NFL New York Jets

5 Reasons For Geno Smith’s Recent Slump

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5 Reasons For Geno Smith's Recent Slump

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith has been in a slump of epic proportions the last few weeks. After showing signs that he might be the quarterback of the future the Jets have been searching for, Smith has spent the last three weeks brutally crushing those hopes and dreams.

Despite the up-and-down start that had so many Jets fans trying to talk themselves into Smith being the answer, there were signs along the way that he wasn’t ready for NFL stardom. Many of the Jets' wins were not due to him playing well, and those that were came early in the season before defensive coordinators had enough film of him to learn his weaknesses.

In the last three games, Smith has completed a paltry 21 passes in 55 attempts with zero touchdowns and six interceptions. Those are the kind of numbers that would get most quarterbacks an immediate spot on the bench, but when you were considered the future franchise quarterback just a month ago there needs to be a deeper search for why Smith has struggled recently.

The bar has been raised for rookie quarterbacks these days. It used to be that a season like Smith’s could still be spun as a good year for a young player learning the professional game. Not anymore. Today young quarterbacks need to produce right away, and if they show the kind of downside that Smith has the last few weeks then serious questions about his future are immediately raised.

The jury is still out on Smith. He’s still young, but the past three weeks are startlingly concerning for the Jets and their fans. These are the five reasons why Geno Smith has been in such an epic slump.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. He's Hit The Rookie Wall

Rookie Wall
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Right about this time last year Smith's season was coming to an end. He was prepping for one final bowl game and then the NFL Draft. Like a lot of rookies, it will take him a year to earn the kind of long-range stamina that gets professionals through their grueling seasons.

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4. NFL Defensive Coordinators Have Started To Figure Him Out

Coordinators Figured Him Out
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

This happens all the time to rookies in all sports. They come out fast because opponents aren't quit sure what to expect from them only to hit a wall when they have a little game tape to study. Now the ball is in Smith's court, and only time will tell if he can adjust to the NFL game on a long-term basis.

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3. He Wasn't Ready For The NFL

He Wasn't Ready
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This is something we've seen before. When a young quarterback comes into the league without pro-ready skills he tends to struggle at times. Smith's athleticism helped him get by in the beginning of the season, but now that teams are starting to scheme for him his weaknesses are showing.

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2. His Team Has Quit On The Season

Team Has Quit
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets weren't supposed to be very good this season, and it turns out they aren't. This is the time of the year that NFL teams start to quit, especially those whose playoff hopes have been buried under too many losses. That spells doom for a quarterback, especially a rookie that needs all the help he can get.

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1. He's Just Not That Good

Not That Good
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

In the end, it all comes down to talent. Smith has done better than I thought he would this season, but he just isn't as good as some of the more recent rookie quarterbacks who have taken the league by storm.