The New York Jets were eliminated at 6-8 before winning the last two games of the season, going 8-8 in Geno Smith’s 1st full season as their starting QB. While Geno struggled quite a bit during certain stints, especially in a three-game stretch that saw him throw for 0 TDs while being benched for backup Matt Simms, he is often rewarded with praise for his two 4th quarter comebacks and 5 game-winning drives. However, it is quite unrealistic to call the success of his rookie season a “push” just based off the team’s neutral record. Geno Smith’s passing stats: 3046 yards, 12 TD’s, 21 INT’s, 4 fumbles.
When estimating the quality of a quarterback, recent history has shown clutch performance to be of low predictive value, at least in regular season play. Former Cardinals QB John Skelton was not productive as a starter, but on the strength of clutch play and defense the team went 6-2 during his first eight starts; Skelton was later benched and now currently a free agent. Former Broncos QB Tim Tebow had the lowest completion percentage of any passer in 2011, yet was 8-5 as a starter with his clutch performances; he is also now out of the NFL. Honorable mentions; Vince Young, Josh Freeman. Analysis: QBs with clutch play, decent short-term win/loss records and below-average production have a high rate for failure. If Geno Smith is to succeed, his play needs to be way more productive.
The reality is, rookie quarterbacks who play poorly tend to not be successful in the long-haul, if Blaine Gabbert and Brandon Weeden are any indication. We have seen rookie QB’s put together quite impressive seasons as well, such as the likes of Andrew Luck, Robbert Griffin lll and Russell Wilson; they all made the playoffs their rookie years. If they can get the job done, then why couldn’t Geno Smith, whom had arguably one of the best defenses? The learning curve of NFL quarterbacks is not as steep as it’s made out to be.
Head coach Rex Ryan is aware that Geno is part of the problem, hence why he gave Simms a serious look when the team was still in playoff contention and why sources are now indicating that the team will have a quarterback competition this off-season. Geno Smith is not the answer, and odds say he won’t even win the starting job. NFL Draft: The Jets would be best off trading up in the first round to select Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel or Terry Bridgewater. The Jets are a serious force with good quarterback play.