QB Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

HT: 6-3, WT: 218, Born: 10-10-1990, College: West Virginia, Drafted: Round 2

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2014 Projections

GCMPATTPYDY/APTDINTRSHYDY/RTDFPT
David Dodds15.0270.0465.031766.818.013.068.03375.03.0270
Bob Henry15.0247.0420.028606.816.015.065.03004.63.0240
Jason Wood15.0267.0460.032057.019.013.065.03004.65.0283
Maurile Tremblay15.0255.0424.029767.016.016.082.04065.05.0267

Average draft position

Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]

Overall: J Grimes (218), T Bridgewater (219), Geno Smith (220), A Seferian-Jenkins (221),
Position: J Locker (207-QB26), T Bridgewater (219-QB27), Geno Smith (220 - QB28), R Fitzpatrick (229-QB29), B Bortles (235-QB30)
Click here for a comparison of these players.


Outlook

Geno Smith is expected to be the opening day starter for the New York Jets. Even Michael Vick—the guy they brought in ostensibly to push him for the job—says Smith is the starter. The Jets have done a ton to improve the offense around him, drafting multiple receiving threats and signing Eric Decker to a nice sized contract—they even added more ability to the backfield with Chris Johnson—so Smith has no real excuses anymore. He needs to be consistent with his delivery and make better decisions. Last year can be partially chalked up to horrible support, injured receivers and a rookie learning curve as much as Smith's limitations. This year, he has tools, time under his belt in Marty Mornhinweg's offense and should improve. How much remains to be seen, but for fantasy purposes he is no more than a backup at best.


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Monday Injury Rounds: Week 2
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2014 Schedule

WeekOpponent
1 Green Bay Packers
2at San Diego Chargers
3 Denver Broncos
Bye week
5at Washington Redskins
6 Dallas Cowboys
7at St. Louis Rams
8at Carolina Panthers
9 Oakland Raiders
10 New York Giants
11at Kansas City Chiefs
12 Arizona Cardinals
13at San Francisco 49ers
14at Philadelphia Eagles
15 San Francisco 49ers
16at Arizona Cardinals
17 St. Louis Rams
Bye week
19 Carolina Panthers
20 Green Bay Packers
21at New England Patriots


2013 Game Summaries

Week 1 - Geno Smith’s athleticism, coupled with a little bit of luck, propelled the Jets to an exciting victory. With just 34 seconds remaining and his team facing a two-point deficit, Smith found a way to get into field goal range. Asking a rookie quarterback to pick up 50 yards without a timeout is a tall order, but Smith was very poised. To start the drive, Smith found Kellen Winslow down the seam for a 25-yard gain. Winslow settled into a soft spot in Tampa Bay’s deep zone coverage and Smith delivered an accurate strike. After a quick spike, Smith had just 14 seconds to pick up another 25 yards. Smith took the next snap and rolled to his right. All of his targets were covered, so he opted to tuck the ball and run. After picking up 10 yards, Smith was forcefully pushed out of bounds by Lavonte David. David’s miscue resulted in a 15-yard penalty that set-up the game winning field goal. Sometimes, it pays to be lucky. Outside of his game winning drive, Smith turned in a typical first-game, rookie performance. For most of the game, Smith successfully executed Marty Mornhinweg’s ultra conservative game plan. Mornhinweg’s game plan focused on mixing Rex Ryan’s ‘Ground & Pound’ mantra with a mixture of short-to-intermediate passes. Mornhinweg opted to split Smith out wide on seven Wildcat plays, but those plays were largely unsuccessful as the running backs struggled against Tampa Bay’s stout front seven. While the running backs had a difficult time, Smith had some success as a runner and as a passer on designed roll-outs. On some passing downs early in the game, Tampa Bay’s defensive ends lost contain responsibilities and Smith was able to get outside of the pocket. On a 3rd-and-8 play early in the second quarter, Smith rolled to his left on a designed run and picked up 13 yards. Smith received a great block from Kellen Winslow and was able to accelerate past the inside linebacker for the first down. Fans will not mistake Smith’s vision and running ability with that of Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson, but Smith showed that teams must respect and account for him as a runner. Smith’s running ability set-up his first career touchdown pass, a 7-yard, 2nd quarter touch pass to Winslow on an option route. Smith felt pressure from Adrian Clayborn and stepped up and delivered the touchdown throw.

