So I was thinking; with the uncertainty of the NFL this season, with all the question marks and everything happening the way NO ONE essentially predicted it to, it’s easy to question just what we are currently witnessing with the NY Jets right now. It’s difficult to say just what is happening with this team one way or another considering Geno Smith and the Jets have been more inconsistent than Miley Cyrus’s twerk patterns these past five weeks of the NFL season but it’s not that big a stretch to suggest that maybe, just maybe we are witnessing something special with this team, more special than what we witnessed in 2009 when Rex Ryan’s team was also being led by a rookie QB in Mark Sanchez.
This is different. Seriously. There’s something different about this team, this QB, these players, this year. Granted there’s a lot this team has to accomplish this season before it can be taken seriously, but to me, it just doesn’t have that “same ole Jets” feel to it and a lot of that has to do with the culture and changes GM John Idzik has implemented within the organization and one of those “changes” just so happens to be at the QB position. Geno Smith, John Idzik’s second round draft pick, a player that no one else wanted because of his “inability to lead”, his “thuggish” ways and all around “selfish” behaviors. Through five games, Geno has shown the best and worst he has to offer but it wasn’t until his game vs. the Falcons when we witnessed not only the “best” but what he is capable of when he utilizes his attributes. Throwing for three TDs, 199 yards and 80% comp, Geno managed to NOT only not turn the ball over but threw the ball with confidence and that seemingly was the difference between the Geno Smith vs. the Falcons as opposed to the Geno Smith the previous four games, especially vs. the Titans.
It was reported this past week that after the Tennessee game, Geno approached the entire team and apologize for his mistake filled outing vs. the Titans. Not only an immensely mature and humbling thing to do but in this case something the team could rally behind right before a crucial game vs. the Falcons. The Jets who were huge underdogs vs. the Falcons, not only came to play but they at times looked like the better, more complete team, something this team isn’t accustomed to looking like on a weekly basis.
Geno seems to have a relationship with his TE’s (Cumberland and Winslow) that has to be respected at this point. He seem to be comfortable going to them for short and long plays and especially on 3rd downs and for a rookie QB, you couldn’t ask for a better security blanket than two big talented TEs who are both hungry with a lot to prove.
His relationship with his wide receivers are another story seeing as though the injuries and issues with this group of WRs are starting to mount up consistently. Geno doesn’t have a top WR to throw to, a WR that can make life easier for him during this maturation process, a WR that he can simply throw it up to and have confidence said WR will go get it. He doesn’t have that, instead what he has is a group of highly inconsistent WRs that may or may not show up to the party but he is slowly making it work for the most part and that’s all we can ask of him.
So far into the season it’s difficult to determine if Geno is slowly affecting this Jets team and in which particular way, if at all but it’s starting to become somewhat clear that Geno has brought about some sort of “change” that is slowly making its way across not only the offense but the defense. This is something that has been apparent in both wins and losses for this Jets team this season; we just don’t know what this “change” is at this point. The game vs the Falcons on Monday night was a game the Jets probably lose big last season but instead we saw a complete effort on both sides of the ball vs a team that is much much better than their record indicates. Geno seemed to have command of the offense and went toe to toe with Falcons QB Matt Ryan, looking like a veteran in his own right more times than not on this night.
Geno seems to handle losses the same way he handles wins; calm, cool, collected and like a ten-year veteran. The stage doesn’t appear to be too big for him and it seems Ice water is flowing through the kid’s veins at times. Watching him two weeks ago vs. the Titans it was becoming clearer that Geno ability to face and handle adversity would start to mold and shape him into the QB he needs to become as he seems to handle it surprisingly well. The season is certainly still young and a lot can and will happen to Geno and this Jets team but the Jets are already surpassing expectations set forth by the media in the pre-season. If Geno plays like he played vs. the Falcons for the remainder of the season, the Jets will certainly be in the thick of things come December. Here’s to hoping that the game is slowing down for the rookie and we start to see his full potential starting to peak sooner than later. It’s never too early to start to believe Jets fans no matter WHAT they tell you.