Saturday, August 24, 2013
Geno throws three first-half picks
By Jane McManus
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- If the New York Jets were hoping that Geno Smith was the antidote to the interceptions that are part of Mark Sanchez's game, Saturday night was a reality check.
In fact, it was -- to borrow Rex Ryan's own phrase -- pretty brutal.
The rookie threw three interceptions in the first half of a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. The Jets extended the quarterback competition to give Smith his first start of the preseason -- so this was supposed to be his opportunity to excel.
At the half, his line was 11-for-25 for 134 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. Rather than the quarterback of the future, what the Jets saw looked more like a flustered rookie.
Let us count the ways:
First interception: A pass to WR Ben Obomanu was ripped out of his hands by Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara.
Second interception: In the next series, Smith tried to reach Kellen Winslow and instead threw it to Giants safety Stevie Brown. (Brown sprained his left knee on the play, and the team announced he will not return). Smith got a taste of contact on the play: After the throw, he was flattened by Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka.
Third interception: This was the worst interception, on which he responded to a zone blitz by passing the ball directly to Giants defensive end Justin Tuck.
There were bright spots for the rookie. He threw a touchdown to Obomanu on the second series for the Jets and hit WR Stephen Hill with a pretty 32-yard pass. But, for the most part, the plays called for shorter passes. He wasn't helped by drops from Jeremy Kerley, Obomanu and Bilal Powell.