The New York Jets wanted Geno Smith to show them that it’s OK to name him as their opening day starter, but he went ahead and threw three interceptions. So Mark Sanchez gets one quarter of football to show he deserves to keep his job, and while playing quite well, he gets injured and is now doubtful for week 1.
Rex Ryan blamed himself, but showing responsibility doesn’t change the fact that the New York Jets and their quarterback situation is a mess, and not for the first time. Geno Smith was terrible in his time on the field, finishing with 16-of-30 for 199 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Matt Simms got to play and actually did a decent job with 6-of-10 for 120 yards and a touchdown. Mark Sanchez was surprisingly thrown in the game during the fourth quarter.
Sanchez did a good job with 5-of-6 for 72 yards, but took a hit from Marvin Austin after managing to escape two pass rushers, and was forced out of the game with the shoulder injury. It ended in a 24-21 win for the New York Giants, in overtime, which is weird to think that a preseason game needs an absolute, defined winner.
Preseason games between the Giants and the Jets are always something quite intense, and this one was no different. And yet it doesn’t matter if the Jets had things to feel happy about, when now they’re feeling less confident than ever about their quarterback situation. Smith might redeem himself in the final preseason game, although the plan before the game against the Giants was to probably rest him for the final preseason game of the season.
What did go their way? The Jets had to be happy about the way their defensive line performed, with Muhammad Wilkerson, Damon Harrison and Sheldon Richardson doing a very good job, until Richardson also left the game with an injury. The Jets are going to heavily rely on their DL this season, getting four combined sacks on Eli Manning and Curtis Painter. Their secondary is banged up and less impressive than in the past, with Dee Milliner also out with an injury.
The running game for the Jets, as expected, looks awful. Chris Ivory carried the ball 8 times for 15 yards, while Bilal Powell got 11 carries for an even more disappointing total of 16 yards. In all? A 39 yards, 29 carries performance on the ground. When your quarterback is doing this badly, it’s no surprise the running backs, not considered to be one of the team’s strengths in any, aren’t functioning well either.
Mark Sanchez shouldn’t have been in the game, but it doesn’t matter now. What does matter that the Jets turned the ball over 5 times, with Stephen Hill and Mark Sanchez adding fumble turnovers. Preseason games don’t always mean something, but in New York things are slightly different, and every mistake is magnified more than in any other city. When it’s a quarterback mess, it seems the Jets also tend to do it better, nastier and dirtier than anyone else in the NFL.