When he was last a starter, Geno Smith actually played pretty well

Getty Images

The perception around the NFL of Geno Smith is, frankly, that he stinks.

That’s why, when Smith became a free agent this offseason, the best deal he could find was the one-year, $1.2 million contract he signed with the Giants. And that’s why everyone was so stunned this week when the Giants benched Eli Manning for Smith.

But although Smith hasn’t played much recently, his last five NFL starts show that he does have some promise — he actually played pretty well when he was last a starter.

You can be forgiven if you’ve forgotten that: Smith started just one game for the Jets over the last two years, and he suffered a torn ACL in that start and didn’t finish the game. That doesn’t change the fact, however, that he was playing well: He threw a 69-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter before his knee injury.

In 2015 Smith only played in one game, when Ryan Fitzpatrick got hurt. But he played well in that game, completing 27 of 42 passes for 265 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception, and also rushing for 34 yards on two carries.

Smith hasn’t been the established starter since 2014, and that season he struggled and was benched at one point. But by the end of the year he was playing well: In the last four games of that season his passer rating was 105.3. And in the final game of 2014, Smith played the best game of his career, with a perfect 158.3 passer rating in a win over the Dolphins. Smith’s strong play at the end of 2014 made him the Jets’ unquestioned starter heading into 2015 — until he suffered a broken jaw when punched by a teammate in training camp.

None of this makes Smith a better quarterback than Manning. But it does suggest that he might be better than most people think. He’ll get the chance to prove that on Sunday.

30 responses to “When he was last a starter, Geno Smith actually played pretty well

  1. The issue isn’t is he a better QB than Eli.

    The issue is if the NYG are making a switch to evaluate the QB position for the QB of the NYG’s future and how they will draft accordingly with an expected top pick in 2018.

    The question should be is this an evaluation to see if Geno can be a better mentor for a year ( or less) for Webb/draft pick than Eli based on his style of play ?

  2. I don’t see it, 28 td’s – 38 int’s, avregering less than 200 pass yds per game, less than 60% career completion rate….decent runner, but has more lost fumbles than rushing td’s.
    Nothing that makes you think he will be a anything but a decent back-up

  3. Eli (career passer rating a mediocre 83.8) in last 2 games had ratings of 71.7 & 44.1. And so his comment that he didn’t want to just rack up starts for the sake of it was utterly false because despite the season effectively over he was allowed to play them and risk pointless injury just to overtake his brother in consecutive starts – because stats matter to that family more than team.

    Geno’s recent starter-ratings are better than Eli’s – but regardless of that, Geno’s far more mobile behind that porous line, and playing him protects Eli from pointless injury. And if Eli retires, you now get a chance to see whether Geno has matured at all, even if it’s just to hold the fort.

  4. billsbackto81 says:
    December 2, 2017 at 8:01 am
    Did he play well enough to win 2 Super Bowls against arguably the greatest and most controversial QB/HC combo of all time? If not, then its not well enough.
    Did he play on that SAME team with that SAME defense Mr. Manning had at the time? Because we can compare how bad Eli has played when he doesnt have that defense.

  5. Obviously, your quarterback evaluation skills are only slightly better than your skills as a writer. Both are painful to the reader.

  6. dirtdawg53 says:
    December 2, 2017 at 9:32 am
    58% completion percentage. Less than 7 yards per pass attempt. More INTs than TDS. Yeah. He’s a real winner.


    Now go back and look at the receivers he’s had. Jeremy Kerley is the best one. The one year he was about to play with Marshall and Decker, that idiot broke his jaw and Fitz benefitted. McAdoo said he beat out Webb in camp and has done everything asked of him. He deserves this opportunity to get his career back on track.

  7. As a Jets fan I’ll gladly watch any game Geno starts for another team.
    If you think he can become a good QB then that viewpoint can’t be formed on how he has played up to date. He was terrible with the Jets, good luck to whoever starts him.

  8. Eli did not win the Super Bowls, his front 7 did. I know Giants fans want to pretend, but Eli has not won a playoff game in 6 years and his team is .500. No HOF here.

  9. I want to see Geno play for an organization other than the Jets. Dude had a great arm coming out of college and ended up in the wrong place. Similar to every Browns qb drafted recently.

    Assume that Webb has the same learning curve as Goff(both from Cal), so he would look just as bad as Goff did last year. Give him the offseason to prep.

  10. “Did he play well enough to win 2 Super Bowls against arguably the greatest and most controversial QB/HC combo of all time? If not, then its not well enough.”

    That ship has sailed, friend.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!