Initial Reaction – New York Jets Beat Down In Tennessee


The New York Jets got hit in the mouth in Tennessee today, falling to the Titans 38-13. It was ugly from the very beginning they were never able to turn the tide, primarily thanks to a rash of turnovers and penalties. It was a nightmare performance for rookie quarterback Geno Smith who had 2 interceptions and 2 very bad fumbles, both of which showed very little field awareness.

Smith is going to have to cut down on the turnovers for the Jets to remain competitive on a weekly basis. The defense has been put on a short field too frequently and couldn’t recover from it today, as Jake Locker threw three first half touchdowns, putting the Jets into a 24-6 hole. Smith must tuck the football away in the pocket and when scrambling. On the interceptions, he is too frequently locking on to his first read and still showing way too much inconsistency with his accuracy. It is going to be a roller coaster ride starting a 2nd round rookie and Jets fans need to be ready to accept the growing pains.

Surrounding Smith, the offensive line was disappointing, consistently allowing the Titans to get pressure on him and continuing to rack up penalties. It was a tough day for the receivers as both Stephen Hill and Santonio Holmes left with injuries, hopefully neither is serious because the Jets are already thin at the position. Bilal Powell was the lone bright spot, finishing with 66 yards rushing on 4.7 yards per carry and adding on 42 yards receiving.

Defensively, the Titans picked on Darrin Walls in the first half, culminating in a touchdown right before the half by Justin Hunter. While the defense was solid against the run and did have a pair of sacks on Locker, they are going to need to start forcing turnovers. Since week one, they haven’t forced a single one and considering the offensive inconsistencies, the defense will need to start creating some points on their own.

What can you say? The Jets were whipped in just about every aspect of the game. They are a young team with a rookie quarterback. This is going to happen. There are going to be surprisingly encouraging performances and there are going to be a few nightmare games mixed in. If you aren’t ready for a frustrating roller coaster ride this season, you should recalibrate your expectations. Next week could be tough in Atlanta as well but you hope lessons are learned from today, mistakes aren’t replicated and there begins to be a lesser amount of mistakes overall.

Cutting ties with Geno Smith after 4 games makes no sense. An undrafted backup QB with zero NFL experience isn’t taking this team to the playoffs. Get excited after the wins. Remain patient after the losses. There will continue to be ups and downs, Jets fans…that is just the reality we are dealing with this season.

  • Jay1

    True patience is key but there are some troubling signs…Geno needs to realize he is not the fastest player on the field and he is far from the best player. This he has to realize ASAP. That behind the back trickery is a sign of a bit of arrogance. Vlad’s inconsistency is frustrating but Geno needs much better pocket awareness.

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Geno’s not ready for a NFL starting gig & should be holding a clipboard learning the game. Unfortunately, he is most likely the best healthy QB on the roster.

    The arrogance Jay1 mentions is very concerning. Geno is clearly the weak link on this team & hopefully he realizes it before there are more situations like ‘back-fumble’ & more games lost to multi-interception & multi-fumble games.

  • Will g

    I like your site, but this is a terrible article. “Geno needs to cut down on turnovers for jets to win.” Thanks for that fabulous analysis

  • Mark Phelan

    Big upside with Geno.

    No upside with Ducasse or Hunter.

    You guys had lots of praise for Walls heading into game. Our safeties are stiffs and Harris is worthless in pass coverage.

    Better get someone to return punts and kick-offs.

  • KAsh

    Geno regressed in this game. Backward-going sacks. Football juggling near the end zone. On the mid-field fumble, he was at the first-dwn marker and still holding the ball as if he was trying to throw it. And he was shaken after they intercepted his first pass. His accuracy was off all game. You cannot blame this on his receivers.

    Powell had a nice game. The line looked much better run blocking than pass blocking. Next week, Goodson returns, and a Powell-Goodson tandem can be a true force.

    Walls got beat like a taiko drum: with power and regularity. We need Milliner back healthy, so Milliner, Walls, and Wilson can form a platoon for the #2 & #3 CB spots.

  • Bigwoo

    Your constant support of geno is maddening. I know its not the popular thing to say on this site but, Matt Simms should be out there behind center. I was never onboard with “Eugene” starting from the jump. Simms during the pre season was actually fun to watch and not gut wrenching like watching Smith. The most frustrating part is that Simms wont be out there unless “Eugene” gets hurt! (Which might happen cuz he loves to hold on to that ball)

  • Mike P

    Maybe Geno should do push-ups. Oh yeah, that didn’t work. And his disinterested / deer-in-the-headlights look on the sidelines is very discouraging. I too think he needs to spend some time on the sidelines. Unfortunately, Rex broke our only real alternaive. Rex won’t turn the reigns over to Simms with his job on the line. He’ll stick with Geno (either to the end or until Sanchez comes back). Hopefully we’ll stay in contention until then.

