The New York Jets travel to Cincinatti this weekend to take on the AFC North leading Cincinnati Bengals. The match up will primarily hinge on how the team’s quarterbacks play. On the Jets sideline, there is rookie Geno Smith (the current frontrunner of the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year) and on the other sideline is fourth year Quarterback Andy Dalton.
Both Quarterbacks were taken in the second round (35th for Dalton, 39th for Smith), and were drafted with the intent of replacing a USC Quarterback that was drafted in the first round (Carson Palmer and Mark Sanchez). Both were drafted to manage games while the teams utilized strong running games and talented defenses to remain competitive; the year before Dalton was drafted the Bengals defense was ranked 24th in points allowed but 15th in yards allowed, where as the Jets defense last year was ranked 20th in points allowed but 8th in yards allowed. Both Smith and Dalton were drafted to teams coming off subpar seasons (Bengals were 4-12, the Jets 6-10). Both are coached by defensive coaches and former members of the Baltimore Ravens coaching staff (Rex Ryan and Marvin Lewis). They are both leading teams whose strength lies in the offensive and defensive lines. Let’s take a look at both young QBs through their first seven games.
Geno Smith, through the first 7 games - 130/223, 1,723 yards, 8 TDs, 11 INTs, 58.3%, 74.3 QB rating.
Best Performance – at Atlanta - 16/20, 199 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, Jets win (30-27)
Worst Performance – at New England - 15/35, 214 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs, Jets lose (13-10)
Team Record through 7 games – 4-3
Andy Dalton, through the first 7 games – 158/257, 1696 yards, 12 TDs, 7 INTs, 61%, 97.3 QB Rating
Best Performance – vs. Indianapolis – 25/32, 264 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, Bengals win (27-17)
Worst Performance – vs. San Francisco – 17/32, 157 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, Bengals lose (13-8)
Team Record through 7 games – 5-2
What It Means
Geno Smith has thrown for more yards than Andy Dalton did through his first 7 games, despite attempting 34 less passes. Dalton trumps the New York Jets rookie in TDs (12:8) and INTs (7:11). The Bengals also had a better record through the first 7 games of Andy Dalton’s career than the Jets have with Geno Smith.
Dalton had the luck of being drafted with AJ Green giving him a weapon to grow with. You hope that Stephen Hill becomes the Jets version of AJ Green, but there’s no evidence to suggest that. However, the Jets can hope that Geno Smith develops under Marty Mornhinweg how Andy Dalton has developed under the tutelage of Jay Gruden.
How Dalton Did in His 8th Game
15/30, 170 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, Bengals lost 27-17