The New York Jets have been trying to avoid a quarterback controversy throughout the last few weeks, but after their third straight loss it is clear that they have one. Geno Smith was benched yet again in yesterday’s 23-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins, and Matt Simms replaced him at halftime. Smith was awful for the fifth straight game, completing just 4/10 passes for 29 yards and 1 INT. However, Simms wasn’t much better, going 9/18 for 78 yards and 1 INT.
The poor performance of both quarterbacks leaves Rex Ryan with a difficult decision going forward, but the right thing to do is start Simms. The Jets are now essentially eliminated from playoff contention, and they have no idea who their quarterback of the future is. Ryan needs to win to save his job, but it is impossible to say with any certainty which of these quarterbacks gives the Jets the best chance to win.
What they do know is that Smith has struggled all season, completing 54.7% of his passes for 2,256 yards, 8 TDs and 19 INTs this season. He has been sacked 38 times and fumbled 7 times, losing 3. They also know that Simms has not been at all impressive in mop-up duty, completing 51.6% of his passes for 156 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. Simms has been sacked 4 times and lost his only fumble.
Point is, both quarterbacks are inaccurate and make bad decisions, which to be fair is a common theme for rookies, which both are. Given that neither player has established himself as the best option, the Jets should give Simms the starting job for the remainder of the season. They have seen Smith start for 12 games, and in all but three of them he has not looked like a long term solution at quarterback. The Jets need to take this chance to see what they have in Simms, and maybe he can turn in some strong performances over the final four weeks.
It is extremely unlikely that Simms gives any indication that he should be the starter in 2014 over the last few games, but the Jets have nothing to lose by throwing him out there. At the very least it appeases a fan base that is sick of seeing Smith’s poor performances and shows the other players in the locker room that they aren’t afraid to make a change to try to win.
The Jets do not have their quarterback of the future on the roster, and they will certainly be in the market for an upgrade this offseason. However, the still have to finish this season, and they should do that with Simms as their quarterback. Perhaps the Jets will get lucky and find they have something in Simms, but at the very least he gives the team its best chance to win right now.