  • mike

    you guys have to answer for talking up walls all season. he shouldn’t be on the field, and any time he is he’ll be targeted. geno’s turnovers were disappointing but the defense was abysmal in the first half, and it’s mostly because the left side of the field was wide freakin open.

  • Joe Caporoso

    The answer is Walls played very well prior to today and had a very poor first half…no worse than Antonio Cromartie played in week 1 and certainly no worse than Kyle Wilson last week.

  • NFLSpecialist

    I get that this is a “positive” Jet website with a particular and reactionary bias toward defending Rex Ryan and whomever the Jet signal caller is. My reaction, as it has been all season, is that Rex is not protecting his rookie QB or devising game plans that will give the kid a chance while preventing shell shock. Jets have lost the turnover battle each week. There needs to be about 50% more 1st and 2nd down runs. Heck, Geno has already showed he can make plays on 3rd down. The coaching staff has to realize that any rookie QB is a turnover liability, and therefore eliminating this risk by the plays that are called, while cherishing field position, is the way to stay competitive. A good road map to follow would be the 2011 49ers. Run the ball, play defense, and punt the ball well.

  • mike

    whatever dude, you talked up a guy who actually isn’t playable. at the very least it’s a knock.

  • Geronimo

    I like what MM is doing with Smith. Make things as comfortable as possible for the kid (e.g. lots of shotgun), play to his strengths, and keep him attacking. The game will never slow down for Smith unless he is challenged to make it happen.

    If Geno keeps improving, he’s the guy. If not, then start sniffing out other QBs.

    Sanchez was given four years of hand holding. Now he’s a mind-blasted, broken shell of a QB, blowing spit bubbles in the corner, looking for someone to hold his hand. He’ll never carry a team.

    Smith has a lot of tools but so does everyone. It would have been nice to have given him some time on the bench, but Garrard retired and Sanchez got hurt. So bang the kid is under the microscope a year or so early, and his development timeline is accelerated — for better or worse.

    If Smith is still struggling, Simms will get some playing time, but only after midseason — once the Jets drop out of realistic playoff contention.

    An interesting season to watch, for Jets fans. I’m excited about Idzik/Ryan/Mornhinweg. I hope this crew sticks around for 5 years or so to see what they can do together. Since Parcells/Belichick/Weis, this is the best it’s been.

    Idzik was just what this team needed. This dude has put together a tremendous off-season, after starting out 20 million over the cap, with holes everywhere. Not everything works out (Garrard, Goodson –yet, Ivory — yet) but the man makes good decisions.

    Big draft next year, and lots of money coming free.

  • TerranceJ

    Simms isn’t the answer, the answer is most likely in the draft. Smith has shown more Sanchez in 4 games than Sanchez ever did. He’s terrible, but terrible in the worst way, terrible topped with arrogance. Granted, most top flight QBs have that in their game, but as he’s shown, that’s about all he has in common with them. In today’s NFL, you can tell about a QB almost immediately. Geno doesn’t have it. This talk of “playoffs” is hilarious, as their isn’t a team on the schedule left the Jets will be favored over, no matter how bad the opponent (Even Buffalo, at home, will likely be a safe pick). While not the most talented lineup surrounding him, the fact remains that Smith doesn’t inspire anything close to confidence with his play. 2 or 3 good throws a game does not make up for an avalanche of turnovers. We have Sanchez for that, altough I guess Geno’s cheaper, so he has that going for him.

  • Josh

    I’d like to be pimps from Oakland or Cowboys from Arizona but it’s not Halloween, grow up Peter Pan, Count Chocula. Matt Simms is not a liable option…What ya think he’s gonna come out and light it up and make Clyde Gates look like Julio Jones? LOL. Geno is gonna have bad turnovers, he did at West Va and he’s gonna do it here get used to it he’s gotta learn and experience is the best way. Many of his turnovers are coming b/c he’s trying to hard & the only reason he’s gotta do that is because of what he has around him. He’ll be fine let’s all calm down and make overreaction Monday a little less ridiculous.

  • David

    I believe where the Jets have made a mistake is not having a reliable backup in place when situations like this go bad. They did it with Sanchez when he was a rookie (His “backup” was 41 year old Mark Brunell and we all knew he wasn’t coming in no matter how bad Sanchez played).

    Let’s be realistic, the Jets are not keen on Sanchez, Quinn, or Simms because if they were, Simms would have been in that game in the 2nd half because it was obvious Geno didn’t have it yesterday. Say what you will, without Geno Smith turnovers, that game is probably nothing more than 14-6 going into the 4th quarter.

    I know he is not the greatest, but at least with Tennessee the past few seasons, they have had fairly reliable backups (Hasselbeck then, Fitzpatrick now), guys that have won games in the NFL and can step in when needed.

    Idzik will have a nice cap situation next year, but above all else, please sign a reliable backup.

