Geno Smith is the guy you want under center at the quarterback position. He may only know the shotgun spread and a balanced run-first offense, but he did well enough to maintain the starting quarterback job for the New York Jets in 2014. Smith finished sixth in the 2013 Offensive Rookie voters poll. He seems like a fan favorite and hopes to prove more in year two. Think I'm wrong let's take a look back at what he did in 2013, and what he has done during training camp this year to solidify why he should start.
Smith gave Jets' fans an awesome first impression with a home win versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a comeback in week 1 by guiding the Jets downfield with less than thirty seconds left to get the Jets in field goal range. Smith can thank Buccaneers right outside linebacker LaVonte David for a roughing the passer penalty and kicker Nick Folk for a game-winning field goal to kick off the Jets 2013 campaign with a bang. Smith posted a similar comeback in week 3 when he threw two passing touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills in the fourth quarter. Smith threw for a season high 331 passing yards in that victory over the Bills.
His best game came in week 5 against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. In Atlanta, Smith completed 16 of his 20 passes. In addition to posting an 80 percent completion percentage, Smith threw 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Did we mention Smith took four sacks against what is supposed to be a mediocre defense.
Smith helped the Jets in week 7 with some critical scrambles on third down while obtaining a rushing touchdown. Those critical runs enabled the Jets to defeat the New England Patriots for a home victory 30 to 27 in overtime after Smith looked awful in Gillette Stadium during a week 2 contest against the Patriots. In week 9, he played turnover free football while getting one rushing touchdown in a 26 to 20 win over the New Orleans Saints.
He helped the Jets win their final two games with 2 passing touchdowns and 2 rushing touchdowns in those 2 contests without throwing a pick. Smith may have screwed the Jets out of a top 10 draft pick, but he saved Rex Ryan's job giving the players who have been patient with this franchise another year to be familiar with one another so the Jets finally return to the playoffs in 2015.
The biggest concern with Smith is the lack of consistency. He had six games where he threw 0 passing touchdowns and 1 interception. Five of those games involved Smith throwing multiple interceptions and no passing touchdowns.
New York opens up the season hosting Oakland. Last season Smith helped the Jets defeat the Oakland Raiders 37 to 27. Smith knows he can beat the Raiders and finished the year on a high note for New York. Like the week 1 contest in the 2014 NFL Regular Season that takes place September 7, 2014, the contest during his rookie season was a home game as well. This time Smith will face a much tougher Raiders' defense. Whether Smith delivers again will determine whether he remains the quarterback of the future or becomes a quarterback of the past like Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.
Despite Michael Vick’s outstanding play in preseason and training camp, he is not a fan favorite. The media gives him too much hype. Plus you cannot forget what he did to dogs.
Smith threw 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, but he also ran for 6 rushing touchdowns while guiding the Jets to an 8-8 record in 2013 thanks to a stingy defense. New York can make the playoffs if Smith plays like he did during the teams final two games while the defense limits opposing offenses.
If Smith has some bad games where he throws 0 touchdowns and multiple picks in September while Jets start 1-3, you can consider starting Vick in October. Expect Smith to start the first four contests in September.
For now Geno Smith is your guy. Sticking with the former West Virginia Mountaineer gives you the best chance of making the 2015 NFL Playoffs.
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Chris Ransom writes for NFL Draft Insiders. Be sure to check out his website Draft Utopia for more NFL content.