When Smith was drafted a year ago it was under the expectation that he would not start right away and was more of a project. After the injury to a one Mark Sanchez, Smith was essentially thrown into the fire. After an 8-8 rookie season the Jets and their fans were expecting a little more out of Smith through the first three weeks of this season.
Smith’s stat line for this season so far is 713 yards passing, a completion percentage of 63.1, 3 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. Fairly mediocre to say the least but if you compare his stats to when the Jets win and lose its an eye opener. When the Jets win his completion percentage is 82.2. When they lose it’s 56.0 percent, a huge drop off. Also in Jets losses Smith has twice as many throwing attempts than in Jets wins.
That says the Jets are not running the ball when they should be. In the loss to the Packers the Jets were up 21-3 I the first quarter and didn’t run the ball enough when they had the lead. When the Jets have the lead they need t take the ball out of Smith’s hands so he can’t make many mistakes.
Rex Ryan has backed his quarterback since day one saying Smith gives the Jets the best chance to win games. Marty Mornhinweg took a bit of the blame for Smith’s struggles so far this season as well. “I think I have been putting to much on him,” Mornhinweg said to reporters.
Smith is only 19 games into his NFL career so pulling him now would be a disservice to not only him but also this Jets team who have been behind Smith since day one. You have to let Smith go through the growing pains of being an NFL starting quarterback. Jets fans might not want to hear that because all they want is results that turn into wins. Unfortunately that isn’t how this league works.
One thing is for sure he needs to clean up his turnovers because those numbers are just unacceptable. Smith is leaps and bounds where he was as an all around quarterback than last season. His footwork has improved, his knowledge of this offense has improved, and the way he keeps his head downfield and goes through his progressions has improved. The key is keeping him from making rookie mistakes like not throwing the ball up for grabs when you’re in the red zone. He needs to learn to bite the bullet and live to fight another day.
Sunday will be Smith’s 20th NFL game. Going up against the Lions that have a tremendous defensive line will be a challenge to say the least. However if the Jets offensive line gives him time Smith may be able to pick apart the Lions very average secondary.