(Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
New York Jets vs Atlanta Falcons takes place on Monday Night Football tonight with the Falcons desperate to get their season back on track following three losses in the opening four weeks of the NFL 2013 regular season. The game will start at 8.40 p.m. ET and can be watched online through free live stream (details below).
The Falcons come into this game at 1-3 and on the verge of a full blown crisis. They have high expectations to be contenders this season, but another bad month in October could extinguish their hopes early on of making the postseason.
The New Orleans Saints have taken a tight grip over the NFC South division, and are 5-0. If the Falcons lose tonight they would be four games back from the Saints and it would be a long way back for them – not impossible but certainly improbable.
The Falcons have been known to struggle on Monday nights, and they rank bottom in the entire NFL for their results on Monday Night Football. In a total of 34 Monday Night Football games, the Falcons are 10-24 – a win ratio of .294.
Those behind the Atlanta team will be quick to point out that such stats don't really hold much tangible sway over proceedings tonight, but so bad is their record on Monday's that it does leave an lingering thought.
The good news for the Falcons is that the Jets have also struggled on Monday nights – not as bad as Atlanta, but the Falcons will take any glimmers of light in a difficult season so far.
It's hard to remember that the Falcons were just a play from making the Super Bowl last season, and even though they ultimately fell short, their fans and players would have had high hopes they could go one better this season. However, things just haven't panned out, and the team has looked a shadow of the team towards the end of last season.
Losses to the Saints, Dolphins, and Patriots, means Atlanta have already lost as many games as last season in total, and the three losses have severely damaged their prospects for this season. So far they have only claimed one win, a 31-24 win over the St Louis Rams.
If they are to turn things around they will have to sort out their defense, which has conceded 23 or more points in every single one of the game so far.
They will look to take advantage of a Jets team, which although at 2-2, have had their fair share of difficulties in offense and defense. The Jets are ranked 28th in total points scored this season, and ranked 31st in turnovers – they've given the ball away 12 times over their four games, which includes eight interceptions by Geno Smith.
Rookie Smith has been a mixed bag, showing signs of excellent skill, but also repeatedly has struggled at other times. The Jets will hope he can grow into his position quickly and gain more consistency – which should in turn help the Jets to gain more consistency as the season progresses.
New York Jets vs Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football starts at 8.40 p.m. ET and can be watched on TV on the ESPN network or online through free live stream by clicking here.