Alike most rookie starters, Smith had his share of miscues, but fans were not expecting perfection in his first start. Smith’s intercepted pass was intended for Chris Ivory, but was horribly overthrown. Luckily for Smith, the Jet defense bailed him out and intercepted Josh Freeman after the turnover. Smith took five sacks which were attributed to overload blitzes and Smith’s inability to escape pressure. Smith’s only costly turnaround occurred on a fumble deep in his own territory. Smith was attempting to throw the ball away, but a Tampa Bay defender smacked it out of his hands mid-release. This turnover led to a short Doug Martin touchdown run.

Smith did not overwhelm with his running or passing ability, but did enough to keep the Jets in the game. Turnovers are bound to happen, but his athleticism and ability to run adds a new dimension to an offense that boasts few playmakers.

Week 2 - As the game progressed, Geno Smith’s performance went from bad to worse. Smith had a difficult time getting through his progressions, defining defensive keys, and delivering accurate throws to open receivers. Smith’s inability to make quick decisions allowed New England to bring pressure with only four rushers. Notably, Chandler Jones excelled as a third-down, three-technique and routinely bull rushed rookie Brian Winters into the backfield. Added pressure from New England’s front four resulted in turnovers as Smith threw three costly four-quarter interceptions. On each of his interceptions, Smith horribly misfired. On his first interception, Santonio Holmes was able to beat man coverage to the inside, but the throw was behind Holmes. This turnover erased a potential game-tying field goal attempt. On his second interception, Clyde Gates was able to get an inside release down the seam, but the ball was underthrown. On his last interception, Smith and Stephen Hill were not on the same page and New England easily picked off the errant pass to seal the victory. Smith played turnover free football for three quarters, but his dreadful fourth quarter performance ended the comeback attempt. While Smith definitely deserves blame for his performance, Marty Mornhinweg’s play calling didn’t do him any favors. Unlike Week 1, Mornhinweg installed vertical passing plays for a team that lacks big play wide receivers. Hill was able to make two big plays, but he also dropped three passes and fumbled one away. Smith had success with short-to-intermediate throws against Tampa Bay, so it’s surprising that Mornhinweg would open up the playbook on a short week. Add in a wet and rainy second half and it makes things much tougher for both Smith and his receivers. The running game averaged 4.0 yards per carry, so fans must wonder why Mornhinweg didn’t call more run plays to take pressure off of Smith. The Jets only trailed by three points for the last 20 minutes, so Mornhinweg had plenty of reasons to rely on his running game while putting Smith in situations where he could succeed. Given the weather conditions, success of the run game, and close score, Smith would have better suited as a game manager in the fourth quarter rather than as an erratic rookie passer.

Week 3 - Geno Smith out-dueled EJ Manuel in the battle of rookie quarterbacks. Smith came out throwing on his first drive, completing 4-of-5 pass attempts for 75 yards. Buffalo played press coverage, but were burnt by Stephen Hill who won a battle against third-year corner Justin Rogers for a 45-yard gain. Smith capped off the drive by taking a designed shotgun snap up the middle for an 8-yard touchdown. Smith’s ran behind Vlad Ducasse’s block and through Kiko Alonso’s arm tackle for the score.

