EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Marcus Mariota is feeling — and taking part in — like a starter once more.
After main Atlanta to scores on two of his three drives within the Falcons’ 24-16 loss towards principally New York Jets backups Monday night time, Mariota seems to have strengthened his maintain on the quarterback job.
“The final couple years have been a great reset for me, however I’m excited concerning the alternative, enthusiastic about this workforce,” stated Mariota, who was a backup the final two years in Las Vegas and hasn’t began a regular-season recreation since 2019 with Tennessee.
Mariota was 6 of 10 for 132 yards and a landing cross to Olamide Zaccheaus earlier than giving technique to rookie Desmond Ridder with a 10-0 lead within the second quarter.
“I’m happy with Marcus,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith stated. “Regarded like he acquired into a great rhythm.”
Ridder, a third-round pick of Cincinnati, wasn’t too shabby, both, going 10 of 13 for 143 yards and main the Falcons to 2 area targets throughout his three collection that have been marred by penalties.
“He’s younger, spunky and he’s displaying flashes out right here right now,” stated tight finish Kyle Pitts, one in every of only some projected Falcons starters who performed.
Pitts made his presence felt rapidly with a 52-yard reception on Atlanta’s second play from scrimmage. He acquired large open on Bryce Corridor, who’s competing with rookie Sauce Gardner for a beginning job at cornerback, to place the Falcons on the Jets 9.
“Nicely, you understand, it makes it straightforward whenever you’ve acquired a man like Kyle,” Mariota stated. “However yeah, we felt good concerning the participant, felt good concerning the look and hats off to Kyle for executing it.”
The drive stalled, although, and the Falcons needed to accept a 23-yard area objective by Younghoe Koo. However Mariota led Atlanta into the tip zone on the following possession. He hit a wide-open Anthony Firkser for a 39-yard achieve to get to the Jets 14, after which discovered Zaccheaus for a 13-yard TD two performs later.
The Jets sat most of their projected starters, together with quarterback Joe Flacco — who took over as New York’s QB1 rather than the injured Zach Wilson. Coach Robert Saleh stated after the sport the Jets will deal with this week as a “gown rehearsal” for the common season and the starters are anticipated to play Sunday towards the Giants.
Wilson is out a number of weeks as he recovers from a bone bruise and surgically repaired torn meniscus in his proper knee, along with his availability for the season opener towards Baltimore on Sept. 11 unsure. It might be Flacco beneath middle if Wilson cannot go, however Mike White acquired the beginning towards the Falcons and was principally ineffective with the backups.
White went 12 of 17 for 90 yards, and the offense punted on every of his first 4 collection earlier than Greg Zuerlein’s 44-yard area objective ended the primary half with the Jets trailing 16-3.
“It was a type of preseason video games the place you couldn’t get right into a rhythm,” White stated.
Fourth-stringer Chris Streveler, who hadn’t thrown a cross in workforce drills earlier than main the Jets to 2 touchdowns within the preseason opener at Philadelphia, was at it once more towards Atlanta.
The previous CFL quarterback, who had earlier NFL stints with Arizona, Baltimore and Miami, changed White within the third quarter and engineered TD drives in his first two collection.
First got here a 34-yard TD cross to Lawrence Cager, then an eight-play drive that was capped by La’Mical Perine’s 7-yard run that gave the Jets a 17-16 lead 11 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Streveler completed 8 of 11 for 119 yards and the TD, and was intercepted by Teez Tabor. He additionally led the Jets with 33 yards dashing on six carries.
SCOOP AND SCORE
Jets defensive lineman Bradlee Anae, competing for a roster spot on a deep unit, made his case to stay round. He sacked Franks, inflicting him to fumble, after which picked up the ball and rumbled 30 yards into the tip zone for a landing within the rain that gave New York a 24-16 lead.
Ridder led the Falcons to the Jets 1 in his first collection, however a false begin penalty on offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield on fourth down had Atlanta choose as an alternative for a 23-yard area objective by Koo.
The subsequent drive featured 5 extra penalties — 4 on the Falcons, with one declined — and Atlanta settled for a 30-yard area objective.
“We’ve acquired to be extra disciplined,” Smith stated. “We’ve acquired to function cleaner. We’ve acquired to complete these drives within the purple zone.”
Atlanta completed with 13 penalties for 121 yards. New York wasn’t significantly better: The Jets have been penalized 11 instances for 104 yards.
“It was sloppy on either side,” Saleh stated.
Jets WR Tarik Black was being evaluated for a concussion. … Jets WR Irvin Charles left with a rib damage within the fourth quarter.
Falcons: Wrap up their preseason schedule by internet hosting Jacksonville on Saturday.
Jets: Host the Giants on Sunday of their annual preseason showdown.