Smith benched as Jets drop seventh straight

Coming off what was an incredibly gusty and solid performance last week against the New England Patriots and with the acquisition of wide receiver Percy Harvin, the expectation was that Geno Smith and the Jets would finally be able to get back in the win column.

East Rutherford, N.J.- So much for that.

“I certainly didn’t think we’d play this way,” said Head Coach Rex Ryan. “I thought we had a great week of practice and preparation. The execution fell flat.”

Smith, to put it bluntly, looked awful. After a quick three-and-out on the opening possession, Smith had three consecutive interceptions, each one worse than the last.

Smith underthrew Harvin and tight end Jeff Cumberland on go routes for his first two interceptions by corner Stephon Gilmore and linebacker Preston Brown respectively.

On his third pick, Smith overthrew his intended target, Eric Decker and right to Bills free safety Aaron Williams, who nearly returned it for a touchdown.

“I missed them (the throws),” said Smith. “I think they were good reads but I just missed them.”

“He (Smith) seemed off. He was zipping the ball all week,” Ryan said. “I was really impressed and encouraged by him (during practice). He was misfiring. It was disappointing. “

After the game, Smith had an X-ray on his right shoulder. The Jets announced that the results of the X-Ray weren’t immediately known.

Smith’s struggles led to him being benched in the first quarter for backup Michael Vick. Vick, to his credit led the Jets to three first half scoring drives but had his struggles as well.

In his three plus quarters at quarterback, Vick had four fumbles losing two of them and an interception to strong safety Da’Norris Searcy.

While Vick fumbled four times, Ryan refused to blame it entirely on Vick.

“In that situation, when you’re down the way we were, those things happen,” Ryan said. “He’s back there in a tough situation trying to make plays. Did we put the ball on the ground too many times? We did. I’m not blaming that on one man… that’s on more than just Mike. I can promise you that.” Ryan said.

Despite all their struggles, this was still a game at halftime as the Jets were able to put together two scoring drives late in the second quarter. A Chris Ivory touchdown run and a Nick Folk 55-yard field goal cut the Bills lead to 24-17.

As the second half started, the Jets looked poised to complete the comeback forcing Buffalo into a quick three-and-out. But ultimately, second half turnovers, which put the Jets defense in poor field position was the Jets undoing.

Dan Carpenter tacked on two third quarter field goals to extend the lead to 30-17. The Bills continued to poor it on in the fourth quarter with two Kyle Orton touchdowns one to Scott Chandler and a 61-yarder to receiver Sammy Watkins.

The Jets would add a late Bilal Powell touchdown run to make the final score 43-23.

There were very few bright spots in this game. Penalties and turnovers were a huge killer to the Jets throughout the game.

“We turned it over six times and kept shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties,” said Ryan.

Ryan was non-committal on who will start next week, when the Jets go on the road to play the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I have no idea (who will start),” Ryan said. “We’ll look at that later.”

At 1-7 and in the midst of their first seven game losing streak since 2005, a question on many Jets fans minds is, “can it get any worse?”

“One thing we know is that it can’t get a whole hell of a lot worse,” Ryan said. “We’re 1-7. I know our team will compete and prepare and fight our way. I know that much about this bunch.”

While that whether or not things can get any worse is debatable, one thing is not, the Jets have to start playing better and Ryan agrees.

“We’ve got to get a heck of a lot better obviously and some of the things we’re asking guys to do, we’ve got to get done” said Ryan.

News and Notes

One bright spot on the day was the debut of Harvin. On the opening kickoff Harvin showed how electrifying he can be with a 35-yard return.

Harvin finished the day with three catches for 22 yards on nine targets and four carries for 28 yards.

“All things considered, I thought Percy played really well,” Ryan said. “It was a huge challenge for a guy coming into a new team, but I thought he did a great job. This guy is a big-time playmaker. I’m happy he’s on our team” Ryan concluded.

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