Unlike last week against New England, Smith had a lot of success with vertical throws against Buffalo’s suspect secondary. Smith and the Jet receivers picked on Justin Rogers, who replaced the injured Leonis McKelvin in the first quarter. Rogers exclusively played left cornerback and Smith did not shy away from throwing at him when Rogers was positioned on the wide side of the field. Early in the second quarter, Hill beat Rogers down the right sideline for a 51-yard touchdown. Hill maintained leverage to the outside and slightly pushed off Rogers before making the catch. Smith put nice touch on the pass and Hill did the rest. In the fourth quarter, Santonio Holmes beat Rogers deep down the right sideline for a 69-yard touchdown. Rogers had his back turned on the throw and fell down as soon as Holmes made the catch. Holmes waltzed in for the score.

While Smith and his receivers had success with vertical passing plays, Smith had his third consecutive multi-turnover game. Early in the second quarter, Smith threw a deep pass into double coverage that was intercepted by ex-Jet, Jim Leonhard. Mid-way through the third quarter, Smith threw an inexcusable pass directly to Alonso that resulted in three points for Buffalo. Smith has benefitted from a stingy Jet defense that has not allowed the opposition to turn his mistakes into seven points. Overall, Smith sped up his read progression and took advantage of the inexperienced Rogers for several big plays. Smith did not take any sacks and was quick to deliver passes to open receivers. Mistakes are bound to happen, but the offense had four plays of 40+ yards today. The offense only had five plays of 40+ yards last season. Marty Mornhinweg clearly wants to take shots downfield and his players won their individual battles.

Buffalo has one of the league’s worst secondaries, so Smith’s next two opponents, Tennessee and Atlanta, should provide a better benchmark for his development as a passer.

Week 4 - New York fans were brought back to reality as Geno Smith turned in a dismal four turnover performance. Smith threw two costly first half interceptions and gave away a fumble in each half. These turnovers led to 28 points for Tennessee. Smith’s first interception was a severely underthrown deep route to Stephen Hill. Hill took a massive hit from safety, Michael Griffin and left the game with a head injury. Later in the second quarter, Smith was scrambling for a first down, but lazily reached out for the marker and the ball was swatted away. Smith ended the second quarter with an ugly throw into double coverage. Cornerback Alterraun Verner intercepted both passes and should be credited for playing tight, man coverage against New York receivers. Last week, Buffalo allowed free releases off the line of scrimmage. Tennessee’s coaches obviously noticed that on film and didn’t give receivers a cushion. Tennessee took a 24-6 lead into the second half, so New York had no choice, but to throw their way back into the game. New York’s offensive line, namely Vladimir Ducasse, played an all around sloppy game. After keeping his uniform clean against Buffalo, Smith took five sacks and was under constant duress. Right defensive end, Ropati Pitoitua recorded two sacks and had no issues getting off blocks and applying pressure. Pitotua exposed D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s lackadaisical effort and Ducasse’s all-around poor effort. Early in the fourth quarter, Smith was pressured by defensive end Karl Klug and fumbled the ball away. As Klug chased Smith towards his own end zone, Smith attempted to shift the ball to his left hand and fumbled it away. Klug recovered the ball in the end zone for the touchdown. Field position and penalties were a huge issue throughout the game. Tennessee routine pinned New York’s offense inside its own 10-yard yard line, forcing Smith to speed up his read progressions. Smith took several big hits, but hung tough in the pocket. Early in the fourth quarter, Smith was buried deep in his territory, took a big hit and delivered a crisp 20-yard pass down the seam to Kellen Winslow. Tennessee deployed an overload blitz and Smith showed poise by completing the pass. Smith’s lone touchdown pass went to tight end Jeff Cumberland late in the fourth quarter. Cumberland ran a post route and Smith fit the pass in a tight window for a 34-yard touchdown. Griffin bit on the pump fake and Cumberland ran untouched into the end zone. Smith is extremely raw as a passer and mistakes are bound to happen. Smith must do a better job at protecting the ball, getting through his read progression, and throwing passes away when receivers are covered. A road meeting in Atlanta on Monday Night Football won’t be the cure to Smith’s ills.

