Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#431 Atlanta Falcons vs.
#432 New York Jets
Monday, August 22, 2022 at 8:00pm EDT
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford
Written by Chris King

Week 2 of the NFL preseason slate closes with an inter-conference tilt between a pair of teams that struggled in 2021 on the gridiron in the Garden State. The Atlanta Falcons are on the road as they make the trip up the east coast to face the New York Jets on Monday night. Atlanta comes in off a 27-23 road victory over Detroit in their preseason opener on August 12. New York picked up a 24-21 road win over Philadelphia in their preseason opener back on August 12. In the most recent preseason meeting, the Jets took a 22-10 road win on August 15, 2019, marking the first win for then-coach Adam Gase with the franchise.

Falcons Looking to Build Off Preseason Opener

Atlanta had their ups and downs, as one would expect with a young team, but managed to put it together enough to drop the Lions on the road in their preseason opener. The Falcons were tied at seven after the opening quarter, at 17 at the half and at 20 after three quarters. Atlanta trailed 23-20 late in the fourth quarter but forced a turnover in Detroit territory. That set them up for a five-play, 33-yard drive that ended in a touchdown pass from rookie Desmond Ridder to Jared Bernhardt with 1:30 to play to give the Falcons the victory. In the game, Atlanta was outgained 393-307 in total offense, gave up 26 first downs while picking up 19 and lost the time of possession 33:50 to 26:10 yet prevailed. The Falcons forced a pair of turnovers while not committing any, which proved critical in the contest.

Marcus Mariota got the start at quarterback for the Falcons. He completed both his throws for 36 yards while adding three carries for 23 yards plus a score. Desmond Ridder, in his first pro action, acquitted himself fairly well as he completed 10 of 22 passes for 103 yards plus a pair of scores while adding six rushes for a team-high 59 yards. In the run game, Qadree Ollison (five carries, 33 yards), rookie Tyler Allgaier (three carries, 25 yards), Caleb Huntley (eight carries, 18 yards) and Damien Williams (three carries, 10 yards) are trying to create some separation and earn the starting job. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Allgaier ended up winning the role as the preseason wears on. In the passing game, only Frank Darby (two catches, 14 yards) caught more than one pass as the team spread the ball around. This week will be a prime opportunity for guys like first-round pick Drake London (catch, 24 yards), Geronimo Allison (reception, 20 yards) and Damiere Byrd (grab, 20 yards) to perhaps get some run and establish themselves as potential starters as some guys to help take pressure off Kyle Pitts in the passing game.

Jets Hoping to Avoid More Injuries

New York managed to win their preseason opener but the fact remains that there was a price involved in the victory. The Jets lost tackle Mekhi Becton, likely for the season, with another knee injury, forcing them to pick up Duane Brown off the free agent wire to take his spot. In the preseason opener, the Jets lost starting quarterback Zach Wilson with a knee injury: he underwent surgery and is questionable at best for the start of the season next month. As it played out, the Jets were down 14-0 after the opening quarter, 14-3 at the half and 14-10 after three quarters. They led 17-14 in the fourth, trailed 21-17 and then covered 53 yards in six plays, capped by a five-yard touchdown pass from Chris Streveler to Calvin Jackson with 16 seconds to play to earn the win. The Jets were outgained 311-302 in total offense and lost the time of possession 30:52 to 29:08 in the contest. Both teams turned the ball over once and recorded 18 first downs.

Zach Wilson was three of five for 23 yards plus an interception while adding seven yards on the ground before going down with a knee injury. Mike White was 10 of 20 for 98 yards while Streveler hit six of nine throws for 68 yards and a pair of scores plus 31 rushing yards. La’Mical Perine led the ground game with 10 carries for 51 yards. First-round pick Breece Hall (five carries, 15 yards) and Zonovan Knight (six carries, 13 yards) saw more work than last year’s starter Michael Carter II (three carries, five yards) in the contest. It will be interesting to see if Hall supplants Carter II at the top of the food chain. Tight end Tyler Conklin led the team with three grabs for 23 yards in the contest. Lawrence Cager (two catches, 40 yards), Denzel Mims (two grabs, 25 yards), Garrett Wilson (two receptions, 25 yards) and Jeff Smith (catch, 20 yards) look to try and make an impact to move up the depth chart behind Elijah Moore and Corey Davis.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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Both teams are still rebuilding with plenty of youth dotting the rosters. The loss of Wilson means Robert Saleh will likely be extremely cautious with Joe Flacco, who is #1 on the depth chart at the moment, in the final two preseason games. That means we’ll see a lot of White and Streveler in this contest. Mariota didn’t get much in the way of action in the opener as Ridder got plenty of run in order to show that he could potentially be a starter at this level. The question remains whether to have faith in either of these teams given the unsettled depth charts and the unproven commodities at skill positions. In the end, the Jets seem to try a little harder and that proves to be the difference. White and Streveler get it done for the hosts as they improve to 2-0 in meaningless games.

Prediction: New York Jets +2

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both teams were in high-scoring affairs in their preseason openers. The Falcons rung up 27 points en route to a 50-point total, which blew past the 35-point total that was set for the contest. That contest was over the number midway through the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Jets saw a total of 45 points in their preseason opener as they rolled past the total of 35.5 points. Of course, that didn’t take place until the final two minutes but hey, you take the overs where you can get them. After seeing the way things broke for both teams in their openers, look for this contest to wind up going over the total as well.

Prediction: Over 39.5
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Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.