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Deep Ball Problems For Geno Smith

Geno Smith will be with the New York Jets next year.If he wants to impress, he'll need to improve his deep ball accuracy considerably.

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets will need to bring a Qaurterback in over the summer to compete with Geno Smith, however Geno will still be here come the start of next season, based on the Jets not having that many options and the fact he's contracted to the team on a very affordably salary, $1.3 million. Some fans will hate this idea but he'll only be entering his third year in the league and as Scott mentioned, he is showing some signs of improvement.

Over my morning coffee I was looking into Geno Smith's performances, hoping to find some areas where he excels and some areas where it's a given he'll need to improve. One area I spotted that needed immediate attention was his accuracy on deep balls. He doesn't throw down field very much, but when he does, he is terrible.

Geno has only attempted 37 passes that travel over 20 yards in the air. Considerably less than the league leader (Andrew Luck - 81). In fact, 28 quarterbacks have attempted more throws of over 20 yards. With Percy Harvin coming on board and Eric Decker, you would think we would try more shots downfield to our receivers, however when you look at Geno's performance, it makes sense for the Jets to pull back on the reigns.

Of the 37 passes attempted, he has completed just 6 of them with 2 passes being dropped. Even if you factor in those passes, he has a league low completion percentage of 21.6%. Lower than a lot of young QB's like Teddy Bridgewater (42.1%), Zach Mettenberger (47.8%) and even lower than rookies Blake Bortles (31/9%) and Derek Carr (24.1%).

If that wasn't bad enough, Geno has thrown 7 of his 12 interceptions on the season on throws more than 20 yards. Which means he's thrown more interceptions than pass completions on balls travelling downfield. That is an alarming rate given the amount of attempts. For example, the 7 interceptions thrown lead the league, more than Jay Cutler (6 on 59 attempts), Matt Stafford (5 on 55 attempts) and Nick Foles (6 on 59 attempts).

If that were not bad enough, he has only 2 touchdowns and 224 yards throwing downfield. Looking at the same players we looked at above, that is considerably less than Jay Cutler (6 TD's for 647 yards), Nick Foles (9 TD's for 578 yards) and Matt Stafford (7 TD's for 669 yards).

Are the Jets simply not protecting Geno long enough for deep plays to develop? Well actually, that couldn't be further from the truth. Geno Smith has more than 2.6 seconds to throw on 59.8% of his drop-backs, which is the highest rate in the league. However he is only completing 47.6% of his passes when given over 2.6 seconds to throw, good for 24th best out of 27 QB’s who have played in at least 50% of their team snaps.

This is an obvious flaw in Geno's game, not the only one but a major one. In today's game you absolutely have to be able to push the ball down field, Geno can't do this without turning it over. This should be a major area of concern and one that is focused on over the off-season.