  • Angel

    I truly believe Matt Simms would make ONE or maybe even TWO less mistakes than Geno. Does that mean they win vs the Titans. No. In all likelihood they lose this game no matter who the QB was. But, it would’ve been a closer game, and they would probably be a more confident 3 – 1 at this point.

  • David

    Angel, a couple comments:

    1) If Simms makes 2 less mistakes, especially at the beginning, the Jets likely aren’t down anywhere near what they were. The Titans first two scoring drives were 18 and 26 yards. Even an average offense is putting points on the board there.

    And second of all, and this not directed at you, for those talking that you can’t bench Geno, my response to that is, “It isn’t like we are talking about Peyton Manning or Tom Brady back there.” Heck, we aren’t even talking about a 1st round pick. Geno is on pace for more turnovers in a season than Sanchez; how bad is that? If Rex can put the #9 overall pick on the bench, why can’t he put a 2nd rounder on the bench? When I look at the Jets, I have seen 5 years at QB that are basically the same.

  • Lidman

    Giving Simms any time is opening yourself up to a QB controversy if he somehow plays well. As I’ve said before, ‘I root for laundry, not players’, so I wouldn’t be adverse to letting Geno watch from the sidelines. I mean, if Milliner, a 1st rounder can be benched, why can’t Geno?

    However, I realize Geno needs to play to get better. Plus, they picked him to be there QB and used a 2nd rounder to get him, so they need to allow it to play out a bit. If the guy could literally just cut down on 1/2 his TOs.

    As for next week, after watching ATL yesterday, what makes you think they are so good? I agree, the NYJ are going to have a tough time covering JJ. But, the NYJ are going to get pressure on him, that OL isn’t that good. I’m not predicting a win. But, look the NYG and Steelers are 0-4 and Atl is 1-3…just maybe they aren’t that good? It happens every year, a team that’s expected to be very good, or at least a playoff team…isn’t.

  • Mark Phelan

    The REAL question about benching is:

    Yesterday was not Geno’s day. Would it have been better for HIM to be benched at some point?

  • KAsh

    You have to trust the coaches with Matt Simms. He is reportedly less accurate than Geno. If Geno is throwing erratic passes, just imagine what Simms might do. It is possible that Simms is worse than Geno.

    Secondly, Simms is a rookie. He spent all of last year on the practice squad. If you are going to replace Geno in the middle of a game, it needs to be with the only experienced QB on the roster: Brady Quinn. But he has not even been activated for a single game.

  • joeydefiant

    People are ridiculous. Calling for Simms. After 4 games and a 2-2 record? Geno won the game against the Bucs at the end and destroyed the Bills secondary for the 2nd win. With Simms we are probably 0-4, get real peoople. The whole backup QB is the best routine is ridiculous. Anyone but sanchez now ppl want Sanchez back. gotta be trolling. cant be serious.

  • joeydefiant

    When Simms comes in and sucks will you all be crying for Brady Quinn and saying he givse the jets the best chance to win?

  • David J.

    I don’t think Marty protected Geno as much in this game and got a little cocky after the last one. Bilal Powell should have gotten a lot of carries early, mixed in with some short dumps to Winslow or Kerley for some YAC type plays. The defense to me played OK, could have been better and Walls was over hyped and was exposed. We need a healthy Milliner playing great man cover defense and we can be in any game.

  • Harold

    Rookies need time to develop. We really have to stop looking for the quick fix, Matt Simms, really?. It takes more than 4 games to develop. “Deer in a headlight” and Calls for Matt Simms are silly. Did we expect Peyton Manning after 4 games (Newsflash Peyton was not Peyton after 4 games). Geno is among the league leaders in explosion plays so he is doing some things right. As the game slows down he will get better.

    We need to have patience. Not four years like Sanchez but certainly not 4 games either.

  • John C

    This year was always supposed to be about next year. Seeing what we have, and don’t have.

    I’m pretty sure we will only see Simms due to injury, or if were 3-9 after 12 games (and Geno is still a turnover machine). But, Milliner (our first pick at #9) was benched because Rex thought the game was moving too fast for him – though he did say it was temporary. Geno (our third pick) was so clearly like a deer in the headlights in this game, that it would have actually been kind to him if he was pulled. It also would have sent a message (which Sanchez was never sent), that “you are accountable”. Geno could still start the following week, whether Simms played lights out, or, if he totally “stunk up the joint” as the doubters feel he would. I’m not saying Simms would get us to the playoffs, or that Geno won’t, but I really think we should give everyone an opportunity to show themselves, in any game where the starter isn’t cutting it. This year is supposed to be about competition, and I would hope, accountability.

    Want to see what a man is made of? Take his job away, even if only for the rest of a game. If he learns and overcomes it, we don’t need a QB in next years draft, if he doesn’t, we can send Geno and Sanchez to Tampa for Josh Freeman, and hope to draft Teddy Bridgewater 🙂