BGA: Before it’s too late

It happens sometimes. A quarterback gets off to a solid start, but then gets rattled by a big hit and then struggles the rest of the way.

Jarret Johnson nailed Geno Smith in the first quarter, dislodging his helmet and rendering Smith a shadow of himself. Smith had been accurate, composed and faultless up to that point, but Johnson’s hit turned him into a quivering wreck who was hesitant and seemed unprepared for everything the Chargers threw at him. Yeah, so this happened on the second snap of the game but it’s not all Geno’s fault, okay? It was a pretty good handoff on first down…

(By the way – the Chargers have a Jarret, a Malcom and a Mathews on their roster. And a Jeromey on the PUP list. Do they have “badly spelled birth certificates” as a key identifiable scouting trait or something? That’s without even getting into the Philip or Phillip debate for their quarterback.)

Sorry, I lost focus for a minute there. HOW UNACCEPTABLE.

Back to Smith. (Maybe “back to Smith” is the last place we should be going, but let’s persevere). For the second game in a row, he was 4-for-12 in the first half. At last! Some consistency! Remember last year when at least he was good every other week? Memories…

Yes, Smith was under pressure a lot, but the fact is he brought most of this on himself. If your first option isn’t there, take off or get rid of the ball!

After the first series you could tell it was going to be a long day. On his first dropback, the Jets rolled him out, obviously hoping that Jeff Cumberland would be able to leak into the flat or Greg Salas would be open underneath. However, the Chargers played zone with a safety jumping Salas’ route and Johnson dropped rather than rushing upfield so he was not only covering Cumberland but also in perfect position to hit Smith as he threw the ball away. On the next play, Greg Salas was open underneath for an easy five yards with the potential for more if you hit him in stride. Everyone else was running a downfield route. Smith instead hesitated, the pocket eventually collapsed and he got nailed again as he threw at Salas’ feet. You have to be able to take what the defense gives you – all the good quarterbacks do. Finally on third and short, he overthrew David Nelson who had a step on Richard Marshall deep. No, this wasn’t an easy throw, but it’s one Rivers made every time.

There were three more plays where he essentially threw the ball away having delayed for too long. One of these saw him get folded in half by a big hit on an unblocked delayed blitz. That looked eerily reminiscent of two of his interceptions this year, but at least this time he threw it harmlessly out of bounds. Another saw him hesitate rather than take the easy checkdown option to Chris Ivory and then he had to spin away from pressure. At that point he had bought himself time and probably had room to run but instead he threw the ball away when he didn’t need to. One of these was a good scheme by the Chargers as they sent a blitz up the middle and dropped one of their linemen into coverage. Throwing the ball away is obviously preferable to throwing a pick, but Smith has to realize sooner when nothing is available and take what he can get rather than waiting for something to develop when it obviously isn’t going to.

You could say these plays are signs that the receivers aren’t getting open, but when we reviewed the all-22 footage last season in such situations, we could see that receivers were getting open, Smith just wasn’t anticipating it and delivering the ball on time. That same hesitant nature has crept back into his game and rendered him toothless.

On the final series, Smith made perhaps his best throw on a deep pass down the sideline that Jace Amaro couldn’t come up with. However, even this was flawed. Amaro was open much earlier with a clear step on his man, but instead of leading him with a downfield pass that probably would have gained 40+, Smith hesitated and then ended up throwing to his back shoulder by which time even if the pass was caught cleanly, the safety was coming over and Amaro’s momentum was carrying him out of bounds.

As it happens, the Jets were flagged for offensive pass interference on the play anyway as David Nelson’s subtle attempt to inadvertently get in the defender’s way didn’t fool the officials. I don’t doubt that was a deliberate attempt to see if they could get away with one late in the half where the upside is a big play and the downside is that the yards don’t matter too much if the penalty is called because you weren’t likely to score anyway. Nevertheless, the fact Smith saw this late, delivered it late and was inaccurate with the throw sums up how little progress he’s made since last season.

On his final play of the half, Smith threw an interception but this was little more than a Hail Mary pass. Again, you don’t have much to lose here, other than that if Smith wasn’t intercepted then it would have screwed up everybody’s “When Geno doesn’t throw an interception” numbers.

At halftime came the decision to go with Michael Vick and, if anything, he fared even worst than Smith. Smith was 4-for-12 whereas Vick only completed TWO of his first 12. I’m prepared to give him a pass though – wow, a Jets player actually receiving a pass from someone! – because entering a game without having had a chance to fully prepare is much different than just being told to play hurry-up and do what you can to get us back in the game. Especially when you’re three scores down and motivation is at a low.

