Yes, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a great defense and they were first against the rush last season, but the fact that rookie quarterback Geno Smith was on the ground constantly is inexcusable.
On Smith’s first pass of the game, he had excellent protection and was able to stay in the pocket and deliver a strike to tight end Kellen Winslow. From then on, it seemed like Smith was on his own, running away from the front seven constantly. Smith proved that he could handle it, however, scrambling frequently, with the ability to most times find the open man or run for a chunk of yards.
The New York Jets offensive line is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but in my mind, it wasn’t a great performance by them. Especially when protecting a rookie quarterback, you need to do everything in your power to protect him as much as possible. They did in that final drive, which is a big reason why Smith was able to lead the Jets to that comeback win.
Granted, Smith does scramble a lot without the obvious need to, however, there is no argument of the fact that the Jets line should have performed better. It was a good sign to Smith that he was able to get back up after constantly being hit and on the ground.
If Smith can be protected a little bit better in the pocket, there is no doubt why he can’t be successful in the NFL.