Week 5 - After four weeks of uninspiring play, Geno Smith delivered his first signature performance. After committing 11 turnovers in his first four games, Smith was flawless and showed poise in the final 1:54, completing four passes to set-up Nick Folk’s game winning field goal. Smith started the final drive by finding Stephen Hill over the middle for a 12-yard gain. Armed with three timeouts, Smith took his time and worked the middle of the field, finding Jeremy Kerley for a 13-yard gain. Smith went right back to Hill on the next play for a short 9-yard gain. On a 2nd-and-1 play from Atlanta’s 46-yard line, Smith made arguably the biggest play of the game on a roll out where he beat Osi Umenyiora to the edge and ran for 8 yards to put his team firmly within field goal range. During the game winning drive, Smith did not bear any resemblance to the jilted rookie passer that committed four turnovers last week. After weeks of questionable play calling, Smith looked very comfortable and poised as Marty Mornhinweg deployed multiple personnel packages to acclimate his rookie passer. Early in the game, Mornhinweg deployed a full house back field package that flanked Smith with Bilal Powell, Mike Goodson, and Chris Ivory. As a team, the Jets ran for 5.4 yards per carry and in turn, the running game helped establish the pass. Early in the 2nd quarter on a 3rd-and-11 play from Atlanta’s 20-yard line, Smith threw an absolute bullet to Jeff Cumberland for a 20-yard touchdown. Cumberland ran a post route and won inside position against the linebacker. Smith delivered the ball above the linebacker’s outstretched hand and in a spot where only Cumberland could make a play. Midway through the 2nd quarter, after an Atlanta turnover, Smith found Kerley on an arrow route for a 16-yard touchdown. Atlanta’s corner whiffed on the tackle and Kerley dove towards the pylon to secure the score. Smith’s offense scored 17 points in the second quarter, which was arguably his best quarter of the season. Early in the 4th quarter, New York’s defense created another Matt Ryan turnover and Smith cashed with another seven points. On a 3rd-and-1 play from Atlanta’s 1-yard line, Smith rolled out of the pocket and threw a ‘tear drop’ pass over the linebacker into Kellen Winslow’s arms in the back of the end zone. This scored marked Smith third and final touchdown pass. After getting outmanned in Tennessee, the offensive line played very well and deserves a lot of credit. Smith took two big sacks, but both were on Smith for hanging onto the ball for too long. Rookie guard, Brian Winters started over the much maligned Vlad Ducasse and the offensive line played their best game of the year. Smith went into a hostile environment and pulled out a huge win against a desperate team. Smith must build on this performance as another desperate team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, come into town next week.

Week 6 - Six days after an impressive primetime performance against Atlanta, Smith delivered a dud against a rejuvenated Pittsburgh defense. Giving Dick LeBeau two weeks to prepare is unfair for most veterans let alone a rookie making only his sixth start. Smith was flummoxed by LeBeau’s schemes and had trouble reading coverages and beating pressure. As a result, Smith was unable to move the ball and restored to back to his bad habits and made rookie mistakes. When faced with a large deficit, Smith’s throwing mechanics become sloppy and he becomes prone to throwing interceptions. Smith threw two brutal second half, red zone interceptions. Smith’s threw his first interception into triple coverage. Konrad Reuland, who was filling in for the suspended Kellen Winslow, was targeted. Smith followed that interception up with another critical mistake. Trailing 16-6, Smith was hit by Jarvis Jones and attempted to throw the ball out of bounds, but the pass was underthrown and intercepted by Lawrence Timmons. Smith threw two other passes that should have been intercepted, but defenders dropped the passes. The offensive line, namely the tackles, was routinely beaten on passing down which led to hurried throws and three sacks. The offensive line’s inability to control line of scrimmage put additional pressure on Smith and he clearly struggled to make plays. Smith’s performance was indicative of the growing pains a rookie quarterback experiences. If Smith does not throw any red zone interceptions, New York has the opportunity to score anywhere from six to fourteen points and maybe sneak away with a win. New York cannot expect Smith alone to carry the team to victories. Brighter days are ahead for Smith, but expect many more inconsistent performances.

