Let’s get right to the grades for Rex Ryan’s team, on the back of yesterday’s lackluster performance in Nashville:
QUARTERBACK:D+ Geno Smith looked every bit the rookie that he is during yesterday’s game. He continued competing, and threw a TD late, but that doesn’t change the rest of the game. Four turnovers turned into 28 points, and those turnovers were directly attributable to Geno. He needs to protect that football, and even as a rookie, deserves the low-grade.
RUNNING BACKS:C+ Bilal Powell had a good game, with 14 rushes for 66 yards. However, with the longest run being 12 yards, he never, at any point, took any sort of control. The mark of a running back playing a great game is when he takes that football and runs like he is going to win the game by himself. The running game never did anything special to help take the load off of Geno, and the Jets finally had to abandon it because they were too far behind.
It was good, it just wasn’t anything special.
WIDE RECEIVERS AND TIGHT ENDS:C+ Again, this was a case where the group wasn’t a “problem”, but they didn’t do anything to assert themselves either. Kellen Winslow led with six catches for 73 yards. Jeremy Kerley added four receptions for 65 yards. Jeff Cumberland caught a 34 yard TD pass when the game was out of reach.
Part of the reason was that Geno wasn’t on target, but these guys didn’t do much to take over the game. Nobody demanded the ball, the way the top wide receivers do when they take over a game. And now, Hill and Holmes are hurt. God help us if either are serious.
OFFENSIVE LINE:C- This was a game full of inconsistency from the guys up front. When the running game was still in play, they blocked pretty well. Not so much for the passing game. Geno Smith was running for his life for most of the afternoon in Nashville. He was sacked five times, hurried and hit several others. There was one play in particular where the entire offensive line, all five of them, were pushed back into the quarterback.
Needless to say, this is not the way to help out your young quarterback.