Much blame could be placed on QB Geno Smith after the New York Jets‘ embarrassing loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Geno Smith had a total of four turnovers, which resulted in 28 points for the Titans. The question starting to come up is whether to bench Smith or let him keep playing to see if there is an improvement.
Head coach Rex Ryan was asked if it benching Smith is a possibility. His reply was “It’s not a thought at this point right now.”
Well, Ryan better start thinking about it, as this is the last year of his contract. As of yet, the Jets have not offered him any kind of extension. You would think that Jets GM John Idzik would extend Ryan’s contract if he had impressed him, but that has not happened.
This can only imply that Ryan is on the hot seat. Last year, Rex stuck by veteran Mark Sanchez through all of his turnovers. Now all eyes are on Rex once again as he is standing by a rookie quarterback that is having the same problems that Sanchez had last year.
The big issue right now with coach Ryan is whether he knows when to pull a struggling QB out of a game. Granted Smith is a rookie and is still developing, but his turnovers are killing the Jets. They have turned the ball over a total of 12 times this season. 11 of them were by Smith, and eight were interceptions. How much longer can Rex stick with him?
After the Tennessee loss, Ryan was quoted as saying, “We’ve got to quit turning the ball over.” Well Rex, your main culprit on turnovers is Smith, and it isn’t a thought?
Geno Smith is 30th in passer rating in the first quarter, 26th in completion percentage, 26th in TD passes with and second with eight interceptions thrown. Still, it looks like Smith will get another shot. This time, it will be on the road and in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football against the Atlanta Falcons.
With the possibility of the Jets being without WRs Stephen Hill (concussion) and Santonio Holmes (hamstring), the team will have a hard time scoring points. Smith will be limited to their bottom tier of receivers. The way that offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg likes to air it out, he might want to rethink his game plan.
Even though the Falcons are not as strong defensively against the pass thus far this season as opposing QBs have put up an average passer rating of 101.5, who will Geno have to throw to?
Atlanta is a lot better against the run than the pass, as they are ranked sixth in the league against the run by giving up an average of only 92 yards per game. Atlanta has only seven QB sacks and three interceptions, so Geno should not be under any type of pressure to make him cause the abundant mistakes he’s already made.
It will be interesting to see how the Jets attack the Falcons’ defense as they could be without their top two WRs, and to see if Geno is able to stay mistake-free on the road and in front of the entire football nation. It’s not an easy task for a rookie QB who has made mistakes in front of smaller audiences and at home games.
There will be some problems arising if the game turns out to be another turnover-filled debacle. Questions will be raised, with the primary one being “why did Rex stick with a struggling QB?”
Not only will the press demand answers, but Idzik will also be wanting some answers as well.