Oct. 31, 2016
Todd Bowles finally went ahead and decided to bench Ryan Fitzpatrick and start backup quarterback Geno Smith. I’m not sure what finally pushed him over the edge considering the fact Fitz ranks 28th the league in total quarterback rating, has thrown 4 red zone interceptions and in the second half this year has 0 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. Bowles mentioned how the offensive line failed against Arizona’s front seven to protect Fitzpatrick and that any quarterback would struggle with that kind of pressure but that excuse just doesn’t work when you bring up the other 5 games he has played in. Fitz routinely misses open receivers and seems to only have confidence in one guy: Brandon Marshall. That confidence is justified by Marshall’s hall of fame numbers but when you start forcing throws to him that aren’t there turnovers will happen as we saw him throw his 4th red zone interception on a throw where Marshall was blanketed by Arizona’s defense.
Not sure who is to blame for the running game but Matt Forte has been absolutely irrelevant in this Jet offense since his 3 touchdown game vs Rex Ryan’s defense in Buffalo. He averaged 2.1 yards a carry on Monday night and only gained a grand total of 3 yards receiving and 19 yards rushing.
One guy I was really high on after the pre season was Robby Anderson due to the fact he led all receivers in yardage for the pre season but he simply hasn’t lived up to the hype. I thought he would step up to the plate and bring some big play ability for the struggling Jet offense after Decker went down but he’s just another disappointment to add to the list for the 2016 New York Jets. This Jets defense ranks 25th in the league. David Johnson ran all over the “mighty” front seven of the Jets as he totaled 3 touchdowns and 111 rushing yards. Bowles tried to experiment with the athletic Sheldon Richardson and drop him back into pass coverage which could've went worse as Richardson actually did a decent job guarding David Johnson in the pass game but it showed just how bad the Jets linebacking core is. With Darron Lee and David Harris now dealing with injury problems the Jets may have the worst linebacking core in the NFL. Young outside linebackers Lorenzo Mauldin and Jordan Jenkins look like wasted draft picks as they don't provide any pass rush off the edge as they have a combined 1.5 sacks this year. Bruce Carter and Erin Henderson are both far from capable from being starting middle linebackers in the NFL so they don't make Jets fans feel any better about Lee and Harris being injured.
The Jets also may have the worst secondary in the league ranking 28th in pass defense. Buster Skrine is an absolute joke of a corner back. He had 4 penalty’s called on him and when he wasn’t getting flagged he was getting burned by John Brown on comeback routes. Calvin Pryor once again proves he's good for a big hit here and there but can't cover tight ends and Marcus Gilchrist is the definition of below average. Now on to the big change that needed to happen 2 weeks ago after Kansas City. I have been behind Geno Smith ever since he came into the league. Young quarterbacks in todays league are held to such a high standard that it seems almost impossible for guys like Geno to ever develop the way they need to. Geno wasn’t a pro ready quarterback coming out of college like Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning was so when you combine that with the awful receiving core he had around him that consisted of Jeff Cumberland, Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill and a way past his prime Santonio Holmes you aren’t going to get production. Not to mention he had a strongly defensive minded head coach in Rex Ryan so Geno never had the weapons or coaching he needed to progress as a pro quarterback. Now he has weapons like Brandon Marshall, Quincy Enunwa and Matt Forte to give him some support. Considering he stays the starter for the rest of the year Geno will prove to the NFL fanbase that he has improved in his time as a backup and will play at a much higher level that he ever has.