Would Geno Smith have fared better for the Jets in Week 1?
As the New York Jets, unfortunately, lost their season opener to the Cincinnati Bengals, would quarterback Geno Smith have fared better in Week 1?
In terms of QBR, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was about as average as he could have been in Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. A 52.6 QBR displays sustained mediocrity. If other parts of your team work well, mediocrity is okay. A 2:1 TD-to-INT ratio throughout the season would be pretty good by the quarterback standards of the New York Jets.
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The situation of when those INTs come into play are what makes Fitzpatrick the constant subject of speculation as to whether he is the right quarterback for the Jets right now. To question Fitzpatrick means you have to contemplate alternatives.
There is not enough information on Bryce Petty to determine if he would have done enough to win this game. Geno Smith has started 31 NFL contests, so there’s enough information out there to come to a conclusion to whether Smith could have done any better.
Let’s start with the red zone. The Jets’ offense showed a lack of ability to punch the football past the pylon when it counts, and it cost them in the final tally. Geno’s TD-to-INT ratio when he is operating in the red zone is 8.5. Fitzpatrick’s is 10.4. When you dig deeper into this info, you also can see that in 2013 and 2014, when Geno was the main starter, the Jets were the 6th worst and dead last in red zone efficiency. With Fitzpatrick at the helm last year, the Jets were the 3rd best offense in the red zone. So throw out Sunday’s anomaly and move forward.
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The Jets also had several chances to take the lead or shut the door on the Bengals in the fourth quarter.
Would Geno have done any better?
The answer to that is a wash.
Geno’s TD-to-INT ratio in the 4th quarter is .90, while Fitz’s is .94.
Of course, Fitzpatrick has had many more opportunities in the 4th quarter, but recent memory of his late game meltdowns have left some fans with a particularly sour taste in their mouth. With no timeouts, the Jets would have had to have moved the ball quickly just to get into field goal range.
That means the no-huddle offense would have been in full effect if the Jets were able to run the football or complete passes. Geno is at his worst in the no-huddle, while Fitzpatrick sports a 2.3 TD-to-INT ratio and a 61% completion percentage. Maybe the Jets should run the no-huddle offense more often.
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The first thought that comes to mind when a Jets fan thinks about Geno and the 4th quarter might be the unlikely comeback he sort-of led the Jets to against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. When fans think of Fitzpatrick and the 4th quarter, they are almost certainly thinking about the debacle in Buffalo in the last game of 2015. Sunday’s game didn’t do Fitzpatrick any favors, as fans probably still think of him as a liability in the 4th quarter. However, when you look at the alternatives, fans just have to hope Fitzmagic strikes every once in a while.