Perhaps something that told us that Geno Smith was back to feeling like the Geno of the odd-numbered games of the first half of the season was the QB's rushing prowess in today's 37-27 victory over the Raiders.
Indeed, maybe Geno's rushing was one of the main reasons for him looking like that QB that led those wins over Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Atlanta, New England and New Orleans.
Now cut that out.
"I can't explain why. It was kind of instinct," Smith said of staying in bounds instead of going out of bounds at the end of his 32-yard sprint to the Oakland 20 to set up Chris Ivory's very key touchdown run. "I think part of it was me trying to send a message to my teammates, to everyone, that I'm their quarterback. I'm a tough guy. I'm going to stay in there."
There followed three of Geno's shortest news conference answers as our rookie signalcaller.
Did his coaches talk to him about going out of bounds?
During the game?
"During the game, yes."
Who talked to him?
"All of them."
Said Rex Ryan, who once brought in Yankees manager Joe Girardi to coach Mark Sanchez on sliding with the ball:
"I definitely Geno rather not do that. I'd rather he just step out of bounds and not take the hit. But you also love that enthusiasm and competitiveness. Again, he doesn't need to do that. We have to make sure he understands that you run the ball in this league from the quarterback position for first downs and touchdowns."
Message received. But in the meantime, Smith's rushing performance, while augmenting his 16-for-25, 219-yard game that wiped out the memory of four straight starts of single-digit completions, were worth considering in their own right.
■ The 32-yard run was the third-longest by a QB in franchise history, trailing only Al Dorow's 40-yarder for the Titans in '61 and Joe Namath's 39-yarder in '66.
■ His 50 yards on five carries for the day were the fourth-most yardage by a QB in a game in franchise history.
■ Geno's 8-yard read-option TD run in the third quarter was his fourth of the season, all of them coming in home victories. He still has a way to go to catch Dorow's seven TD runs in '60, Sanchez's six in '11, and Richard Todd's five each in '79 and '80. But he's still got three games to motor.
Two of our three sacks of Matt McGloin went to individuals — Calvin Pace and Quinton Coples — while one was a team sack. Pace's was his eighth of the year, equaling his career high set in his first season as a Jet in 2008. ... Congrats to D'Brickashaw Ferguson, who started his 125th game as our LT. That's not only a franchise mark but also is the longest among all current NFL players. ... Darius Reynaud's debut as the new kick returner went well. He had three kickoff returns for 75 yards (he juggled the opening KO but downed it safely) and he fair-caught his only punt return.