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Geno Smith shows mental fortitude in limited appearance

Oct 23, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) runs with the ball while being defended by Baltimore Ravens defensive end Timmy Jernigan (99) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 23, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) runs with the ball while being defended by Baltimore Ravens defensive end Timmy Jernigan (99) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
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Quarterback Geno Smith of the New York Jets showed some patience and mental fortitude in his only start of the season.

Two drops that could have been first down catches hurt the Jets early, but quarterback Geno Smith stayed strong, and that paid off.  Eventually, he hit a wide-open Quincy Enunwa for a 69-yard catch-and-run touchdown.

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Smith scanned the field against the zone defense of the Ravens (the toughest defense for young developing quarterbacks) and found #81.  Enunwa found a hole in the zone, sat down, and Smith hit him for the nice touchdown.

The question is, why was Enunwa so open?  Was it a breakdown in coverage?  The answer to the latter question is no.  It wasn’t a breakdown in coverage.

The answer to the former, however, is easy to understand.  It was a perfect play designed to beat zone coverage.  The Jets took advantage of Smith’s arm strength in play design.

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His arm strength allows to open up the defense.  The defensive backs have to respect it, thus, opening the middle of the field a little more.

The defensive backs have to maintain coverage assignments. Their coverage assignments are also deeper because the Jets can stretch the field.

As a result, Enunwa was able to find the hole, build up steam and get by the defense.  The fact that the ball got to him quickly from Smith’s cannon for an arm helped too.

It was easy to see Smith got a little frustrated with the drops early on.  However, he didn’t allow it to effect him moving forward.

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What we would find out later to be a torn ACL injury forced him to the sideline.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see if Smith could lead this team to victory.  However, he showed us he can take the body blows now and stick with the gameplan.  Easily a much-improved trait compared to what we’ve seen him do in the past.

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