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EA Q&A: Geno Smith Can't Get All the Blame

**kevin** ‏@**gomlz123**
Q: What is wrong with Geno?

EA: The rookie played poorly against the Bills.  He forced balls into coverage, he locked in on receivers at times and was baited by ball-hawk S Jairus Byrd.  Smith often didn't look comfortable in the pocket and he failed to make plays with this feet.

Smith leads the NFL with 20 turnovers and five of those plays have ended with touchdowns.  Since that impressive Monday Night road win in Atlanta, Smith has accounted for just 3 scores (1 Pass TD & 2 Rush TD) while being victimized by 9 turnovers (8 INT & 1 Lost Fumble).  Half of those 8 interceptions — including D'Norris Searcy's theft in Buffalo — have been returned for touchdowns.  Over the last three games, the Green & White have averaged 126 yards through the air.

But Smith can't get all the blame for the blowout in Buffalo.  He absorbed a beating while being sacked four times and getting hit on numerous other occasions.  And as Rex Ryan pointed on Monday, the Jets failed to get separation down the field against an underrated Bills secondary.  Many people overlooked the fact that Byrd along with corners Stephon Gilmore & Leodis McKelvin all were not on the field when the Jets were carving up B-Lo in Week 3.

Can Smith once again show an ability to rebound?  It could be difficult against a Ravens team that is 3-1 at home and is tied for third in the NFL in sacks with 34.  The Jets have to find a way to start quickly and find some momentum changing plays.  We can talk all we want about Smith and the offense's struggles, but you have to play complimentary football.

Q: Why isn't @**MattSimms5** even being considered for the starting job?   Let @**GenoSmith7** "watch and learn" like @**AaronRodgers12** did.

EA: Coach Ryan indicated that it's possible the Jets could give Simms first-team reps at practice.  The Jets believe Smith has a chance to be a good quarterback though, but obviously the trend of turnovers has to change at some point.  Smith has been benched in each of the past two road games.  If he doesn't have it early in Baltimore, then perhaps they would make a move to Simms earlier. 

The Jets think Smith gives them the best chance to win right now and he has a lot more game experience than Matt Simms.  That Rodgers' situation was completely different considering he was drafted by a club in 2005 that had a future Hall of Famer in Brett Favre at the controls.

**joe lepianka** ‏@**bosbruins2011**
Q: How come the Jets can beat the Saints and Pats at home, but on the road they don't even show up and are even embarrassed by Buffalo?

EA: They have played complimentary football at home.  After Smith threw a pick-six in the first half against the Pats, Antonio Allen answered back against future Hall of Famer Tom Brady in the second half with a score of his own.  They also dominated the line of scrimmage in Week 7, running the ball for 52 times for 177 yards in the OT win over their longtime nemeses.  And then two weeks later, the Green & White pounded out 198 yards on the ground against the Saints.  Smith played turnover free and the Jets got two of their five interceptions on the season.   

The Jets lost at the point of attack in Tennessee, Cincinnati and Buffalo.  While they are fantastic against the run, the Green & White have failed to get pressure on the quarterback away from the Met and the secondary has gotten beat vertically.  There have been protection problems and it's hard to depend on the run game when you fall behind by double digits early.   I tweeted out this stat SUN — the Jets have been outscored 92-32 in the 1st Half on the road.  On average, that is 18-6.  Not good.


Christa ✌ ‏@Chriistaxx3**
@**eallenjets**  What do you think of the Jets secondary?

EA: Frankly, the Jets haven't met their own standards in the defensive backfield.  They have the NFL's 29th ranked pass defense (250.8 YPG) and teams are going to try to continue to attack them through the air.

Of particular concern to Rex Ryan has been the deep balls.  He gave you some great insight Monday, describing rookie Dee Milliner's zone turn instead of a man turn on TJ Graham's 34-yard scoring reception in the second quarter.  Milliner had Graham pinned on the sideline and looked to be in excellent position for the takeway, but the crazy wind went against the visitors there.    You don't anticipate Antonio Cromartie to get beat deep by sprinter Marquise Goodwin, but that's exactly what happened in the third quarter.

The Ed Reed signing made a lot of sense considering this team has five interceptions.  We have been barking about it all year, but New York's AFC representative won't finish with a .500 record or better if they don't improve on their turnover differential of -14.  Reed played a lot against the Bills while Kyle Wilson, Jaiquawn Jarrett and Antonio Allen's play times were down.  The Bills used a lot of two tight-end sets and Reed is going to be more of the centerfielder while Jarrett and Allen are more box type safeties.  Dawan Landry plays the critical role of defensive quarterback.

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