Time for Geno Smith to Turn it Up for the New York Jets
By Alan Schechter
Nov 17, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) passes before the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
There are six games remaining in the regular season for the 2013 New York Jets. They are 5-5, and right in the thick of the race for the final Wild Card spot in the AFC. Needless to say, the year 2013 has brought a lot more for the New York Jets than a lot of us ever expected.
It begins and ends with the newest star on the Gotham stage, Mr. Geno Smith. He thought he was going to be a first round draft pick, but he made it to the second round, and the New York Jets. There were a lot of questions about how “pro-ready” Geno was, coming into the new season with the Jets. He has had his good moments, and his really bad moments. He has beaten Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Tom Brady. Those are three wins that nobody can ever take away from him.
But the turnovers have been, well, they have been. They have been as bad as we have seen at times. Joe Klecko was even reminded of Mark Sanchez this week when seeing the turnovers against the Bills. To quote literature, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” For Geno Smith, that is.
With the quarterback, goes the play of the whole team. Here are Geno’s passer ratings in the five wins: 80.6, 89.9, 147.7, 71.9, 62.4. By stark contrast, here are Geno’s ratings in the five losses: 27.6, 79.2, 48.8, 51.9, 10.1. I don’t think the numbers can state the issue any more obviously than that. When Geno Smith plays well, the Jets fly. When he doesn’t, the Jets crash.
Whether the Jets make the playoffs or not is not the most important question to be answered over the last six games of the 2013 season. The biggest question will be whether or not Geno Smith is the guy to lead us into the future. The truth is, to answer this question, Geno has to turn it up.
Geno Smith has the innate ability to make plays in big spots, something you cannot teach. To have multiple game-winning drives in your rookie year is just outstanding as a quarterback. But, the turnover situation has to get better. It’s getting to a point that he is starting to cost the team games. He has continued to stare down receivers the entire way down the field, and make bad decisions where they hurt.
For the Jets to not even consider a new quarterback in 2014, this has to stop.
It’s scary, because it seems like his awareness just stays at one level and doesn’t improve. 20 turnovers on the year, and still throwing multiple interceptions in games. The numbers speak for themselves.
Now, am I saying that it is time to turn the team over to Matt Simms? No I am not. Geno certainly hasn’t undone the work he has done to date with the turnovers. But, he has to be on a short list. If the Jets want to make a run in the last six games, Rex Ryan can’t be afraid to make a move at quarterback during a game if Geno isn’t getting the job done.
And Geno? Get it together. Start putting it all together, and figure out how to protect the football. Otherwise, you will hear about more quarterbacks coming into Florham Park next summber.