If you were to discuss Jets quarterback Geno Smith’s season so far, the word turnovers may be the first thing mentioned. Heading into this past Monday’s showdown with the Atlanta Falcons, Smith led the NFLwith 11 turnovers including 8 interceptions and a couple of lost fumbles. After a discombobulating performance at Tennessee, a matchup with the Falcons did not look promising for Geno and the Jets considering the fact that the Georgia Dome is one of the loudest and most difficult arenas for a road opponent to steal a victory in. To make matter worse, the Falcons have not lost 2 straight home games in nearly 4 years. Whatever was said by coach Rex Ryan in the pregame speech may have very well lit a fire in the young quarterback.
Smith did not seem intimidated by the crowd, nor did he seem puzzled by Atlanta’s ferocious defense. What better time to turn things around than on Monday Night Football. The Jets led the Falcons by the score of 17-7 at halftime. The significant play was the Jets defense stopping Falcons’ running back Jaquizz Rogers at the 1 yard line, preventing the Falcons from cutting the lead to three before the half. The Falcons were able to come back, however, their heroics did not rattle Smith at all. With less than a minute to go in the fourth quarter and the Jets down by one, Smith completed a 12-yard pass to receiver Stephen Hill, a 13-yarder to Jeremy Kurley and again to Hill for another 9 yards. After that, coach Rex Ryan milked the clock down to 3 seconds leaving kicker Nick Folk to seal a 30-28 victory for the Jets. It was Smith’s 3rd game-winning drive on the season. Smith completed 16 of 20 passes for 199 yards and 3 touchdown passes. He had a quarterback rating of 147.7, which was a higher rating than any game Peyton Manning has played in this season thus far. That right there tells you the game he had. The key stat in the game was the ball security by Smith. NO turnovers in the game.
After the game, the talk was all about G-E-N-O. Falcons’ safety William Moore commented on Geno’s performance stating, “He’s a rookie, and we made him look like a 10-year veteran.” Geno Smith has endured plenty of doubters throughout his days at West Virginia and especially in the last 12 months. With a performance like the one he had on Monday night, those critics will sure be put to rest.
Sports Notes: (Football) Coming off his best performance of the season, Geno Smith and the Jets fly back home and welcome the winless Pittsburgh Steelers. This can very well be a “trap game” for the Jets. It is about time for the Giants to press the panic button. Still, it is amazing that at 0-5, they are still just 2 games behind first place in the NFC East division. Obviously, no one would’ve thought they’d be 0-5. As we go to press, coach Tom Coughlin (once again) may be coaching to keep his job. The team heads to Chicago trying to get their first win of the season in a battle with a tough Bears club. (Basketball) Preseason for both the Knicks and Nets kicks off this week. (Boxing) Welterweight fight: Juan Manuel Marquez battles Timothy Bradley for Bradley’s WBO title on Saturday, October 12 in Las Vegas. Outside of sports, I want to send my deepest condolences to the family of Nicoleia Taylor. Taylor was shot and killed last Tuesday in the Lafayette Gardens complex. I, for one, am deeply hurt about the news considering the fact I have spent a chunk of my childhood in the area. To many, she was a hardworking single mom. Taylor was only 24 years old.