What looked like it might be a promising season on the rise for the New York Jets has come crashing back to earth only a few short weeks into the season. An 18 point lead at Lambeau Field is a distant memory.
After a game one victory, Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson made a mockery of the Jet secondary as the Packers came back to beat the Jets. The Bears followed with a sloppy effort that should have been Jet win number 2, but again too many mistakes and not enough offensive juice lead to another lowly loss. The Jet defense may be rated at the top of the league but not enough big plays, not enough impact plays, not enough takeaways to get the team over the top.
That brings us to week 4 in which an up and down Lions team took care of the up and down Jets team, putting the Green and White into a very precarious playoff position. Less than 15% of the teams that begin a season 1-3 make the playoffs. Considering they are looking at the Chargers, The Broncos and the Patriots, the Jets could easily be 1-6 by Halloween…a very spooky thought. Even worse, with Rex Ryan basically coaching for his job, it’s possible that his reign with the Jets could be in serious jeopardy. The fans love him, but they love winning a whole lot more. Should the season turn out to be the disaster it’s beginning to look like, GM John Idzik will most likely be forced to cut ties and start all over again. A most disappointing option considering the emotional re-hiring of Rex after the last game last season by Woody Johnson.
Worse still…has Idzik seen enough of Geno Smith? He showed signs of maturation in the off season. Throughout the pre-season he seemed in command. Even through the first 2 games it looked as though the young man was growing up before our eyes. He has taken a rather large step backward in the last 2 games. Strange decisions…poor high throws to wide open receivers…running when he shouldn’t, and not running when he should. More costly interceptions that really didn’t have to happen.
NFL teams that succeed are lead by quality signal callers. Brady in New England, Manning in Denver, Dalton in Cinncy, Brees in New Orleans, Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh, Manning in New York, Wilson in Seattle. Kapernick in San Fran. Teams with quality quarterbacks are perennial playoff teams, and more often than not multiple championship winners. There’s no getting around it. Teams with great supporting casts and mediocre QB play go nowhere year after year and it’s starting to look like the Jets are in that category. They have had a consistently good defense but the offense has been questionable since Sanchez and it seems like it’s going that way with Smith. Smith didn’t do himself any favors by getting into a cursing match with the fans as he left the field after Sunday’s loss.
He’s since apologized but losing his cool in this environment wasn’t a good sign. According to ESPN online, “
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Embattled quarterback Geno Smith lost his cool after the New York Jets‘ third straight loss, shouting an obscenity at a heckler as he walked off the field Sunday at MetLife Stadium. “F— you!” Smith yelled at the fan moments after the Jets’ 24-17 loss to the Detroit Lions. Footage of the incident, caught on camera by WCBS 2 New York, shows Smith — with his helmet off — glaring into a crowd before spewing the profane response. The heckler isn’t seen on camera, and there is no audio of the fan yelling at Smith.Smith opened his postgame news conference by apologizing for the outburst. He declined to specify what the fan said to set him off, saying only that it came from “one guy,” and it wasn’t a Michael Vick-related comment.”
It takes immense mental toughness to deal with the massive pressures put on the QB position in New York. Add to that the growing pains a young player experiences and the added burden of “win now” fans, and it seems nearly impossible to rise above in this town. Eli Manning did it. It’s a huge testament to his ability and his toughness. Does Geno Smith have those same qualities? At this early stage perhaps it’s impossible to tell. But that’s why John Idzik gets paid the big bucks as the GM and I’m just a season ticket holding fan. Idzik has to decide if it’s time for both Rex and Smith to go and start over. That is one decision that I would not want to have to make.