According to Rex Ryan, benching Geno Smith in the 31-0 loss to the San Diego Chargers doesn’t mean the New York Jets have given up on the second-year quarterback. Smith is still the starter, Michael Vick is still the backup. But how long will the hierarchy remain unchanged?
Vick entered the game in the second half, but didn’t change anything. While Geno Smith struggled, finishing with 4-of-12 for 27 yards and one interception, Vick didn’t do much better. The veteran quarterback, getting his first shot at playing substantial minutes this season, completed just 8-of-19 passes, rushing for 14 yards while evading a lot of pressure (sacked twice). Not something that makes it feel like the Jets have a change maker on the bench, worth $4 million this season.
Overall, it was a pathetic offensive performance from the Jets. They gained a total of 151 yards on offense. They managed to enter Chargers territory for the first time in the fourth quarter, with 7:30 remaining. That was only made possible due to a penalty. According to ESPN’s QBR ratings, the Jets had a 4.13 rating for the game, the second worst this season. Since Smith entered the NFL in 2013, the Jets have more games than anyone else with a QBR of 10 or lower.
Ryan isn’t moving Smith from the starter position, abysmal as he may have looked as the Jets were shutout for the first time in two years. According to Ryan, this one isn’t on Smith. It’s on the offensive line blowing assignments. It’s on the blockers, and on Ryan himself. Smith isn’t going to be losing his starting job, partially because it doesn’t matter who plays instead of him. The offensive line and the whole blocking scheme isn’t good enough to make a quarterback look good at this point.