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Jets QB Geno Smith to start vs. Raiders after being benched in loss to Dolphins

Posted by Erik Frenz  December 2, 2013 03:39 PM

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A slap of the wrist, a wag of the finger and it's back to the starting lineup for Jets quarterback Geno Smith.

After being benched in the Jets' 23-3 loss to the Dolphins on Sunday, Geno on Monday announced he'd been told by the Jets coaching staff that he will once again be the starter in Week 13 vs. the Oakland Raiders.

"If it was a tactic to wake me up or get me going, it definitely worked," Smith said.

If that's the case, head coach Rex Ryan felt two quarters was a strong enough message for the 21 quarters since the last time Smith threw a touchdown pass.

It's more likely that Ryan simply feels Smith still gives his team the best chance to win. Why he feels that way is anyone's guess. Smith has thrown one touchdown and 12 interceptions in the past seven games, and the Jets have gone 2-5 in that span while scoring a league-low 91 points (13 points per game).

"Now granted his mistakes are pretty glaring," Ryan said after a loss to the Bills, "but there was equally as glaring mistakes, guys losing one-on-one battles up front that we’re really not accustomed to seeing. So, I think that contributed a lot to it. I think Geno has a chance to be a good quarterback, but again, everything starts with protection, first with any quarterback. And then, there’s times where quite honestly, we have to get open. We weren't getting separation. A lot of things contribute to a poor performance like that."

Smith isn't getting much help, but the last time he actually helped his team's chance to win -- instead of simply not squandering it -- was a Week 5 win over the Atlanta Falcons, whose defense gives up the highest passer rating in the league to opposing quarterbacks at a staggering 105.1.

If Smith's going to have a bounceback game, this should be it; the Raiders are fifth from the bottom on that very same list, yielding a passer rating of 99.4.

That being said, he'll still be throwing to the same group of receivers that can't get open, and he'll still be protected by the same porous offensive line. It's hard to imagine any quarterback thriving in the conditions presented to Smith this season.

As such, it's unfair to assess Smith off his performance in 2013. He should certainly get another chance, but it's impossible to expect his performance to get better without significant improvement from Smith's teammates.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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About the author

Erik Frenz delivers analysis of the biggest news with the Patriots, including insight into the AFC East and New England's biggest rivals from a Patriots perspective. Erik is an interactive writer who engages his audience in his posts’ comments sections and on Twitter. Readers are encouraged to share their thoughts and ask questions. More »


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