"The way I can sum up this game for myself — awful," Geno Smith said bluntly following our 37-14 loss at Buffalo. "I know I can play better. This is not who I am."
Smith threw no touchdown passes, had four turnovers, produced a passer rating at the low end of the double-digit spectrum (10.1), and passing yardage just barely making its way over the century mark (103).
But Rex Ryan said, "I don't think it's fair to just place it on him." The pass protection was shaky, said the head coach. "You could've had Joe Namath back there, I don't think it would've mattered today."
"Some things obviously weren't really meshing with us up front," T Austin Howard said, "so we're going to have to take a look at it, watch the film and learn from it."
For the first time this season, the Jets failed to put any points on the board going into halftime. A 48-yard field goal attempt by Nick Folk was blown wide right. It ended up being the closest we would come to first-half points.
The game was still in reach, though, as the Jets were down, 27-7, with the ball late in the third quarter — until S Da'Norris Searcy stepped into the throwing lane on a short pass intended for WR Santonio Holmes, intercepted the ball and ran it into the end zone for a four-possession lead.
Smith came back for one more drive, a three-and-out to take us into the fourth quarter – before QB Matt Simms came on in relief for the second time in this season (excluding his one-play handoff to RB Chris Ivory in the first quarter after Smith left the game with the wind knocked out of him).
"It's extremely frustrating to come out of a game," Smith said. "At the same time, I understand decisions have to be made."
Simms connected with WR Greg Salas on a nifty one-handed diving catch for 25 yards to get things rolling. Then a 10-yard strike to TE Jeff Cumberland and 14 yards on two runs by Bilal Powell and Ivory set the Jets up with 2nd-and-8 on the Bills 13 before Simms went back to Cumberland for his first career touchdown pass.
"I'm just happy that I got a little experience out there and was able to take the offense down and score a touchdown," said Simms, who ended the game with four completions on six attempts for 60 yards.
Of course, the monumental individual achievement is tough to celebrate when it comes in a tough loss, but it was an encouraging sign to see that our backup QB was prepared when called upon.
"Just those few snaps at Cincinnati made it more comfortable today," Simms said. "That was a plus."
And the wind didn't bother him either because, he said, "Growing up in New Jersey, I've had my fair share of windy, rainy games."
No doubt, a 37-14 loss against a division rival will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of Jets players, coaches and fans, but with a blowout loss comes a chance to see some of the team's depth, and it's nice to know that the NFL stage doesn't appear to be too imposing for the son of a potential Hall of Famer.
"Every week I practice against a really, really good defense," Simms said. "Every week I'm preparing myself as if I'm going to play. Of course you don't know when that's going to be, but that's paid off for me so far."