By Eddie Castro
In what was sought out to be the biggest game of the year, the Jets took a huge step back in the AFC playoff picture. With a record of 5-6 coming into last Sunday’s game with Miami, the Jets needed a win against the division rival. From start to finish, Jets quarterback Geno Smith could not get it going and the team is on the verge of missing the playoffs for the third straight year.
The running game was shut down and Smith’s inconsistency did not make anything better for Gang Green in losing to the Miami Dolphins 23-3.
Smith leads the league in interceptions with 19 and has not thrown a touchdown pass since October 20. Smith’s first half against the Dolphins was too much for coach Rex Ryan to watch as he replaced his rookie quarterback in the second half with another young quarterback in Matt
Simms (son of former Giants quarterback Phil Simms). Despite Smith being benched and many speculations on who would be the starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Oakland
Raiders, Smith was told by Jets quarterbacks coach David Lee that he would get the nod. Ryan is really in a difficult predicament right now. Matt Simms is an inexperienced and unproven quarterback in the league and did not play well when he entered the game in the second half.
David Garrard, their third-string QB, is 35 years old and hasn’t played an NFL game since 2010. “We’re going to stick with Geno,” coach Ryan said. “I believe in Geno, I think he has a good chance to be a good quarterback.
Believe it or not, what is hurting Smith’s development is the fact that former Jets quarterback
Mark Sanchez got hurt during the preseason. Sanchez clearly won the starting quarterback job in training camp, however, Rex Ryan’s decision to keep Sanchez late in a meaningless pre- season game forced his hand to insert Smith earlier than expected. The plan was to perhaps sit the rookie quarterback for a season or 2 as he learns how to adapt to the NFL speed as well as playing quarterback in the NFL. The fact of the matter is this, New York sports fans are very impatient and if Geno doesn’t get it together, he will be run out of town just like Sanchez was.
Sports Notes: (Football) Geno Smith looks to get it together as the Jets play the Oakland Raiders at home. Eli Manning and the Giants head to San Diego to play Phillip Rivers and the Chargers. (Basketball) Round 1 of the cross-river rivalry begins tonight at the Barclays Center (Knicks vs. Nets).