Geno Smith made his first, and quite possibly last, start of the season for the Jets. He did better than expected, although it ended in tragedy as he left the game in the second quarter with a leg injury that was later diagnosed as a torn ACL. Let’s see how he did:
The defense is in a two deep safety look for a change, and the Jets come out with four receivers and a RB out of the backfield. The pre-snap read on this shows man coverage, with a tight coverage towards the right of the formation. If you look at the left side of the formation, you will notice that the defenders are playing back on this play, which means there is a better chance of a completion to this side. Geno Smith makes the right read and immediately attacks this side of the field, completing the pass to Robby Anderson. This is just a great pre-snap read, which was refreshing after weeks of seeing Ryan Fitzpatrick ignore pre-snap reads consistently. This is also the result of the speed of Anderson, because this is great respect for a rookie WR.
The defense is again in a two deep safety look, which if you read these articles on a consistent basis, is pretty rare for this offense. The Jets have the same set up as the above play, with one receiver to the right of the formation, and three receivers to the left of the formation. The pre-snap read on this play is again to Robby Anderson because he gets the most space between himself and the defender, and Geno Smith looks at him correctly. Anderson runs a good “pick” route, freeing up Brandon Marshall for the pass. This is a beautiful read and pass by Geno Smith, exploiting the weakness in the defense. This is just a great example of reading the defense at the pre-snap read and throwing a beautiful pass.
The defense is again in two deep safety look, and the Ravens have good coverage on this play. The pre-snap read on this play shows that the best chance of completion seems to be either of the outside receivers, but they have great coverage on this play. Geno Smith does a good job of recognizing the coverage and decides to run up the middle. Part of the spread system relies on the ability of a QB to move up field and run for positive yards, and Geno does well on this play. Fitzpatrick has taken advantage of this in the past year or so as well, so it’s encouraging to see Geno take advantage of this situation.
The defense is in a single high safety look on third down here. The pre-snap read on this play shows man coverage, with the only person to have a defender far off the line of scrimmage is Charone Peake. Geno Smith correctly surmises the situation, and looks for Charone Peake on this play and throws a good pass to him, but it’s dropped. It’s not a perfect pass by any means, but Peake does get two hands on the ball, and it’s dropped. This is a situation where Geno Smith reads the defense perfectly in terms of pre-snap reads but it fails here because Peake could not catch the ball cleanly. This play is about 80% fault on Charone Peake, while 20% fault on Geno Smith.
The defense is in a two safety look, although the second safety is moving up later in the play. The read on this play is absolutely beautiful knowing the WR routes, because Smith realizes that Marshall will have a one on one coverage down the field. Watch the attention garnered to Robby Anderson on this play, with two guys running back towards him. If you read the past film reviews, he usually has man coverage with teams conceding that he will run by them but the QB can not hit him deep. Notice Geno working through his progressions as well, looking at the middle of the field to hold the safety before passing to Marshall. This is another pass that has to be caught because this is a big yards after the catch opportunity.
The defense is in a two safety look again, on a second and 18 play for the Jets, with the Jets showing four receivers. The pre-snap read on this indicates that the right side of the formation shows the best opportunity for a completed pass, as the LB on Enunwa is off the line, and the defender on Anderson is further back as well. Those are the two receivers that end up open on this play as well. This is just a great read by Geno Smith, but it’s a better play by Quincy Enunwa, running after the catch for a great TD. Countless times in the 20 games, the Jets continually go against the pre-snap reads, so it’s really refreshing to see a QB make the correct reads because he’s taking advantage of what the defense is conceding.
The defense is in single high safety, and the Ravens make late adjustments to this blitz. Geno Smith looks at Brandon Marshall, and throws a back shoulder pass to him, but misses the throw. The pre-snap read on this indicates that the play was to the right of the formation with Robby Anderson, but Geno ignores that side of the field. This is just a bad throw to Brandon Marshall, since he was in a good position for a back shoulder pass. There is some questionable contact on this play by the defender but this has to be a better read and throw by Geno Smith.
The defense is in a two safety look, and as you recognize, is probably the last play for Geno Smith this season. The pre-snap read on this play is tricky because the Ravens make late movements on this play, throwing off the coverage. Prior to the late movement, the defender to the left of the formation was off the line of scrimmage, along with Robby Anderson on the right side of the field. Geno is looking towards his left side as his first read, but the Ravens bring a blitz from the right side forcing him to the left of the formation. This is just a bad read by Geno Smith, failing to recognize the coverage. The second best thing to do on this play was to throw to away the ball, but Smith tries to make something out of nothing and gets injured.
Geno Smith looked the best at QB for the Jets since the Buffalo game with Ryan Fitzpatrick. He made good reads and made good throws, but was victimized by a couple of drops. It’s sad for the Jets because the start of the game indicated that Geno Smith had actually improved at the mental aspect of the game in terms of pre-snap reads. It’s a shame that they don’t get to see him progress more.
Geno Smith Grade: B-
A) Where do you think Geno Smith lands in free agency?
B) What did you feel about his performance before the injury?