I was watching the Bills game where Kyle Orton was struggling early, throwing a pick six with the announcers remarking that Orton’s inability to find downfield receivers was a sign that EJ Manuel’s reliance on checkdowns was more of a team issue than his fault. Vick struggling just as badly as Smith similarly shows how there is more to the offensive woes than just the quarterback. The difference is that Orton was able to settle down and – while the Bills required an absurd amount of luck to go their way – the end result was a 300-yard game from Orton and a win. The Bills definitely got more from their backup by having the balls to turn the team over to him, rather than just making a mid-game, too-late panic move.

I suspect Smith will start against the Broncos and probably get benched again if and when he struggles. This might be the wrong move, because Vick probably has a better chance of being successful if he prepares to be the starter.

Vick did pick up some cheap yardage (6-for-7 for 36 yards on the last drive) against a soft prevent style defense featuring a lot of backups later in the game. (Maybe he can carry that “momentum” over into next week!)

Ultimately though, Vick showed poor composure and awareness in the pocket and had a couple of inaccurate throws. He still might be an upgrade though. That’s depressing.

Next up…we move onto an analysis of the offensive line performance, which was confounding for a couple of reasons…




49 comments
dmike
dmike

BGA question:

You chronical some late reads be Geno (recurring problem), can this be attributed to revolving personal at WR? Lack of faith in RBs? Is it time to split first team reps with Vick so that he may be more adequtely prepared (He looked equally awful), or make the switch outright?

harvlis
harvlis

Playing a good team can expose your weaknesses and that is just what happened yesterday.  The O-line is not that good (and not smart) and needs a serious overhaul.  Marty's play calling is not a match for the players he has and his  preparation was horrible. Marty does not have a clue, as to how to establish the running game. With three solid backs, there is no excuse for not moving the ball down the field on the ground, thus taking a great deal of pressure off of your young, inexperienced QB. Duh. As for putting Vick in the game -- how could your back-up QB look so unprepared?  How can you not have a complete list of plays that are dedicated to your back-up's ability.  How many months of preparation do you get, so that you are ready for these situations. Marty is the wrong man for the job.  He is the third bad OC that Rex has had to live with and, this time, it is going to cost Rex his job.  Of course, a big part of this is that, Rex has no clue on offense and should go back to being a defensive coordinator.  Lastly, how Idzik could let this team go into the season with the cornerbacks on this roster, and money to spend, is sickening.  This group would have a hard time covering a solid HS team.  Unfortunately, Woody knows nothing about football, Idzik does not have an eye for talent but does a good job saving Woody money, Rex doesn't know offense and allowed his GM to go into the season with half of a defensive team, and Marty needs to go elsewhere.   

nickballs
nickballs

honestly there aint much to even say......i mean, i assumed wed be 1-6 but they making it difficult to even watch.....as little talent as we have, i still want to give Idzik one more offseason...if this idiot does have a plan, let me atleast see it and maybe he can show us why he sat on 21 mill......smh....team makes me miserable every week

Peter Alson
Peter Alson

Just once I would like to see the "Trust in Idzik" posters on this site, the people who said "He has a plan and he's sticking to it," the people who scoffed at any criticism of his "moves," admit that they were WRONG. Wrong to belittle those of us who questioned his moves, his FA signings or lack thereof, his draft picks, etc. The guy is incompetent. He has set this team back years. It isn't necessary to take a wait and see approach with his drafts. He doesn't know what he's doing. So just admit it, say "I was wrong. I shouldn't be defending him. I shouldn't be defending this team's moves. It's okay to be critical when you see the team make mistakes." Do it. You'll feel better. I promise.

lamjones
lamjones

whatever happened to "playing like a Jet?"  Or are we watching it?  Listening to Chad Cascadden bringing up parallels to '95 and '96 with Kotite made my blood run cold...

idothis2
idothis2

I hope this was rock bottom

Justin Schaefer
Justin Schaefer

Serious question: The wife and I just had our first kid. She is a Giants fan and dresses him up in GMEN crap. I was getting upset, but now I think I should steer him to the GMEN to save him a life of regret and disappointment like I have. Am I being a good father or a bad fan?


greggreen
greggreen

what is going on with our 3rd down defense? It seems like its been an issue since 2010. We are getting to the qb but it doesn't seem to matter, no matter what yardage it is on 3rd down we seem to give it up. I dont understand it. At first i thought it was our pass rush but we are top in the league in sacks, It seems teams just STOP our rush on 3rd down. 

machoking
machoking

Hey guys.. take it easy on Geno.  I mean, we have to give him time now, so that he doesn't suck later. Don't you guys get it? The Jets are losing now, in order to win later....Soon, we are going to win everything..... soon. 

will898
will898

Give Vick the reps this week. He just looks rusty. Marty can use his whole playbook with Vick.

