As we wind down the second quarter of the 2013 schedule, consistency, or lack thereof, has been perhaps the most defining attribute of our season to date.
With seven weeks in the books, the Jets are now the only team in the league without two wins in a row or two losses in a row. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as it shows resiliency when things are bad, but it's also not great either since rarely do teams find themselves sneaking into the playoffs at 8-8, and it's impossible to win the Super Bowl without back-to-back victories.
So, while stringing together a winning streak ultimately falls equally on our offense, defense and special teams units, QB Geno Smith has taken it upon himself to keep these Jets flying high.
"I know that with that consistency at the quarterback level, it usually leads to success with the team," Smith told reporters in front of his Atlantic Health Jets Training Center locker today following practice, "so that's something that I'm trying to do and that's something I pride myself in, being a consistent decision maker."
Part of that decision-making process includes knowing when to try to squeeze a ball in a tight window, when to throw it away, and when to tuck it and run — all things that Smith said he's gotten better at over the course of his rookie season.
The description of "game manager" often carries with it a negative connotation when used as a label for a quarterback, but tell that to QB Alex Smith and the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. When the alternative to punting is turning the ball over via fumble or interception, suddenly a 3-and-out isn't the worst thing in the world.
"I think my biggest level of improvement has come with my knowledge of how to manage situations," he said, "being more aware of situations and knowing when to tone it back sometimes, not always being as aggressive and knowing when to be aggressive and when to take chances."
Consistent decision-making will go a long way, seeing as in our four wins we're averaging 26.3 points per game, but in our three losses we're not even in double digits at 9.7. Our points allowed, on the other hand, are currently 23.0 in our wins and an ever-so-slightly-worse 23.3 per game when we lose.
We have yet to lose a game when we score 14 points or more.
"I know that with this defense, we always have a chance," Smith said, "and with the offense, I think we've been moving the ball pretty good if we don't shoot ourselves in the foot. We've just got to stay focused, stay humble, and just continue to work."
The Jets on Sunday will face a tough Cincinnati defense, ranked ninth in the NFL with 334.3 yards allowed per game and tied for seventh with 19.3 points given up per game. But the Green & White are catching a bit of a break as seventh-year CB Leon Hall has already been ruled out with a torn Achilles.
Still, Smith said, "they've got other corners who can step right in. They've been doing a tremendous job. 'Pacman' [Adam Jones], Terence Newman, you know, some of their nickel corners, they all get in and do a tremendous job for them. So I think they've all stepped up their level of play and it's going to make it a challenge for us come Sunday."
|GENO SMITH: ODDS AND EVENS|