Going into the 2013-14 NFL season, nobody expected the New York Jets to have a dominate passing game. The incumbent starter, Mark Sanchez, has failed to make this HIS team, thanks to mediocre numbers over a four-year career. The other candidate, Geno Smith, is a rookie who’s raw and doesn’t seem quite ready to start an entire NFL season.
And if anybody had forgotten about how dismal the Jets’ quarterback situation was, they were issued a full reminder in the New York Giants game last night. Smith didn’t look like he was ready to start for an Arena League team as he tossed three interceptions, and stepped on the back of the end zone for a safety.
Later in the evening, Rex Ryan decided to insert Mark Sanchez in during the fourth quarter. Letting him play in meaningless garbage time was a baffling decision, especially since Sanchez still had an opportunity to win the starting quarterback battle. Plus he had backup lineman blocking for him who were just trying to land a roster spot.
Ryan’s poor decision was thrust onto center stage when Giants backup defensive tackle Marvin Austin nailed Sanchez’s right shoulder and sent him out of the game. There’s no word on the severity of the injury because the fifth-year veteran just had X-rays, and he’ll undergo magnetic resonate imaging today.
Following Saturday night’s debacle, Ryan seemed extremely annoyed at all of the questions sent his way regarding the QB situation. “We will make the announcement of the starting quarterback when we think it’s the appropriate time,” he said. “Not when you, not when this person, or this person, or this person (thinks it’s time). I can say anything I want – beauty of this country.”
The Jets headman received further questioning regarding his decision to play Sanchez in the fourth quarter. “That was my decision – that was coach’s decision all the way,” he said. “If it wasn’t important, then I wouldn’t have put him in there. I would have not put Mark in there if it wasn’t important. Well, after the injury you always have reservations. I understand being second-guessed and stuff when an injury happens – certainly I understand that – but that’s football.”
If Sanchez’s shoulder injury turns out to be anything really serious, fans will be questioning Ryan every step of the way. This is even truer if Smith opens the season as the starter and fails to produce solid results.
When New York picked Smith with the 39th overall selection in the draft, they were selecting a guy whom they thought could quickly overtake Sanchez and become a franchise player. It’s still quite early to tell if the Jets’ hopes will come to fruition. After all, there’s another preseason game left to play, and based on Sanchez’s injury, Smith could get a second start to prove his worth.
His first preseason start didn’t exactly yield desirable results since he completed 16-of-30 passes for 199 yards, one TD, three INT”s, a safety, and just a 45.7 passer rating. Hopefully Smith can come out next week and provide some assurance that he’s ready to start in the NFL if he gets the nod over Sanchez.