We have been complaining about the receiving talent on this team for the past 3 seasons. Let give Vick all the reps and see what a professional QB can do with this offense the rest of the season.

bobbyj
bobbyj

Jesus your terrible. From the start, when they decided to bring Vick in here ( whoever it was Idzik, Woody, Graves. Whoever is really making decisions around here ) there should have been a strait COMPETITION ( remember that catch phrase) The reason there was none was simple, GENO COULD NOT BEAT VICK OUT PEROID. There is no other reason to SLANT/GIVE GENO THE JOB. Problem number 1, this tells your entire team that your playing the lesser player. Hold on to that one. Next problem with your reasoning. GENO'S ACCURACY & DECISION MAKING HAVE SUCKED FOR ALL OF LAST YEAR & ALL OF THIS YEAR. Rex is fired, & we are irrelevant & it's week 6. Here a fact/lock YOU START GENO VS DENVER AND WERE ARE 1-5... This will have serious repercussions.. REX WILL BE FIRED.. Will Marty be back? Will we win 5 games this year? I have to admit that I have ZERO RESPECT FOR THE WRITERS & BRENDAN ( of corse ) the stuff you guys write... Are you sitting there with a needle hanging out of your arm, PLEASE STAY OFF THE DOPE.. How can you possible criticize Mike Vick for his play yesterday?? DID VICK PRACTICE WITH THE STARTERS ALL WEEK??? NOPE BRING HIM IN DOWN 21 ( it was 28 in a out 10 mins into his start ) TOTALLY UNFAIR/POOR DECISION MAKING BY REX ( that is if it was Rex who decided on the switch) the change should have happen a week ago, after the Chicago game. Sorry in advance. But when are you clowns gonna start talking about our real problem WOODY JOHNSON. WE ARE A DYSFUNCTIONAL ORGANIZATION AND IT ALL STARTS AT THE TOP. 3 GM's & ONE WITH THE TITLE IS A CLUB PRESIDENT. WOODY DOES THIS SO THAT HE CAN BE INVOLVED WITH ON FIELD/PERSONELL DECISIONS. We are 1-4 heading to 1-6 ( New England may be beatable) with 24 MILLION UNDER THE CAP AND THIS IS WIN NOW. WOODY SAID IT WIN NOW... WE ARE A RUTTERLESS SHIP, WITH AN EGO MANIAC IN CHARGE....

Jim Israel
Jim Israel

Geno Smith getting hit hard in the first quarter -- a 'quivering wreck' -- is not the reason the Jets lost 31-0. Far from it.

Face it: the Jets AGAIN need a complete overhaul. And, again, it's a matter of poor assessment of talent and needs that are at fault: Decker was a good addition, but a #1 receiver? Ain't happening. Look at the Giants: they draft a real #1 receiver, Beckham, this year and he looks like the real deal. The Jets stuck with an underwhelming Stephen Hill for years, and now are back to using essentially back-up receivers once again. As Geno put it, 'pathetic.'

And what about the offensive line? It was consistently terrible yesterday. Wasn't that the strength of the team last week? As the Wall Street Journal said this morning, the line looks like 'it suddenly got old.' Uh-oh.

One more thing: the Jets have a better chance to win with Vick. Even in yesterday's debacle, you could see that. He just throws the ball much better. But, in theory, Geno Smith is the future, so it's a good idea to stick with him until things absolutely go into the toilet.

What's the point spread in the Jets-Broncos game coming up? It's got to be double-digits.

Jim Israel


Justin Schaefer
Justin Schaefer

Geno will be a great QB...in Canada. Seriously. He can live a nice comfortable life throwing pigskins up North. No shame in that, just take Rex with you.


hitchhiker
hitchhiker

So Geno was awful again? He crumpled under pressure like a wrinkly shirt & missed open receivers again?

This guy is not an NFL QB & should not be playing.

Adam
Adam

This is why I couldn't stand when after the first three games people said he didn't make any progress. Last year, Geno's problem wasn't the interceptions. It was that he couldn't complete a pass like yesterday. Comparing Geno the last two games vs the first three games shows the progress he made (or had made until he reverted to stinking). Yea, in the first three games he turned the ball over ridiculously but the Jets moved the ball. Now, they just go three and out and hope not to turn it over. Is the difference in the last two games, that Morninwheg decided to scale it back so we would go three and out instead of turning the ball over, or Geno just starting to stink, or the Jets lack of confidence Geno leading to Geno lacking confidence himself?

cippycups
cippycups

I'm just getting my GF into football and she mentioned yesterday how she doesn't like watching the Jets games because they aren't exciting and filled with big plays like the other games.


