Time after time, Rex Ryan declared his quarterback competition was an ‘open competition’. Ryan’s proclamation closely followed the mantra brought in by new general manager, John Idzik. However, NFL competition is rarely ‘open’ and teams often have preconceived favorites. During 2009, Rex Ryan anointed rookie Mark Sanchez the starter after just six pre-season completions. The tables have turned on Sanchez and the Jets are trying to substantiate their belief that Geno Smith should be their starting quarterback. Geno Smith was terrible against the Giants in Week 3 of the pre-season, throwing three interceptions and causing one brutal safety. The Jets were hoping that Smith would play well so they could finally push Sanchez to the side, but it didn’t happen. Sanchez suffered a shoulder injury against the Giants, so Ryan has placed his chips behind Smith. Smith must play well against Tampa Bay in order to bolster Ryan’s credibility after his terrible Week 3 performance.
No one expects Smith to set the league on fire during his rookie season, but Jet fans are expecting competitive effort. Sportsbooks do not respect the Jets, pegging their season win total at 6.5. The Jets aren’t receiving much respect in Week 1, either. According to NFL lines at TopBet.eu Sportsbook Tampa Bay has been installed a three-point road favorite at the Meadowlands. Smith’s Week 3 performance indicated that he is not ready to lead an NFL offense. Darrelle Revis and Co. will attempt to force Smith into bad throws.
Still, Jet fans may wonder if Smith would be starting if Sanchez was still healthy. According to Jet sources, if healthy, Sanchez would have started Week 1, purely based on Smith’s dreadful performance. Jet fans must wonder why Ryan put Sanchez in harms way during a meaningless fourth quarter. Regardless of Rex’s reasoning, the Jets ultimately have ‘their guy’ starting in Week 1. The biggest question of all remains–Are the Jets purely motivated by their desire to get rid of Sanchez or do they truly believe Smith can lead them to victory?
Regardless of the answer, the Jets have once again mismanaged the quarterback position and it seems like they fail to properly ‘rebuild’. It’ll likely be another long season for Gang Green, regardless of who lines up at quarterback.