Monday Night Football Preview: Jets at Falcons

Monday Night Football Preview

Welcome to the Gridiron Experts Ultimate Guide to Monday Night. Whether you are a fan of the teams doing battle, have fantasy football or gaming implications, or you’re simply looking for creative ways to increase your alcohol intake during the Monday Night Football telecast, we’ve got you covered. For the second week in a row, the NFC South plays host to MNF as the 2-2 New York Jets visit the 1-3 Atlanta Falcons.

New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons (-9.5)

New York has a top-12 offense in terms of yards per game, but through the first four weeks of the 2013 season, they are in the bottom five when it comes to putting points on the board. That’s what happens when you have a -10 turnover differential, the second worst in the NFL. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith has been the biggest culprit in the turnover department, but he’s also shown flashes of the potential that led New York to put him at the helm of the offense from day one. Even with injuries to several key skill players, the Jets should be able to move the ball against a Falcons defense that gives up more yards per game than all but six other NFL teams. We have Bilal Powell as a top-10 fantasy option at running back this week, and I think Jeremy Kerley is a sleeper as well, especially in PPR leagues. However, I don’t know that Smith and company have enough fire power to keep pace with Atlanta’s high-octane passing game.

The Falcons haven’t lost three straight games during the Matt Ryan era, but they will be staring down that dubious streak on Monday night. Converting opportunities has been Atlanta’s Achilles heel this season, as the team ranks 29th in the league in red-zone production at 38.9%, including just one touchdown on six trips inside New England’s 20-yard line last week. The Falcons’ defense has also been a problem, giving up 26 points per game and recording just seven sacks through four games. However, a visit from a an opposing quarterback that was tied for the league lead in total turnovers heading into Week 5 could be just what Atlanta’s defense needs to get on track. Offensively, fantasy owners can expect much of the same from the Falcons, with solid production from Ryan, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez, while Roddy White continues to be limited by an ankle injury and a Steven Jackson-less running game is held in check by a Jets defense that allows just 79.2 yards per game. A sneaky fantasy option could be Harry Douglas, whom we have projected as a top-30 receiver for Week 5.

My Prediction:

If Atlanta keeps settling for field goals in the red zone, the Jets might be able to control the ball with Bilal Powell and the running game, and hang around long enough to be in this game at the end. However, I think turnovers will continue to haunt New York and I expect a generally poor Falcons defense to make a few big plays against Geno Smith in primetime. The outcome of this game could be very close to the 9.5-point spread, but I’ll take the Falcons and lay the points.

Atlanta 27, New York 17

 

MNF Drinking Game

The matchup on the football field doesn’t have to be the only game in town on Monday night. Get a group together, grab your favorite beer and a bottle of liquor, and enjoy the Gridiron Experts MNF Drinking Game.

  • Take one drink for every handoff to a running back
  • Take one shot every time a team attempts to convert on fourth down
  • Take one drink for every penalty
  • Take one drink for every Matt Ryan incomplete pass
  • Take one drink for every Geno Smith completion
  • Take one shot for every turnover by a Jets quarterback (Geno Smith or otherwise)
  • Take one shot every time Steven Jackson is shown on the sideline in street clothes
  • Take one drink every time ESPN plays a song with Georgia in the title during the telecast (for example, Georgia On My Mind, Midnight Train to Georgia, or The Devil Went Down to Georgia)
  • Take one shot every time Jon Gruden says someone does something “the right way”

Beer of the Week

Monday Night Football PreviewThe Beer of the Week represents a tasty offering from the city/region hosting the week’s Monday Night Football contest. Feel free to incorporate the Beer of the Week into the MNF Drinking Game.

SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale – Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewing Company started churning out West Coast style beers – very hoppy, often with an aroma of citrus and pine – in 1997. On April 20th (4/20) of that year, the company first brewed what has become one of its most popular offerings, the SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale. Despite its heavy hop notes, this beer is easy to drink, with a balance of malt and citrus playing nicely off of each other. The SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale isn’t widely available outside of the Southeast market, but it’s a treat for those that can get their hands on it for this week’s Falcons game.

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