- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
ATLANTA -- A few thoughts on the first half:
1. Who kidnapped Geno Smith?: The New York Jets' rookie quarterback was fantastic, completing 8 of 9 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns. That, by the way, is a perfect passer rating -- 158.3. What happened to the turnover-prone guy from the first four games? Smith picked apart a vulnerable Atlanta Falcons defense with some great play calling by Marty Mornhinweg. He hit tight end Jeff Cumberland three times for 79 yards and a touchdown. Cumberland was the best tight end on the field, including the future Hall of Famer, Tony Gonzalez.
2. New looks on offense: Mornhinweg broke out some new formations, including a three-back pistol set. He ran some Wildcat and he utilized Mike Goodson, who made his Jets debut and contributed with a 26-yard run out of the Wildcat. For a change, Mornhinweg didn't put it all on Smith's shoulders, using the running game to set up play-action. The Jets scored on their first three drives for the first time since 2008, the year of Brett Favre.
3. Goal-line stand: The Jets closed the half with all the momentum, stuffing the frustrated Falcons with a remakable goal-line stand. Despite two defensive penalties, they kept the Falcons out of the end zone on four plays inside the 5, including a run-stuff from the 1 with one second left. The Jets were so fired up that they sprinted to the locker room. The Falcons, with their season slipping away, heard boos from the crowd. Save for one bad drive, it was a terrific half by the Jets' defense, which dominated the line of scrimmage.