The New York Jets have had a complicated quarterback situation all offseason. After Mark Sanchez’s terrible season last year, they drafted a top quarterback much later than he was expected to go, and yet people were still angry with the organization. In fact, Geno Smith was a great pick. All they let go was a second round pick; if he fails to produce, he costs the organization little. If he’s great, then they reap a bargain.
Geno Smith had a poor preseason, but many of the mistakes he made were either not his fault or rookie mistakes that he can correct. That does not mean he is a bad quarterback — it simply means he’s inexperienced.
Many will want to compare Smith to the rookie quarterbacks last year. Smith will not have the start that Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III did, but that is simply an unfair weight to put on him. Luckily, Smith gets to start against a defense that was 26th against the pass in DVOA in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Unfortunately, that secondary just picked up Darrell Revis.
Nevertheless, Revis’ presence should not actually hurt Smith all that much. The Jets have no star receivers, and thus no receiver likely to get stranded on Revis Island. Smith will throw most of his passes to tight ends and running backs, avoiding Revis. The Jets should put him in place to pick apart the Bucs’ bad linebackers and safeties, staying away from whoever Revis covers.
Smith will not have an incredible game, but he should have a good one. Furthermore, Smith will not have a great season, and neither will the Jets, but that does not mean Smith cannot be a long-term answer for the Jets. His audition starts Sunday, and I expect him to do well.
Prediction: Smith has 220 yards throwing, one TD and one interception.