Desmond Ridder completed 12 of 27 passes for 121 yards and the game’s only touchdown to lead the Atlanta Falcons past the hapless New York Jets 13-8 on Sunday in rainy East Rutherford, N.J.
The Falcons (6-6) moved to .500 with their second straight victory and continued to hold onto first place in the NFC South.
The Jets (4-8), meanwhile, benched a quarterback for the second time in three weeks as they lost their fifth game in a row.
Tim Boyle went 14-of-25 passing for 148 yards and one interception before being replaced early in the fourth quarter by journeyman backup Trevor Siemian. Zach Wilson remained the team’s QB3 after his recent demotion.
The Jets had a few chances to piece together a touchdown drive during the fourth, but they went nowhere. Siemian had a pass to his right side ruled incomplete as Atlanta’s Richie Grant hit his arm during the throwing motion. But the Falcons challenged, and the call was changed to a lost fumble recovered by Grant.
New York got one more chance with the ball and made it to its own 30-yard line before turning it over on downs. The Jets’ offense has scored two touchdowns in the past five games.
Bijan Robinson had 53 rushing yards to help Atlanta outgain New York 259-194.
The Jets managed to score first thanks to their defense. The Falcons were backed up to their own 2-yard line, and Quinnen Williams and Ashtyn Davis stopped Robinson’s carry in the end zone with 1:36 left in the first quarter.
Atlanta linebacker Nate Landman forced Dalvin Cook to fumble early in the second quarter and Dee Alford recovered for the Falcons. Six plays later, Ridder went over the top to MyCole Pruitt for a 20-yard touchdown.
The Jets responded with a 12-play, 66-yard drive that included a fourth-and-1 conversion on a sneak by Boyle, but they settled for a 27-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein.
Younghoe Koo’s 22-yard field goal as time expired made it 10-5 Atlanta at halftime.
The Jets entered Atlanta territory again on the first drive of the second half, but again they could not do better than a field goal as Zuerlein connected from 46 yards. The Falcons responded by traveling 51 yards in 14 plays and tacking on Koo’s 42-yarder with 3:38 left in the quarter.
After Boyle overthrew Garrett Wilson and Jessie Bates III grabbed his fifth interception of the season, the Jets sent Siemian out for the next drive with 13 minutes left in regulation.