Though Geno Smith didn’t play one down in the New York Jets 37-13 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars over the weekend at Met Life Stadium because of injury, he is still in the competition to start at the quarterback position to open the season. Why? Mark Sanchez, the fifth-year player who has started the first four seasons at the quarterback position for the team, continues to make foolish mistakes.
With about five seconds left in the first half and the ball at the six-yard line, Jets head coach Rex Ryan called a play that was a quick hitter designed to go to the end zone. Instead of throwing the ball away when the initial receiver wasn’t open, Sanchez instead rolled out, and, once the clock had expired, threw the ball away. I was puzzled, as I think a seven-year old child who plays the video game Madden would know that he needs to get rid of the ball quickly. Instead, the Jets came away with no points, when a touchdown, or, at least, a field goal seemed guaranteed. It wasn’t the only time that they came away with no points when deep inside the red zone. On third and goal from the three-yard line, Sanchez threw an interception that led to the Jets coming away without points. These are mistakes that Sanchez has made in the past and continues to make. Though his final statistics of 13-23 for 169 yards and one touchdown and an interception don’t look bad, these mistakes could eventually cost Sanchez the job as starting quarterback.
Geno Smith should see action against the New York Giants Saturday, and if he does, and is able to play mistake-free football, while leading the Jets on a scoring drive, the job could be his. But if Smith doesn’t impress, the Jets will be forced to start Sanchez in the season opener at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.