As the Falcons and Jets prepare to faceoff in their Monday Night Football matchup, Jets' head coach Rex Ryan and cornerback Antonio Cromartie took some time to speak to the Atlanta media about their thoughts going into the game.
The Jets, who have started the season with a 2-2 record, have had some highlights but equally some lowlights, according to Ryan.
He considers their young football team and their new players — they have seven new starters on defense and five new starters on offense — along with rookie quarterback Geno Smith bringing the team back in the fourth quarter in their two wins to be big positives for the team.
As for negatives, Ryan said the team desperately has to work in reducing their penalties and turnovers, something they're doing at an "alarming rate." Regardless, he believes they'll get better in both areas.
One of the strong points for the Jets this season has been their defense, but Ryan knows that they're up against a tough offense in the Falcons, headlined by quarterback Matt Ryan.
"Atlanta is seventh in the league in fewest sacks given up so that's something that jumps out at you and also seventh in the league in total offense," Rex Ryan said. "(Matt Ryan) is on fire, there's no question. He's so accurate with the football, you can see his preparation is obviously tremendous. I don't know if he's quite there yet with Brady and Manning, but he's certainly close."
Both him and Cromartie also praised wide receiver Julio Jones, with Ryan saying that it was "kind of scary" how he still manages to execute and lead the league in receiving yards given how much he gets covered.
"He's has double coverage and he still has over 100 receiving yards," Cromartie said. "It just shows you what kind of guy he is and what his talents and attributes are."
Given the challenge the Jets know they're faced, Ryan admitted that he consulted with his brother Rob Ryan, the defensive coordinator of the Saints, who the Falcons faced in Week 1.
"Yeah, I did (talk to him). Of course. Absolutely," Ryan said. "We're so different defensively, but without question you'll talk to people. But we're going to do what we have to do and Atlanta is going to do what they have to do."