Rex Ryan made it sound like a no-brainer, declaring afterward that he's sticking with the embattled second-year quarterback. Ryan said he replaced him at halftime, down 21-0, with the hope of finding a spark.
"We do have a good player in Michael Vick, but it could've been Joe Namath and it wouldn't have made any difference," said Ryan, who accepted full responsibility for the team's first shutout loss in two years.
Smith, without top receiver Eric Decker (hamstring) and without a running game, was almost helpless in the pocket. He completed only four of 12 passes for 27 yards and an interception, a Hail Mary at the end of the first half. His passer rating was a career-low 7.6.
"It was definitely a pathetic showing on my part," Smith said. "I don't think I helped at any part of the game."
A source familiar with the situation said late Sunday that Smith and a few teammates missed team meetings Saturday night because they went to see a movie and didn't make it back in time. It wasn't immediately clear if the players were reprimanded in any manner. No one was benched or appeared to have reduced playing time.
Vick wasn't much better than Smith. In his first extended playing time, he was under heavy pressure and managed to complete only eight of 19 for 47 yards.
Things were so bad for the Jets that they didn't cross midfield until the 7:30 mark of the fourth quarter -- and that came on a long defensive pass-interference penalty.
The Jets signed Vick to a one-year, $4 million contract, but they've been reluctant to use him. Ryan scoffed at the notion that the season is more about developing Smith than winning games.
"I'm going with Geno Smith," Ryan said. "This wasn't on him. He wasn't the guy out there blocking or blowing assignments or doing whatever. It's not on one player. It's on one individual, and that's me. Geno will be our quarterback next week. That's just the way it is."
Smith said he was "upset" that he got pulled.
"How are you supposed to be? Obviously, I didn't like it and I never want to be pulled from a game, but I just had to adjust my mindset and try to support the guys," Smith said.
The Jets have produced only four touchdowns in the last 14 quarters, as the criticism of Smith has mounted. This was a rough seven days for him, starting with last Sunday's outburst at a home game. He was fined $12,000 for cursing a fan.
Vick, who previously was used for only six snaps in the Wildcat, wasn't happy with his outing.
"We didn't score any points and that's the evaluation right there," he said. "We didn't get into the red zone until the fourth quarter and that's totally unacceptable."