Jets: Geno Smith improving as decision maker
Although a series of mistakes led to a demotivating defeat against the Packers last weekend, there is cause to be optimistic about the Jets going forward. The main reason is that Geno Smith has improved his decision making since last year’s low point – a benching in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins.
Removing the variable of pass rush pressure helps highlight this. In the first 12 games of his career Smith struggled even without pressure, completing only 63% of his passes and throwing 12 interceptions for a -6.0 grade. In the six games since, he has only thrown two interceptions while completing 72% of his passes for a +8.6 grade.
And when faced with pressure, Smith also has become much better at avoiding a sack. In the first twelve games of his career Smith had a Sack Rate of 23%, compared to only 10% in the last six. Stretched over the season the 23% would have been the third highest rate in the league last year, while 10% would have been the lowest.
On the field these improvements have helped the Jets offense consistently sustain long drives. In the 12 games before being benched, Smith led the Jets’ offense on just seven drives of 70 yards or longer, but in the last six games he has taken them on 16 such drives – the second-most during that span. With upcoming opponent Chicago’s passing game a tough matchup for the Jets secondary, Smith will need to be sharp to keep pace. His recent play shows he is capable of doing so.