Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Drive of the Game: Geno delivers
By Rich Cimini
A look back at the key drive in the New York Jets' 30-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons:
The Drive: Eight plays, 55 yards, setting up Nick Folk's game-winning field goal as time expired.
The Situation: All quarterbacks dream about this situation. Down by a point, Geno Smith got the ball at his 20-yard line, with 1:54 remaining in the fourth quarter. He had all three timeouts, needing about 50 yards to get into Folk's range.
What Happened: This was textbook execution from the coaching handbook: Two-Minute Drill 101. Smith started out with a 12-yard slant to Stephen Hill, his first catch of the game. The clock kept ticking as the Jets went to no-huddle for the next three plays -- a 13-yard slant to Jeremy Kerley, another 9 yards to Hill and an 8-yard scramble by Smith out of bounds that stopped the clock at 37 seconds, ball on the Falcons 37. Almost within Folk's range, they got conservative, running Bilal Powell off left tackle for 4 yards (followed by a timeout) and throwing to Clyde Gates for 3 yards (another timeout).
On a third down from the 31, Smith was in shotgun for a pass play, but he recognized a look in the Atlanta defense, deciding to audible to a run. It nearly backfired, as DT Jordan Babineaux knifed into the backfield for what should've been a tackle behind the line. But Powell slipped the tackle and gained 6 yards -- six huge yards. Rex Ryan let the clock bleed to three seconds before using his final timeout. In came Folk, who nailed it from 43 yards.
The Impact: It lifted the Jets to a stunning upset and may have ruined the Falcons' playoff aspirations. It stamped Smith's arrival on a national stage, a tremendous turnaround after last week's poor outing in Tennessee. The Jets improved to 3-2, moving into a second-place tie with the Miami Dolphins. Who'da thunk it?