She also mentioned how awful SD stadium looked...it does look horrendous 

bobbyj
bobbyj

Never happen pal. Becarefull Bent will attack you if you go after his boy Brendan...Bent put me on the Jets wall of shame, by my full name then expected an apology for ripping him & Brendans ridiculous/ clueless analyst of our team... Everything with us starts at the top. We have 3 GM's, plus Woody who is definitely involved in on field decisions, which is why no real GM candidate will work for him. Think about it. We have 3 GM's ( one a former GM of this team, still here, still involved in decision making ) The lead GM, Idzik is a money man/team president. We have a HC who is a defensive coordinator. We have an offensive coordinator, not hired by the current GM, who is operating completely independent of the HC. Top it all of with an owner who is at every practice doing push up's with the team as they make mistakes, & is also making policy on what the product on the field is...ITS WIN NOW...OH WERE 23MIL UNDER THE CAP...OUR HC IS ON A PERFORMANCE INCENTIVE DEAL, BUT WERE PLAYING FOR A TOP 10 PICK & DEVELOPING A QB HE WILL NEVER BE AROUND TO SEE EXCELL. OUR PROGRAM IS BASED ON COMPETITION, YET WE GAVE GENO THE JOB & MADE SURE THERE WAS NO COMPETITION...think about it

nickballs
nickballs

@Peter Alson hahah..moron.....


hitchhiker
hitchhiker

Idzik's version of "competition" seems to have killed "play like a jet"

lamjones
lamjones

@idothis2 In the stock trading business there is an expression; a "dead cat bounce."  Essentially anything bounces when dropped from high enough, but its still dead.

Stick w the Jets. I'm 47 and a first time dad. Watched every jets game save perhap 20 since I became a fan in 7th grade. He will see every game and it will be all the sweeter when we finally win it all. Living in CO I did make the bold decision to let him cheer for the Rockies rather than the Mets but that's just because games are so accessible I plan on taking him to 20 plus games a year. Despite Jets horrible history there is no reason that things shouldn't change in a generation. Hang in there.

bobbyj
bobbyj

Teams can pass at will against us. Rex's defense's are based on personel changes. Everyone is going no huddle to keep our pass defense unit on the field or vise versa. Bottom line Rex doesn't have what he needs to have in the secondary. First thing that happen yesterday was that Walls got used as a tampon...It was down hill from there

hitchhiker
hitchhiker

Seems like the LBs & safeties keep getting beat, take bad angles, etc.

Harris should be a platoon player for run downs at this point imo, & Pryor has been shaky at best.

hitchhiker
hitchhiker

Geno is clearly the worst starter on the Jets

machoking
machoking

@UncleJoesFunnyFarm @harvlis Geno has a terrible attitude...... came from an easy college system, which will make it harder for him to learn a 2nd system when MM is fired.  The Geno era is done before it even started. 

Brendan
Brendan

@bobbyj  I don't work for or play for the Jets. Please stop making this personal, it's pathetic. 

bobbyj
bobbyj

Elite QB's like Payton Manning wouldn't even grant Woody & the Jets an interview... Think about that

Brendan
Brendan

@cippycups The running game, Decker, Kerley and Amaro would be my concerns in that order. 

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se " I don't work for or play for the Jets."

bobbyj
bobbyj

Hard to run with 8 guys in the box every pllay... Our team structor/organization is the problem. John Idzik is not a GM. Look at our team. If your telling me that were aiming for the number 1 pick in the draft? Ok start Geno for the rest of the season, but if your telling me it's WIN NOW, there's something really wrong. We are what 24 mil under the cap? Rex is on a performance incentive deal ( only HC in the NFL who has such a contract) which means it's win now for him. Brendan even you, shill for management/ownership has to see that there are serious things wrong about the way we are doing business.

jetlanding
jetlanding

@Brendan @cippycups This team badly needs another WR though. When I heard Decker was inactive, I knew we wouldn't have a chance. That shouldn't be the case. Obviously, QB being solidified is the #1 issue, but WR should be #2. You can't throw Nelson and Salas out there vs. good QBs and expect to score.

cippycups
cippycups

@Brendan @cippycups I agree with that order. But besides the running game (IMO) none of those guys are going to go off.


I think Decker is awesome by the way but if Andre Johnson can't go off in Houston this year Decker can't go off on this Jets roster

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se Neither of things are true, 57. Please don't be so general. 

Brendan
Brendan

@a57se I have no problem eating crow. I have a problem for eating EVERY crow. 


I don't argue with anyone that "posts something I don't like." I provide stats to give a discussion a more well-rounded structure. Yes, that does lead to arguments, but it's not because I want to argue (well, at least not all the time). 


But that's less important to me than the "you ALWAYS side with the team on every issue" comment. This is just categorically untrue and it's upsetting that people still say this. It's like a meme that won't go away. I have been talking all  morning about negatives with the team, things I'm not happy with, and that's been the case all season. But people just see what they want to see and that's unfortunate.