Week 7 - For the first time in seven tries, Geno Smith and the New York Jets were able to top the New England Patriots. Similar to their Week 2 match-up, New England’s defense sold out to the stop run and played tight man coverage against the wide receivers. New England dared Smith to beat them with both his arm and legs and he made enough plays to walk away with the win. Smith’s lone touchdown pass and interception occurred during the first quarter. Smith hit Jeremy Kerley on a drag route for the 12-yard score. Smith put the ball in a place where only Kerley could make a play. Two drives later, Logan Ryan intercepted Smith and returned the pass 79 yards for a touchdown. Smith tried to force the ball to David Nelson, who was blanketed. Smith would have been better suited by throwing the ball away. Smith isn’t known as a running quarterback, but New England’s man coverage opened up running lanes. Midway through the 3rd quarter, Smith properly read man coverage, tucked the ball, and ran in for an 8-yard touchdown. Smith isn’t a fast runner, but is shifty enough to evade defenders. New England chose not to deploy a QB spy and Smith eagerly took the rushing yards when available. Overall, Smith had success against a defense that was missing cornerback Aqib Talib. Smith was efficient with his intermediate throws, completing eight passes for 97 yards to Kerley. Smith took four more sacks and fumbled twice, which he recovered, but made enough throws to win the game. Play calling became extremely conservative at the end of the game, which is not Smith’s fault. Marty Morhinweg does not allow Smith to freely audible in the fourth quarter.

Week 8 - After an emotional Week 7 victory against New England, Geno Smith came crashing back to Earth with an uninspiring performance against Cincinnati. Smith’s offense was not able to develop any sort of rhythm against Cincinnati’s ferocious Front 7. The entire offensive line struggled to establish a push off the line of scrimmage. Specifically, guard Brian Winters had a lot of difficulty with Cincinnati’s interior lineman which led to two sacks and many hurried throws. Smith was not bailed out by his defense that uncharacteristically allowed four touchdown drives in Cincinnati’s first six drives. New York’s offense was only able to muster one first quarter yard and two of their first four drives ended in three-and-outs. Both of Smith’s interceptions occurred during the second half and were returned for touchdowns. During the third quarter, Chris Crocker jumped Jeremy Kerley’s out-route and returned the interception for a touchdown. During the fourth quarter, Adam Jones jumped an errant pass and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown. After Jones’s interception return, Cincinnati led 49-9 with 13 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. New York opted to sit Smith and allow Matt Simms to play the rest of the game. This isn’t the start of a quarterback controversy. Rather, New York did not want its young quarterback to suffer an injury in a blowout loss. Smith has failed to build on his wins this season, losing each game after a victory. During those losses, Smith has thrown just one touchdown to ten interceptions. Things will not get easier next week against Rob Ryan’s defense.

Week 9 - From purely a statistical standpoint, Geno Smith had an ugly game. However, today’s game taught Smith the importance of game management against a high-scoring opponent. New Orleans boasts one of the NFL’s top offenses, so Marty Mornhinweg designed a ground-based game plan. New York’s offense churned out 198 rushing yards against New Orleans’ suspect Front 7, so Smith wasn’t forced to make many plays. In addition, three of Smith’s top targets, Santonio Holmes, Jeff Cumberland, and Kellen Winslow did not play. Jeremy Kerley left midway through the second quarter with an elbow injury, so Smith had cast of practice squad wide receivers at his disposal. While Smith spent the majority of the game handing the ball off, he took a designed read option off right tackle for a 3-yard touchdown run. Smith initially attempted to stretch the play to the right pylon, but wisely cut inside of Cameron Jordan and waltzed in for the score. Smith’s touchdown run gave his team a 20-14 lead before halftime. Overall, Smith’s performance was reminiscent of Mark Sanchez’s during key victories. Smith was not asked to make big plays rather he was asked not to make mistakes. Smith did not commit any turnovers for only the second time in nine games. Most of his throws were safe and half of his completions came on simple check downs. New York cannot give an offense as dynamic as New Orleans’ extra opportunities, so ball protection was critical. Smith’s week-to-week performances have been wildly inconsistent, but few would have guessed New York would have five wins heading into their Week 10 bye week.

