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(Sunday, December 20th)
Final Score: Atlanta 10, NY Jets 7
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Matt Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez on a six- yard touchdown pass with 1:38 to play in the fourth quarter, as Atlanta topped the New York Jets, 10-7, at the Meadowlands.
Ryan, who missed the last two weeks with turf toe, threw for 152 yards and the deciding score on 16-of-34 passes for the Falcons (7-7), who had dropped four of five. Despite the win, Atlanta was officially eliminated from playoff contention after Dallas' win Saturday over the Saints.
Gonzalez finished with three catches for 32 yards, and Jason Snelling rushed for 59 yards on 16 carries. Michael Turner, who returned from a two-week absence with a sprained ankle, gained just seven yards before leaving the game at the half after hurting the same ankle.
After missing last week's game with a sprained knee, Mark Sanchez completed 18-of-32 passes for 226 yards, one score and three interceptions for the Jets (7-7), who saw their three-game win streak halted.
Braylon Edwards led all receivers with 105 yards and a TD on five receptions.
Matt Bryant just missed a 48-yarder wide left due to wind with 10:10 left in regulation, and the Jets reached deep into Falcons territory on their ensuing drive only to see Jay Feely's 37-yard attempt blocked.
Atlanta then drove 73 yards in 11 plays for the winning score. Snelling's 20-yard dash to the Jets' seven before the two-minute warning gave the visitors a 1st-and-goal. Snelling gained one yard on the first play, Ryan overthrew his receiver on second down, then was nearly picked off on third down.
On fourth down, though, Ryan snuck a pass between a pair of defenders to Gonzalez just over the goal line for the go-ahead score with 1:38 left in regulation.
"Everybody was confident," said Ryan. "We felt like we were close throughout most of the game, but we made plays when we really needed them."
New York's final drive ended with 1:05 left, when Brent Grimes nabbed a Sanchez pass near midfield; Ryan took a knee twice to end the game.
Thomas DeCoud picked off Sanchez on a 3rd-and-11 during the Jets' first drive, and the Falcons got the ball on the Jets' 35. New York managed to stop Atlanta on three consecutive plays from the one-yard line, and, after a delay-of-game penalty, Bryant hit a 24-yarder for a 3-0 game.
Both teams failed to move the ball on subsequent series before Sanchez connected with Edwards on a 65-yard TD strike to take the lead.
Late in the second quarter, the Falcons put together a goal-line stand, and the Jets came away with no points when holder Kellen Clemens was tackled on a botched fake field goal attempt.
Feely then missed a 38-yard attempt on the final play of the half.
"We left nine points out there as a field goal unit," said Feely. "That just kills you. It just hurts. To lose that game that way and not come through, it's very frustrating and disheartening."
Atlanta has won six of the 10 all-time meetings, and four of the last five dating back to 1992...The Falcons have also won three of five over the Jets in north Jersey...The Jets outgained the Falcons, 314-238.
12/20 19:00:23 ET
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