New York Jets: Will Geno Smith Or Mark Sanchez Start First Preseason Game?

By Stephen Conway
Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith
Richard Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

This Friday, the New York Jets will square off against the Detroit Lions for their first preseason game. Many storylines and position battles will be watched closely during this game, but the most important and noteworthy storyline on Friday will be on the QB battle — which one of Geno Smith or Mark Sanchez will perform better?

Smith has performed well thus far in training camp, especially during the green and white scrimmage this past Saturday. Smith went 9-for-16 for 77 yards and no interceptions, but the one downside was that he failed to bring his team into the end zone. Another huge plus for Smith is that he has yet to throw an interception in 7-on-7 team drills, something that Sanchez has done.

Sanchez went 6-for-11 in the Saturday scrimmage, connecting on a 57-yard bomb to Stephen Hill for a score, but he also threw a pick to cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Sanchez was booed soon after.

Coach Rex Ryan mentioned in his press conference that night that Smith was “absolutely tremendous,” and that Sanchez “had some good moments and had some bad moments.” Smith clearly outplayed him in the scrimmage, and should he continue to do so this week in practice, he should start over Sanchez in the first game.

With that said, it doesn’t really mean too much. The Jets still have three more preseason games to go, with a few more weeks of practice. Anything can happen.

This week will be a huge one for both quarterbacks. Both will be looked at closely and criticized each and every time they pick up the football, for the sake of making it a huge storyline. Whether Smith or Sanchez starts this Friday, it won’t make or break either of their chances of being the starting quarterback for Week 1.

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