I'll be honest with you. The past few weeks, I've avoided doing GIF Breakdowns because it's so depressing to re-watch these plays over and over again. That said, I have an obligation to you to provide film analysis, even when times are tough. I decided that it's easy to say, "the wide receivers aren't getting open," or "the offensive line isn't blocking." I wanted to show it to you. These are the first five pass attempts by Geno Smith, in order. As these GIFs are depressing, I decided to end on a bit of a high note.
In this first pass attempt, a play-action, you can see that nobody is open when Smith turns his head around. As Smith gets hit, he throws to his closest receiver, the guy with the biggest gap between him and his defender.
On his second pass attempt, Smith immediately has a defender in his face. At that point, everyone is either (a) covered, or (b) not looking in at him. There's nobody to throw the ball to, so Smith goes back to try and buy more time, but doesn't have time to set up and throw it deep to the two guys that are now, finally, open.
This play was clearly designed to go to David Nelson from the start. Smith locks onto Nelson and immediately launches it, before Nelson is even open. When the ball is thrown, Nelson and the defender are side-by-side, and although Nelson eventually gets a step on him, the ball is just overthrown. Between the two defenders and the sideline, only an absolutely perfect pass would have worked here.
I like the idea behind this play. Get the ball out quickly, and let the wide receiver gain some yards. In this case, it's Greg Salas, who is the best on the team at gaining yards after contact. Unfortunately, Jeff Cumberland is a terrible blocker and lets his guy get around him, and then push him directly into Salas' way. I don't know that Salas would have gotten any extra yards anway, but Cumberland's poor blocking didn't help matters.
On the fifth attempt, Smith almost immediately has a free rusher in his face. At that point, again, everyone is pretty well covered. Smith's best shot is right across the middle, but with the defender coming downfield and his eyes on the quarterback, that could have easily been an interception. Smith starts running for his life, but absolutely nobody is open, so Smith is forced to throw the ball away.
Let's at least end on a high note, right?