Jets vs. Falcons score, takeaways: Marcus Mariota, Desmond Ridder sharp for Atlanta in defeat

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The New York Jets topped the Atlanta Falcons, 24-16, in the final game of preseason Week 2. 

Atlanta took a 16-0 lead in the first half behind efficient performances from both Marcus Mariota (6 of 10 for 132 yards and a touchdown) and Desmond Ridder (10 of 13 for 143 yards), but New York rallied for a late-second-quarter field goal drive and then staged a post-halftime comeback once the deep backups entered the game.

The Jets got their touchdowns courtesy of wide receiver Lawrence Cager on a 34-yard crossing route, running back La'Mical Perine on a seven-yard run that he bounced to the edge out of a crowded box, and edge rusher Bradlee Anae on a fumble recovery that he took to the house to give New York the lead for good. Atlanta had one last chance to tie the game toward the end of the fourth quarter, but Felipe Franks' pass sailed over the head of tight end Anthony Firkser and went out of bounds. 

Why the Jets won

Well, mostly because their third-string offense found a way to move the ball, and Atlanta's did not. It began with a drive late in the first half, on which Denzel Mims made the big play to get the team into field goal range. After halftime, Chris Streveler made some plays with his arm and his legs, including a touchdown toss to Cager and multiple scrambles that kept drives alive. Meanwhile, New York's defense held Franks to just 2 of 6 passing for eight yards after giving up 275 yards to Mariota and Ridder on just 23 attempts. 

Why the Falcons lost

Franks and the third-string offense got completely shut down by the Jets defense, while Streveler was able to find some holes in Atlanta's coverage unit that weren't available to Mike White for much of the first half. Plus, Atlanta's offensive line failed to create any rushing lanes for Caleb Huntley, who was repeatedly stopped at or around the line of scrimmage, including on a couple of short-yardage opportunities. Plus, Franks was not accurate when counted on to throw the ball. 

Highlight play

With New York holding a 1-point lead early in the fourth quarter, the Falcons faced a third-and-8 from their own 40-yard line. That's when Anae made what turned out to be the game-clinching play. 

Anae did an excellent job not biting too hard on Franks' play-action fake and sticking with the quarterback as he attempted to scramble out to the left side. He dove and got enough of Franks' legs to get the quarterback to the ground, where his attempt to brace his fall with the football resulted in a fumble. From there, all Anae had to do was pick it up and take it to the end zone himself. 

What's next

The Jets square off against their MetLife Stadium brethren, the New York Giants, in their final preseason game of the 2022 season. The Jets are technically the home team for that matchup, for whatever that's worth. They'll look to improve to 3-0 in their tune-up games before getting ready for the Ravens in Week 1. 

The Falcons host the Jacksonville Jaguars in their final preseason contest. That game will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. They'll then have a bit more than two weeks to get ready for their season opener against the division rival New Orleans Saints.

Live updates
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Streveler picks up a first down on a scramble and it looks like the Jets will take this one. They were down 16-0 and scored 23 consecutive points with the deep backups in the game.

August 23, 2022, 3:06 AM
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Franks was looking for Firkser on a fake rub route fade and he just ... couldn't get there. Way overshot the throw anyway.

August 23, 2022, 2:59 AM
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Denzel Mims had a shot to make another big play down the field -- on a dangerous throw by Chris Streveler -- but Teez Tabor got in there for an interception instead. Throw was left too far inside.

August 23, 2022, 2:51 AM
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And it stands. Bradlee Anae with the sack-fumble-recovery-touchdown. It's been all Jets after halftime.

August 23, 2022, 2:43 AM
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It'll be interesting to see if this holds on on review. The ground can't cause a fumble but it looks like the ball was the only thing touching the ground, which makes me think it's a legit fumble.

August 23, 2022, 2:42 AM
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Felipe Franks got some nice speed to the corner on that bootleg and it results in a Falcons first down.

August 23, 2022, 2:35 AM
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Lamical Perine with a nice cut to get to the edge and finds the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown run.

August 23, 2022, 2:31 AM
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Almost a really nice grab down the sideline by Tarik Black. Defender got there a bit early and hit him pretty hard and now he's down with some sort of injury.

August 23, 2022, 2:28 AM
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Lawrence Cager into the end zone for the Jets. Wide the heck open on a crossing route underneath. Second nice play of the drive for him.

August 23, 2022, 2:05 AM
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Nice play on the edge by Tony Adams, stopping Huntley from picking up the first down on third-and-short.

August 23, 2022, 1:58 AM
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Greg the Leg knocks down the 44-yard field goal to make it 16-3 Atlanta at halftime.

August 23, 2022, 1:36 AM
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Welp. I was wrong about that. Mike White with a couple nice throws to get the Jets pretty close to field goal range. Denzel Mims making a nice play down the field. He's fallen deep down the depth chart despite being a former second-round pick.

August 23, 2022, 1:34 AM
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Now 16-0 Falcons. Seems likely the Jets just take us to halftime on this final possession, but we shall see.

August 23, 2022, 1:30 AM
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They're handing out penalties for free tonight. Already 15 of them in the first half. That'll happen in a game featuring mostly backups and third-stringers, I suppose.

August 23, 2022, 1:29 AM
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Another big play for the Atlanta passing game, this time Jared Bernhardt on a crossing route. He's a former lacrosse player.

August 23, 2022, 1:22 AM
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Ridder had started his night 7-7 passing, but just had a miscommunication with a receiver and got called for intentional grounding on top of it.

August 23, 2022, 1:18 AM
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It's 13-0 Atlanta now. Jets have not gotten much of anything going offensively just yet.

August 23, 2022, 1:09 AM
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Falcons line up to go for it on fourth-and-goal but there's movement up front. Backed up to the 6-yard line now.

August 23, 2022, 1:08 AM
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Cameron Batson got laid out by Will Parks on that quick screen. Sheesh.

August 23, 2022, 1:03 AM
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Atlanta's tight ends keep getting open for big plays. Taking advantage of holes in coverage.

August 23, 2022, 12:59 AM
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Desmond Ridder in the game in place of Mariota now. Mariota finished 6 of 10 for 132 and the touchdown to Zaccheus. 

August 23, 2022, 12:59 AM
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First Team All-Pro return man Braxton Berrios (from? THE U!) with the fair catch right there folks.

August 23, 2022, 12:46 AM
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That's a really nice contested catch by Garrett Wilson. Should be a top target for Zach Wilson, once he gets back on the field.

August 23, 2022, 12:37 AM
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Olamide Zaccheus gets the touchdown on a skinny post from 13 yards out. Really nice throw by Marcus Mariota, who has been excellent through two drives: 6 of 8 for 132 yards and a score.

August 23, 2022, 12:33 AM
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That's the second big play to a Falcons tight end in the passing game. 52 yards for Kyle Pitts earlier, now 40 for Anthony Firkser.

August 23, 2022, 12:30 AM
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Surprising to see Breece Hall out here for the Jets, given the reports that the vast majority of the starters would not play tonight. Perhaps an indication that Michael Carter is still ahead of the rookie on the depth chart.

August 23, 2022, 12:21 AM
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FALCONS SCORE: Atlanta's field goal attempt is GOOD. Falcons lead 3-0 after their first drive.

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The Jets stop the Falcons on fourth-and-goal. The Falcons offense comes off the field for a field goal attempt. 

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Jets quarterback Joe Flacco is not expected to play and QB Mike White will get the start.

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