by Peter Kassap
Jets rookie quarterback, Geno Smith, experienced an eventful first year in the NFL; his 2013 season was a rollercoaster ride. Geno peaked when he led the Jets to a 5-6 record in week nine to attain the sixth playoff spot, but he hit rock bottom when he was benched after the first half for QB Matt Simms in the 23-3 loss to the Dolphins.
Coming out of West Virginia University, Geno Smith faced an enormous amount of pressure going into training camp in his quest to win the starting quarterback job. Geno’s competition was four- year starter, Mark Sanchez. In Mark Sanchez’s first two seasons with the Jets, Sanchez took the Jets to two straight AFC championship games in 2009 and 2010. However, in failing to go to the Super Bowl, Sanchez and the Jets lost both AFC championship games.
In the first pre-season game of the year, Geno Smith suffered an ankle injury which forced him to sit in the second pre-season game. In the third pre-season game against the Giants, Geno Smith was awarded the start, but threw three interceptions that game. Mark Sanchez was looking like the most likely starter for week one, until the fourth quarter. Rex Ryan, the Jets head coach, decided to put Sanchez in this preseason game during the fourth quarter. As a result of this decision, Sanchez suffered a shoulder injury on his throwing shoulder. This injury essentially ended Sanchez’s year.
With limited time to prepare, Geno Smith was named the week one starter. Geno led the Jets to a win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the next week threw three interceptions in a loss to the Patriots. Geno bounced back in week three, throwing for 331 yards in a 27-20 win against the Bills. The next four weeks Geno and the Jets would alternate wins and losses. Geno’s inconsistent performances caused many fans to question his ability as a successful NFL quarterback.
The Jets greatest game of the year was against the “Red-Hot” New Orleans Saints. The 6-1 Saints were looking to keep the winning streak alive, but the Jets were not going to allow that. The Jets scored 17 to New Orleans 7 in the second quarter to give them a 20-14 lead at halftime. The Jets would remain in the lead, winning by a final score of 26-20. Former New Orleans Saint running back, Chris Ivory, had 139 yards and one touchdown in the win.
After coming off their bye week, the Jets were facing what many saw as an “easy” opponent, the Buffalo Bills. However, the Jets would end up losing 37-14 with three Geno Smith interceptions and no touchdowns. The following two weeks, the Jets lost to the Ravens and the Dolphins.
When the Jets played the Raiders, their playoff chances were slim but still alive. Geno threw for 219 yards and a touchdown in the 37-27 win. The next week, in a tough game, the Jets lost to the NFC south division champion Carolina Panthers 30-20. Geno Smith played well again throwing for 267 yards an interception and a touchdown.
Geno Smith’s season finished out strong with two wins: one against the Browns, and one against his home town Dolphins. In the game against the Dolphins, Smith threw for 190 yards and ran for 44 yards to finish the season on a positive note.
The offseason will give Geno Smith with time to bounce back and reflect on his rookie year. My prediction is that Geno will most likely be the starter for the Jets in the 2014- likely not. Geno’s first year was filled with ups and downs and many Jets fans have mixed opinions about his future with the Jets franchise.