Analyzing Matt Simms First NFL Start

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Aug 29, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Matt Simms (5) throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half of a preseason game at Metlife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Simms made his first career NFL start two nights ago, when the Jets took on the Philadelphia Eagles. Overall, it was a very good outing, 33-44 for 285 yards, despite the fact that it took place against backup players. The NFL is still the NFL, it was a good performance.

So, how to pass the time? How about we take a look at how he did? Let’s breakdown Matt’s performance, taking a look at the good and the bad.


In spite of what some Tweets had to say the other night, I was quite impressed with Simms’ footwork. He always kept his feet moving. He set his feet nicely on pretty much every throw. He stepped nicely on each throw, unless he was being rushed, and even then he stood in there.

No matter what the pass rush did to him, Simms was able to buy himself enough time to get off a strong throw. He some strong “pops”, but came back for more, clearly passing the “flinch” test. He showed he could stand up to an NFL pass rush, and make strong throws.


Matt Simms has unquestionable arm strength. Just look at the tape from the other night. There wasn’t a throw that he couldn’t make. The short passes were strong, and the long ones went the distance with ease. Not only did they get there, the majority of them were accurate. Some he did overthrow, but we are talking about arm strength here. No questions about this part of his game.


He had some mistakes in this area, but for the most part, Matt Simms was dead on. Take a look at this 17 yard completion from early in the game to Michael Campbell. Here I am going to show you the iso on Campbell, from the broadcast.

Here, Michael Campbell is locked up one on one with cornerback. He gets off the line cleanly, and runs a route where he runs down the field, and stops after approximately 15 yards to look over his outside shoulder. Look at where Matt places this ball.

Right on the outside shoulder, where only Campbell can get to it. The defender has no time to react, and the only way he can stop the catch would have been to interfere with Campbell. He didn’t and it was a 17 yard hookup.

Looked accurate to me.

There were many accurate passes on the night, but he had some difficulty because of………….


There were a few passes that Matt dropped right on the money, but there were drops, and/or balls that went through the receiver’s hands. The worst one was the deep ball up the right side to Zach Rogers, approximately 30-35 yards downfield. Simms put it where it would have had Rogers perfectly in stride, but instead, this:

The pass was through his hands and incomplete. Simms couldn’t have thrown it any better. This didn’t help Matt’s cause, as did some other drops. There were a couple of surprising fumbles, one from Spadola and one from Reuland as well. 33-44 is a terrific debut, but it could have been even better.

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  • Paul Newbold

    Good piece on Simms. He has taken steps forward with his footwork, as you pointed out. The improved footwork has helped in the accuracy department and I don’t think anyone ever doubted the arm strength. He impressed in his first start, not so much in the stats, but rather in his confidence. He seems to have a good grasp of the system and Marty opened it up for him. He moved the ball well, and seemed to know exactly where his receivers were at on the field. Impressive outing, no matter if it was the 3′s and 4′s. With Sanchez down and McElroy likely to be cut, I think Simms has made a case for himself to at least be considered for a bigger role. If they deem Geno not ready for game 1, it would appear he could get the start game1.

    • Alan Schechter

      Thanks Paul. I think he deserves it as well.

  • matr dontelli iii

    I was listening on Thursday, not watching so i didn’t see matt. i did see how bad geno was the week before. If markie is not ready to go I think Matt would make more sense than geno. If geno starts and fails then what? Pull him?until when? Great way to shoot his confidence right for the start. I think we’d be better off with Simms and then geno when he’s ready. But what do I know?

    • TheJetPress

      I don’t disagree here, but I guess that is why we don’t get the big bucks LOL

  • Frank Antonelli

    The only way Simms starts is if Geno and Mark are hurt. Let’s face it they got all the reps with the ones. Matt has only played with the twos. They are not going to start him unless they have to.

    However, I’d still like to see it happen so we can see exactly what we have in Simms. If the excuse is that Geno and Mark aren’t ready it allows them to bring back either one if Simms fails. They could do that without any fallout.

    I personally think he would have a strong game and possibly keep the job for the rest of the season. Hopefully the objective is to find the best QB regardless of past history or draft status.

    • TheJetPress

      I agree Frank, that would be a way to go about it