New York Jets’ QB Geno Smith: Why I Still Believe


Oct 16, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA. New York Jets quarterback

Geno Smith

(7) looks to throw the ball during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

I was having this debate with a colleague of mine at work yesterday, and it is a common one with New York Jets’ fans. The debate was about whether or not Geno Smith is the guy to quarterback the Jets into the future. Familiar question, huh? It’s a very valid debate. The way the Jets answer this question, and how it turns out will go a long way in determining the Jets’ immediate future.

Geno Smith has had his moments, both good and bad. Many feel that Geno Smith is not the guy, including the gentleman I was having a conversation with. I still feel he is the guy. Read ahead as I make my case.

Oct 16, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) warms up before the start of the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Geno Smith has had some very bad individual game performances. However, he has had his fair share of good ones as well. Over his two years as a starter, Geno has eight starts where he posted a passer rating of at least 80, and the Jets are 7-1 in those starts. In 11 of his first 23 starts, Geno has completed more than 55% of his passes. Is that a spotless record? Of course not. But it IS the record of a quarterback that has ability.

Do not discount the late game victories as well. Having that intangible quality to give your team a chance to win late is something not everyone has, and Geno Smith has it. It happened several times in 2013, and nearly happened several more occasions this season, such as in Green Bay and New England.

Whether we like it or not, Geno Smith has “it”. You can’t teach that.

Oct 12, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) reacts on the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Next, take a look at Geno Smith’s stats at this point last year, compared to 2012:

2013 GENO:130-223 58.3% completion,1,723 yards passing, 8 TD’s, 11 INT’s

2014 GENO:129-225 57.3% completion, 1,365 yards passing, 7 TD’s, 7 INT’s

The completion percentage is nearly identical. Yes, the passing yardage is down, but that is just as much on play calling as it is on Geno. But the TD-INT ratio is far better. Even the fans that have lost faith in Geno Smith have to admit that this is a step up.

Oct 19, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Giants quarterback

Eli Manning

(10) leaves the field after the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Dallas beat New York 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

What about the guy on the other side of town, Eli Manning? Remember how everyone on the Giants side wanted to run Eli out of town early in his career? Well, I again took Geno’s stats from this season, and this time compared them to Eli’s stats from the equivalent starts, 17-23 of his career. The parallel is interesting, take a look:

ELI MANNING, STARTS 17-23:138-251 54.9% completion, 1,660 yards passing, 9 TD’s, 8 INT’s

2014 GENO:129-225 57.3% completion, 1,365 yards passing, 7 TD’s, 7 INT’s

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So, Geno Smith had a better completion percentage, not even 300 fewer passing yards, 2 less TD’s, and 1 less INT. Not so different. How did it work out for Eli Manning?

Should we still run Geno Smith out of town after 1.5 seasons? I don’t think so.

I am not trying to say that Geno is going to be as good as Eli Manning.  We have no way to know that.  Does Geno Smith need to improve? Of course he does. But if you really dissect his numbers, he isn’t quite as bad as some of you think.