Week 11 - The New York Jets have a clear quarterback problem. Coming off a bye week, Geno Smith was absolutely brutal, committing four turnovers which included his fourth ‘pick six’ of the season. Buffalo’s defensive coordinator, Mike Pettine, dialed up exotic blitzes early and often and Smith was not able to find a rhythm. Early in the first quarter, Smith took a vicious shot from Marcell Darius that knocked the wind out of him and he missed a play. Smith committed two first half turnovers, one on a strip sack and another on a play where Smith did not look off Jarius Byrd and Byrd intercepted the pass. Smith completed just 3 of 9 first half passes for 44 yards which included a wobbly, underthrown 33-yard completion to Santonio Holmes. After halftime, Smith’s play actually worsened. Smith was intercepted two more times including a ‘pick-six’ by Da’Norris Seary on a wide receiver screen to Santonio Holmes. Smith was benched early in the fourth quarter as Buffalo carried a very comfortable 34-7 lead. The windy field conditions did not help Smith, but EJ Manuel did not have a problem carving up New York’s secondary without the help of Steve Johnson. New York’s offensive line play was dismal as Smith took four sacks and was hit a total of eight times. Smith could not handle nor adjust to Buffalo’s blitz schemes, which have been a common theme this season. After the game, Rex Ryan confirmed that Smith would start next week against Baltimore, but his tone suggested Smith would be on a short leash. Smith’s finished the game with a 0.9 QBR, which was by far his lowest rating of the season. This performance was reminiscent of Smith’s game against Tennessee when he looked completely lost against their pressure and exotic blitzes. Smith’s confidence is clearly waning and he must play better next week in Baltimore if he wants to keep his job. Hopefully, Smith and his offense spend more time watching film and less time at Dave & Buster’s.

Week 12 - Weather conditions were very cold and windy, but that does not excuse Geno Smith’s lousy performance. For the first 54 minutes, Smith completed just four passes for 42 yards. Smith was particularly bad on third down, converting just one play out of 12. Baltimore mimicked game plans of past opponents by deploying heavy pressure early and often. Smith looked completely lost against the blitz and took three sacks. Smith committed three turnovers, including an ugly fumble where motion man, David Nelson did not clear before the ball was snapped. Terrell Suggs outmuscled Smith for the loose ball. Smith was plagued by receiver drops and play calling and never developed any sort of rhythm. Marty Mornhinweg opted for a heavy dose of Josh Cribbs in Wildcat package early in the first quarter. Smith lined up at wide receiver and Cribbs took four snaps, compared to seven for Smith, during his team’s first two drives. Cribbs even completed one pass to Smith for a 13-yard gain. The Wildcat helps takes pressure off of Smith, but also does not allow him to develop rhythm. Facing a 19-3 4th quarter deficit, New York chose to keep Smith in the game. Smith was able to somewhat save face by completing five of his last seven passes for 74 yards. After the game, Smith’s body language was not positive and his confidence is clearly waning. Rex Ryan would not comment on his starting quarterback for next week’s tilt against Miami. Sitting on a 5-6 record, New York must defeat Miami at home next weekend to keep its playoff hopes alive.

