After being benched for three weeks, Jets quarterback Geno Smith got back his starting job back because backup Michael Vick never managed more than 200 yards in three straight losses.
In the Jets’ 16-13 Monday night loss to the Miami Dolphins, Smith was mostly just a placeholder for where a quarterback should be. The Jets ran a season-high 277 yards, opting for 49 rushes versus just 13 throws for Smith. Until the final drive, Smith only had 8 passing attempts.
The Jets were even running the ball in nonsensical situations:
It almost worked until the Dolphins hit a field goal to go up 16-13 for good. With 1:57 left, down three, with two timeouts remaining, the Jets let Smith try to move down the field for a game-winning drive. He threw an interception with 39 seconds to go, ending the game. He finished 7-13 for 65 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 1 interception.
For the 2-10 Jets, it looks like the end of Smith’s time in New York.
Rex Ryan had perhaps the most damning quote after the game, saying, “It had zero to do with us not having faith in our quarterback. It had everything to do with us trying to win the game.”
Though Ryan probably meant they wanted to protect Smith from the Dolphins’ no.1 pass defence, it also means the Jets didn’t believe they could win by letting Smith throw the ball. After wide receiver Percy Harvin said he was “licking [his] chops” at the prospect of facing the Dolphins’ third-string cornerback because of injuries, Harvin finished with only 1 catch for 6 yards on 3 targets.
Even before the game, the Jets were reportedly protecting Smith from fans when they didn’t introduce him in the starting lineup:
At this point, the Jets would be better off continuing to lose so they can get a higher draft pick and possibly a new quarterback. Smith doesn’t appear to be the answer, nor does Vick.
It will likely be an entirely new era for the Jets next season, as Rex Ryan, GM John Idzik, and Geno Smith don’t look like they will be back next year.
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