Unfortunately the Jets lost last night. It is thus our duty to give out an anti-game ball.
As much as I hate to take the easy way out and give it to the quarterback, I think I have to give my anti-game ball to Geno Smith. The mistakes last night were really harmful. There were two bad interceptions. He also took a bad sack that essentially ended the hopes for a touchdown on what had been a promising drive. He could have had a few more picks had Bears defenders displayed better hands.
The Jets had to play from behind the entire evening because of the first drive pick six. There is almost never an excuse for an interception like that on a screen. First of all it looked like the screen was not set up. That's a situation where the quarterback should typically throw the ball into the ground near the intended receiver. It was a bad decision to make the throw, and the pass itself was a misfire.
How damaging was that? I think there's probably some psychology in the team needing to play from behind, but there's certainly a tangible aspect. When you start a game you need to outscore the opponent by 1. Because of that interception, the Jets were put in a position where they needed to outscore the Bears by 8 from essentially the start of the.
The website Pro Football Reference compiles win probability through the course of an entire game. What they've done is looked back through history to see the rate teams win when in a certain situation. They found the interception made it 23.6% less likely the Jets would win, the biggest swing of any play all night.
What was particularly distressing about last night was how much this performance resembled Geno's Week 1. There were flashes of good play but also a tendency to make the big error, leaving points on the field. It's really tough to dismiss these as a couple of bad plays when these couple of bad plays all cost the Jets points. The biggest difference between this one and the game against the Raiders was the Jets didn't dominate on the defensive side of the ball to paper over how big the quarterbacking mistakes were. At the very least if Geno is not going to put a ton of points on the board, he cannot spot the opposition 7 by giving it away.
I think we are too far early to start talking about a quarterback change. Part of this is because Michael Vick has a tendency to display a lot of the same negatives. Something is going to have to give with Geno soon, though. He shouldn't be making such critical mistakes at such a high rate this deep into his career.
Who gets your anti-game ball?
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