Jets quarterback Geno Smith had a frightful game against the Titans in Sunday’s 38-13 loss, committing four turnovers that turned into 28 Titans points and looking just as overmatched as Mark Sanchez did during his own nightmare game in Tennessee last season.
After the game, Jets coach Rex Ryan said Smith would start next Monday against the Falcons while also saying that pointing to the fact that Smith is a rookie is an excuse whose statute of limitations is running out. On Monday, Ryan said that there was “not a thought” about benching Smith at this point, which isn’t a surprise given that Matt Simms is the only other option at the moment, while stressing the need for the quarterback to stop turning the ball over.
“You can’t buy experience,” Ryan said, via Brian Costello of the New York Post. “With that being said, we still have to do a much better job with Geno in particular [thinking], ‘I have to protect the football at all costs.’ You can’t be nonchalant about it. You have to protect the ball. You can talk about it until you’re blue in the face. But when it happens, now you see it over and over. That’s the way we can improve.”
Early in Sanchez’s career, the Jets grouped plays under a red-yellow-green code in hopes of keeping Sanchez from taking unnecessary risks that would result in turnovers. Smith’s issues aren’t quite the same — both his fumbles came from carelessness with the ball while his interceptions didn’t come on especially egregious throws — but the Jets could look into some similar attempt to limit the downsides that come from defending short fields all day long.
If they do, they’ll just have to hope it works better than it did with Sanchez or days like Sunday could come more often than the franchise would prefer.