Week 13 - After four weeks of inconsistent play, New York opted to bench Geno Smith after a dreadful first half performance. Smith completed just four of his ten pass attempts for 29 yards. New York’s lack of weapons is clearly a problem, but Smith overthrew wide open receivers on multiple occasions. During his team’s first drive, Smith overthrew a wide open David Nelson on a 3rd-and-12 play that would resulted in a first down. Smith was 0-for-3 on third downs and his day ended after Dannell Ellerbe intercepted an underthrown pass right before halftime. Facing a 6-0 deficit after halftime, Rex Ryan benched Smith and played Matt Simms. Simms didn’t play much better, but Smith’s play has been pitiful for weeks. Ryan had been very loyal to Smith, but Smith’s offense produced just one touchdown in its last 36 drives. Smith also leads the league with 23 turnovers and has not thrown a touchdown pass since Week 7. It’s safe to say that New York has a full blown quarterback controversy as its playoff hopes begin to slip away.

Week 14 - Rex Ryan opted to stick with Geno Smith as his starting quarterback and Smith responded with his best game in two months. Smith delivered his first touchdown pass in seven games and chipped in with another score on the ground. Smith committed his 20th turnover, a first quarter interception, early in the game, but bounced back and played well enough to win. Smith and Jeremy Kerley connected for a first quarter, 25-yard touchdown strike. Kerley, who has missed three straight games, was a welcome addition for New York’s passing attack. Kerley ran a deep post route and won inside position against the corner. This scoring play gave Smith some much needed confidence. While the scoring play was a positive sign, Smith continued to struggle in the red zone. Midway through the second quarter, Ed Reed intercepted Matt McGloin at Oakland’s 20-yard line and returned it to the 4-yard line. Smith was unable to find the end zone and New York had to settle for a field goal. Santonio Holmes dropped one of Smith’s endzone targets and Smith overthrew Jeremy Kerley on another target. Playoff teams turn those mistakes into seven points. Still, Smith only took one sack and committed one turnover which was a welcome sign after weeks of dismal performances. Overall, Smith’s success was attributable to Marty Mornhinweg’s game plan. Instead of keeping him in the pocket, Mornhinweg called several designed roll out and even multiple read option looks that let Smith use his legs to make plays. Midway through the third quarter, Smith kept a designed read option and ran it in for an 8-yard touchdown. New York did not run its Wildcat package, which definitely allowed Smith to make plays with his legs and develop rhythm early in the game. New York led for nearly the entire game and Smith wasn’t asked to make many difficult throws. Smith did overthrow several open receivers, but this win will definitely boost his confidence as New York and its slim Wildcard hopes head to Carolina next weekend.

Week 15 - Geno Smith did not totally implode on the road against one of the league’s top defenses, but he didn’t play well enough to win. Smith only completed six of his 15 passes to wide receivers which indicates New York isn’t too comfortable with him taking too many shots downfield. Earlier this week, Santonio Holmes put Smith behind the eight-ball by calling Carolina’s secondary the ‘weakest link’ and Carolina’s secondary responded with a big effort. Cornerback Captain Munnleryn was responsible for Smith’s fifth ‘Pick Six’ this season. Munnleryn’s intercepted a pass intended for Holmes and this scoring play gave Carolina a 30-13 lead with only eight minutes to go. Smith did have a few bright moments. Mid-way through the third quarter, New York’s defense came up with a big 4th-and-2 stop. Smith used the defense’s momentum and orchestrated a nine-play, 86 yard drive that culminated with an unorthodox 1-yard touchdown run by defensive tackle, Sheldon Richardson. Before Richardson’s touchdown run, Smith prolonged the drive by completing a 3rd-and-7 pass play to Jeff Cumberland for 35 yards. Smith did a nice job of buying time by rolling out of the pocket and hitting Cumberland in stride. Given Carolina’s prowess as a top run stopping defense, Smith’s 44 rushing yards buoyed the running game. New York was able to rush for 153 yards against Carolina’s tough front seven and Smith should be credited for making Carolina respect his running ability. Carolina chose not to spy Smith on passing downs and his offensive tackles did an excellent job of fanning Carolina pass rushers way out of the pocket. Smith threw a late 8-yard touchdown pass to Cumberland in garbage time, but it was forgettable since the game was effectively over. Overall, Smith’s play was uninspiring, but wasn’t as poor as previous road losses. Smith’s fifth Pick Six sealed his team’s fate and he had issues handling Carolina’s corner blitzes. However, Smith wasn’t afraid to make plays with his legs and reestablished his strong rapport with Jeff Cumberland that had been waning over the last few weeks.

