It's been a rough couple of months for New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith. Going into Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders, Smith hadn't thrown a touchdown pass since Oct. 20 against the New England Patriots, but he did throw eight picks in that same time period. He completed just 49-of-104 passes since that milestone, averaged 5.1 yards per attempt and hadn’t had a passer rating over 72.0 since his one great game against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 7.
Despite his quarterback's troubles, Jets head coach Rex Ryan decided to stick with Smith as the starter, though he did bench Smith in favor of Matt Simms at the half of New York's loss to the Dolphins last Sunday. There was little else to do -- Smith completed 4-of-10 passes for 29 yards and a pick before he was pulled.
“That’s a decision that’s made by the coaches," Smith said after that game. "Obviously, you want to be out there. I always want to be out there with my teammates and always want to be out there fighting. The decision was made and my next move was to now be supportive of my teammates and be supportive of Matt and I tried my best to do that in that moment. Just support Matt, support all the guys on the offense and try to lead from the sideline.”
So far, taking Smith back off the sideline has worked -- he threw his first touchdown pass in almost two months with 3:23 left in the first quarter of the Oakland game. Throwing into double coverage won't look great on film day, but receiver Jeremy Kerley was able to bring it in, and Smith was off the schneid. He also threw a pick in the first half, but hey -- Jets fans have to appreciate the little victories when they can.