can limit his giveaways and play within himself, the Jets could surprise some teams in the AFC.
For Atlanta, things look bleak. A team that was once considered a serious contender is now 1-4 in one of the worst divisions in the NFL. Monday was a must-win for the Falcons who may very well fade into irrelevance.