One of the big problems with the Jets passing game is they are getting bottom tier quarterback play and bottom tier receiver play. We are going on three to four years of that. This leads to the type of offensive effort with which we as fans have become far too familiar.
Earlier today Scott did a GIF breakdown of a few plays. I'm going to borrow one of his GIF's becaue this was a play that really stuck out to me as a microcosm of the the problem.
Now take a look at this play, and you'll see a few problems. The first problem happens at the top of your screen off the snap. 6'5" 215 pound receiver David Nelson gets outphysicaled. If you want to know why people refer to Nelson as below average, this play is a good example.
He has to use his size to fight his way inside of the cornerback to give his quarterback an clear window to deliver the ball. What happens is he gets outfought and gets pinned between a defender and the sideline. Maybe a faster receiver can pull this off and blow by the defender, but Nelson isn't fast. He needs to use his size to create the lane. Once he gets pushed to the outside, this is over. There isn't going to be any separation.
I also noticed what is happening in the middle of the field, though. Jeremy Kerley is cutting to his right with a defender trailing him on his left. There is plenty of room to put the ball in front of him in a position where only Kerley can make a play.
This comes back to one of the things that is less than inspiring thinking about Geno Smith's potential. There is a difference between delivering the ball to an open receiver and a throw where YOU make the play. In this game Philip Rivers made a lot of throws like this to get his receivers open when there wasn't much initial separation. When I watch Denver this week Peyton Manning makes a living doing this.
Before you jump all over me for expecting Geno Smith in his second year to carry the offense the way Rivers or Manning do, slow down. I'm not expecting him to do that. In fact, the way the Jets are built requires him to do this an unreasonable number of times for the offense to move.
That said, if Geno has potential to become a top quarterback, shouldn't we at least see some flashes of this? This isn't just one play. I just don't see the plays Geno is making out there. Every now and then I need to see some example of him seeing the whole field, finding a matchup that isn't obvious, and delivering a ball on the money. He's been a quarterback who sees one read and makes his decision on whether a guy gets a ton of separation, and even then there are a lot of bad reads.
When Geno is bad, he is horrid. When he's good, the words to describe him are more muted. He's decent. He's solid. He's not great, though. He almost never makes throws like that. Twenty-one starts into his career, how many times has he lifted the Jets? I can only come up with two, last year's home win over the Bills and the game at Atlanta. The more recent one of those was one year ago almost to the day.
The good Geno outings tend to be like Week 1 against Oakland. A completion percentage over 80, BUT two turnovers, a brutal sack to cost the Jets a critical field goal, and only 19 points.
In the right situation with the right supporting task to mask his deficiencies I could see him being serviceable. I don't see this potential where he might become the guy. He just isn't a playmaker. Sometimes he'll take what is there, but he seldom creates anything. Given the lack of receiving talent, that is a recipe for the type of performances the Jets have been putting out there.