And so the education of one Geno Smith continues today at the Jersey Medowlands as the Buffalo Bills visit the NEW YORK JETS in an important division game. Smith has been typically rookie in his first two starts.
He played OK in the first game. He made some interesting decisions but came away with a thrilling last second win. Game two against the Patriots was similar in many ways and the JETS could have easily won that game as well. The tough defense that Rex Ryan seems to be growing is beginning to show some fruit. Had Smith played a just a bit better, particularly in the fourth quarter, the JETS could be 2 and 0. Of course his receivers didn’t exactly make it easy for him dropping some 10 passes. Not good.
On the other side of the field on this afternoon is E.J. Manuel. The Bills rookie phenom stands ready to ruin a nice day in the park for Smith and the JETS. Manuel has played nothing short of spectacular after his first two NFL contests. Smith has a QB rating of 55.2 and Manuel boasts 95.9. Manuel is completing almost 70% of his passes. Smith a decent 55% but stats don’t always tell the story. Manuel is surrounded by excellent offensive players who actually make plays. So far in this young season the JETS offense has been exactly what I said they’d be….offensive. Dropped passes, fumbles and missed opportunities abound. Smith is most certainly a work in progress. He has the big arm but does he have the mental toughness and the offensive smarts to rise above the fray? Will he continue to make crunch time mistakes and open the door for a late season encore by Mark Sanchez? I believe that Smith will plod along this season and should the season take an ugly turn, I think it would be best to let Smith learn on the job. He seems like a smart guy who knows what has to happen. But can he execute when he needs to? If nothing else he seems like a physically tough guy and hopefully he can out run a beating.
If not for the JETS defense they would be 0 & 2. Hopefully the defense will continue it’s suffocating play and give the young Mr. Smith a chance to grow, learn and develop into the QB many people think he can be.
I’m not exactly sure at this point what Geno Smith is. I’ve watched the parade at QB since Joe Namath retired. Many of the JET signal callers had pretty decent careers in the Green and White and many were horrible. None ever lived up to the Namath bar of winning a championship. Richard Todd, Kenny O’Brien and Vinny Testaverde made valiant efforts but all came up just a bit short. Mark Sanchez appeared to be on the rise and was looking like the “Sanchize” JETS fans were waiting for. The ensuing “train wreck” of the last 2 seasons cost a GM his job and a head coach his bravado. Can Geno Smith step up as a rookie and do something interesting if not special? I’m sure Rex Ryan wouldn’t mind that scenario but until that happens the defense must play great. Are they up to the challenge?
I think this week they are.
JETS 20-BILLS 17