It may have been a long weekend for
"We played a clean game for about 3½ quarters. The last 12 plays of the game, in my opinion, were fairly sloppy," Smith said after today's return to practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. "I think I tried to force things. It didn't work out for us. But we've moved on from it and now it's time to focus on Buffalo."
"Both," he said. "In those tight spaces, with the game on the line, you've got to be 100 percent precise, and I don't think I was on those throws."
Smith's confidence and his accuracy are strengths that will carry him over this rough patch. But there is one thing he knows yet still must internalize and make a part of his QB chemistry in the NFL: Turnovers = Bad. Here are a few more reminders of that equation:
■ In franchise history, we are 0-38-1 in games with four more giveaways than takeaways. In all games minus-4 or worse, we are 0-51-1.
■ That's not just a team trend. In the NFL since 2002, teams that have gone minus-4 or worse in a game are 8-274, a .028 winning percentage.
■ The Patriots, the NFL's reigning takeaway kings, are 18-0 when they're plus-4 since 2001. And since midway through 2002, they are 61-0 in all games in which they are plus-2 or better.
■ Since our Super Bowl III season, we've had a minus-3 fourth quarter 11 times. We lost all 11.
These last two bullet points came together for
How does a rookie NFL starter, with everything that's already on his plate, avoid forcing throws with the game on the line?
"You’ve got to do it. You can’t have those mistakes," Smith said. "Regardless of whose fault it is, it can’t happen. The way to avoid it is to emphasize it in practice, to stick to your fundamentals when you’re out there on the field. Just go out there and play aggressive, but at the same time be mindful of the situation.
"I think down there in the red zone, I could’ve maybe tucked the ball and ran instead of trying to fit it into a tight window, keeping three points on the board, just managing the situations, continuing to stick to my fundamentals, and just going out there being aggressive and having fun."
Those are some of the ways to prevent offensive meltdowns. Now if it's that easy, if Geno Smith can make those changes to his game that quickly, Sunday's home game against Buffalo has more of a chance of turning out like the home opener against Tampa Bay and less like the Patriots' home opener in Foxboro.
Head coach Rex Ryan had DE
Rex was not projecting first-round CB
Geno Smith and Vlad Ducasse will be the guests on "Inside the Jets" at 7 p.m. ET from the Grasshopper Off the Green in Morristown, N.J., with the show airing on ESPN New York 98.7 FM.