Week 16 - Geno Smith delivered his best performance since his signature Week 5 Monday Night Football win against the Atlanta Falcons. Smith broke out of his funk by throwing for two touchdowns and converted his team-high fifth rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Smith was highly effective on third downs, converting 9-of-12 opportunities while remaining upright without turning the ball over. Smith spread the ball around and six players had at least two receptions. Smith was given more freewill at the line of scrimmage and successfully audibled into his first passing touchdown. Late in the second quarter, Smith audibled out of a designed Chris Ivory run and fired a bullet to David Nelson for a 6-yard touchdown. Nelson put a nice inside move on the safety as he ran a tight post route and displayed soft hands and precise foot work as he toe-tapped in the back of the endzone. This scoring play put New York on the board and a late Nick Folk field goal knotted the game at ten going into halftime. After halftime, Smith and New York’s defense stepped up to secure the victory. Smith was highly efficient during the third and fourth quarters which put New York in multiple scoring opportunities. Early in the fourth quarter, Smith delivered his second passing touchdown, a 5-yard bullet to David Nelson. Nelson put an impressive double move on the corner and ran a post route into the back of the endzone. Smith put the ball only in a place where Nelson could make a play and he converted. Midway through the fourth quarter, Smith led his team on a 14-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that took 6:20 off the clock. Smith was 4-for-4 on third down opportunities including a 17-yard touchdown scamper to give his team a 24-13 lead late in the fourth quarter. After properly going through his reads and recognizing each of his targets were covered, Smith made a play with legs and scrambled untouched for the score. Overall, Smith delivered a signature performance in his final home start of the season. Smith led his team to a 6-2 home record and showed glimpses of optimism for the future. Smith’s footwork and read progressions definitely improved and he has shown he’s not afraid to make plays with his legs. A win next week in Miami would send Smith and his team mates into the off-season on a high note.

Week 17 - Geno Smith finished his rookie season with one of his better performances. Smith built upon last week’s strong performance as New York knocked Miami out of playoff contention. Four weeks ago, Miami tormented Smith which led his halftime benching. This week, Smith looked like a completely different player as he relied upon his legs to make plays. Smith rushed for 47 yards, his fourth straight 40+ rushing yard performance, and another rushing touchdown. Smith played turnover-free for the second straight week and did not take a sack which is a testament to his offensive line and his improved decision making. During the first half, Smith completed 9 of 15 passes for 126 yards. Smith led touchdown drives of 71 and 80 yards, respectively. Smith went 5-for-5 during his first touchdown drive which culminated with Sheldon Richardson’s 1-yard rushing touchdown. Right before halftime, Smith called his own number for a 7-yard rushing touchdown. Smith took the shotgun snaps off right tackle and was met by Dannell Ellerbe at the goal line. A strong second effort and helpful push by Bilal Powell propelled Smith into the end zone. Smith ran for 32 first half yards and used his athleticism to escape outside pass rushers. New York took a 14-7 lead into the second half and Smith played a little more conservatively. Three of Smith’s drives resulted in field goal attempts for Nick Folk, which tacked on six more points. Bilal Powell received a steady dose of carries as New York grinded out the clock. Smith finished the season on a high note. Over the last two weeks, Smith stopped trying to be a pure pocket passer and relied more upon his legs when he needed to make a play. Instead of trying to make perfect reads and throws, Smith wasn’t afraid to run or throw it away when he didn’t have an open receiver. It remains to be seen whether New York drafts or signs another quarterback, but Smith has earned the right to compete for the starting job next season. Smith finished the season with 2,856 passing yards, 12 touchdown passes, 21 interceptions, and a 55 percent completion percentage. Smith ran for 322 yards and led the team with five rushing touchdowns.