Let’s get right to the grades for Rex Ryan and company, on the back of last night’s 30-28 road win:
QUARTERBACK:A Anyone who reads this knows that I am not quick to give out A’s, but Geno Smith deserves one for last night. He was mature, he was smart, he was accurate with the football, and he took care of the football. Furthermore, he showed excellent poise, far beyond his years. There were times last night when veteran quarterbacks would have folded up, but Geno didn’t, making plays when they had to be made, including that game winning drive. His final tally, 16-20 for 199 yards and three touchdowns.
RUNNING BACKS:B Nobody made a huge statement on their own, but make no mistake, the running backs helped out a great deal. Having the three-headed monster of Powell, Ivory, and Goodson was huge, and each of them contributed a bit. As a group they averaged over five yards per carry, and Mike Goodson posted a 26 yard run en-route to three carries for 32 yards. Chris Ivory was clearly healthy as well with over six yards per carry on his own. This group has a lot of potential moving forward.
WIDE RECEIVERS AND TIGHT ENDS:A- Geno Smith spread the ball around, and all eight guys that were called upon responded with catches. Clyde Gates even made a catch without a drop, although he would have scored a touchdown if he had not tripped over his own feet. Well, he’s still Clyde Gates. Nobody is mistaking him for Megatron.
Jeff Cumberland was the breakout star with his three catches. Kellen Winslow made a beautiful touchdown cash along the sideline, and Jeremy Kerley made a an excellent play at the pylon for his touchdown. Great job all around.
OFFENSIVE LINE:B+ The offensive line had a good performance, with Brian Winters taking over for Vladimir Ducasse. Winters had one sack directly attributable to him that I saw, but other than that he played pretty well. The group gave Geno Smith time to make his throws for most of the night, and helped the running backs get to five plus yards per carry.
Geno wasn’t kept clean all game with four sacks, otherwise the grade would have been an “A”.