The New York Jets apparently will not be told what to do by the outside world. With fans and media alike calling for Matt Simms to replace embattled quarterback Geno Smith in the lineup, Rex Ryan has once again chosen to stick with Smith. This decision will surely infuriate Jets fans, who booed Smith throughout Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins and who’s loudest cheers were reserved for when Simms entered the game at halftime.
Smith has been benched in three separate games this season, but it appears that Ryan has no interest in making that move permanent. Simms will have to wait yet again for his chance to start. I am not one of those people that believes that Simms is a much better quarterback than Smith or potentially a franchise savior. In fact, I highly doubt that he will ever be a starting caliber NFL quarterback. That being said, there is absolutely no reason the Jets shouldn’t give Simms a shot and see what he can do.
Facts are facts, and the fact is that, statistically speaking, Geno Smith is the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. He leads the league in interceptions with 19, he has been sacked 38 times (3rd most in the league) and he has fumbled 7 times. Smith has a passer rating of just 60.4, 3rd worst among quarterbacks with significant playing time. When the only players worse than you in a category are Blaine Gabbert and Josh Freeman, you know something is horribly wrong.
Smith has thrown two or more interceptions in 7 of his 12 games. He has completed 60% of his passes in a game just four times, with the last time coming in Week 8 (which was also the last time he completed 10 or more passes). He has not had a game without an interception since Week 9, and he has not broken 200 yards passing or thrown a touchdown since Week 7. Smith has only broken 300 yards once (Week 3) and he has only had one game where he threw for a touchdown without throwing an interception (Week 5).
Where in those performances is there any evidence that Smith is the Jets’ best chance to win, as Ryan claims? Where in those performances is there any evidence that Smith gives the Jets any chance to win? The Jets are 5-7 in spite of Smith, not because of him. He has shown no improvement in his decision making, and his accuracy continues to be very poor.
Smith may develop into a solid quarterback someday, but right now he is clearly not ready to lead the Jets. His poor performance is the biggest reason the Jets have lost their chance to make the playoffs, and he has not given any indication over the last month and a half that he is the quarterback of the future. Maybe he can turn it around over the last four weeks, but I seriously doubt it. Giving Simms a shot would prove to the locker room and the fans that the Jets will make the best decisions to try to win games.
The Jets have nothing to lose by putting Simms out there, and the fact that they won’t give him a start is extremely puzzling. Their commitment to Smith is indefensible at this point, but they are set on giving him yet another chance. This is probably his last one, and there is no reason to think it will go any better than the last few.