Nov 3, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) throws a pass against the New Orleans Saints in the first half during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
It’s a football Friday, but one without a Jets’ game. It’s that annual week off that we all have to just sit and suffer through, watching other teams play. It’s the bye week. So, without a game to preview, let’s do our mid-season “State of the Jets” address.
First, we will talk about the offense.
So far in 2013, we have seen the best of what this group has to offer, and the worst of what it has to offer. It starts with the quarterback position, though it is to be expected due to his youth.
Geno Smith is performing well for a rookie, and is getting more and more confident each week. He is learning about protecting the football, and has improved on that with each game, especially lately. As his consistency goes up, so do the Jets’ wins. When Geno plays well, the Jets win. When he doesn’t protect the football, the Jets lose.
According to PFF, in four of the Jets’ five wins, Geno’s grade has been -0.8, 3.6, 1.5, and -0.2. In the four losses, -1.6 was his highest grade. Just like any team, with the quarterback goes the team. For the Jets to make a run at the playoffs, Geno Smith must find that consistency.
With that, Geno’s weapons must be consistent. He doesn’t have a lot at his disposal, although Kellen Winslow does return after the bye. Jeremy Kerley is likely to miss a few weeks, but the team is hopeful to get Santonio Holmes back after the bye. Whomever is out there, they have to play consistently to help Geno Smith out. They have to get separation, and get it all the time. And when their number is called, make the catches. They may be limited as far as depth is concerned, but if they get the job done it won’t matter.
The offensive line is coming around as well, but they have been inconsistent as well. The biggest surprise has been D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who has had a tough year. Is some of it due to the uncertainty next to him at left guard? Probably. But whatever the reason, he has gotten beaten quite a bit so far in 2013. As Geno’s blind side, Brick needs to step up his game.
For the most part, the line has kept Geno Smith clean. Seven sacks in nine games is not a large number at all. Geno is also pretty mobile which has helped, but you have to give credit to the offensive line. They have shown flashes in the running game, such as last week as they opened holes for Chris Ivory to the tune of 139 yards on 18 carries. They just need to do it more often in the second half.
Bilal Powell has been a nice surprise in the first half. Everyone figured that Ivory would be the guy, and the others would simply be backups. Well, Ivory was hurt, and that paved the way for Powell to take the lead role early in the season. If the line continues to improve, the Jets’ running attack will be just fine.
Some more consistency over the second half could allow the Jets to make a run in the second half.