To discuss what happened on a late Sunday afternoon down in Charlotte, North Carolina is very easy to explain. In fact we have always said there are no moral victories in the NFL, but in the case of Geno Smith as the rookie Quarterback of the New York Jets we can say there is, but Smith didn't necessarily share that sentiment.
"It's just how I feel," said Smith letting down his teammates. "I fell like that every loss. I feel if I don't perform up to the standards that I set for myself and that are set by this team's expectations and goals, that I've let everyone down."
Because the truth of the matter is simple, he went toe to toe with one of the rising superstars at the quarterback position in Cam Newton and he actually had a good game until that backbreaking blocked punt in the middle of the fourth quarter that essentially sealed the Jets' fate.
Yes some will also point out the pick-six that was returned by Captain Munnerlyn was also the undoing of Smith & the Jets, but sadly the blocked punt is the main culprit. But while Smith still has problems starring down only one receiver for certain passing plays, he has shown plenty of grit and determination.
Obviously, the pick-six hurt us, it was very detrimental. I really wasn't thinking about it, I just went out and competed. I tried to compete every single snap as hard as I could," offered Smith. "For the most part, we did some good things, but overall we had some negatives that ended up biting us in the butt."
When Smith is in a rhythm he can lead the team down the field and set up for a score. He made some great throws to Jeff Cumberland and David Nelson for some big yardage after the catch and when there is no one open he can run down the field earning yards and first downs.
"I'm seeing things better, I'm seeing lanes better, knowing when the opportunity is there. I still think I can do a better job, maybe making guys miss down field, doing something else to kind of juice it up a little, give us an extra spark that I think we can all use," said Smith of his running ability.
He has also taken care of the football a lot better and has taken a ton of sacks when his front five has sadly failed him in pocket protection, but once again Smith has never made any excuses when he was taking snaps under center. He always finds a way to try and make all plays work.
The quarterback position is one of the, if not the toughest position, in all of sports," admitted Smith. "I fully expect it to be hard and I don't take it lightly. It's just about continuing to progress, continuing to get better and going out and competing every single week."
Smith right now is the man to lead the Jets into next season and while there are still two games remaining in their regular season with their playoff hopes very slim in achieving, they need to show towards the end of this 2013 season that Smith can get the Jets two consecutive wins.
"One thing I do know is that we will, we will stay together," noted Smith. "That's been the team we've been all year long. We're a close knit bunch, we fight for one another. I don't see any problems with that."