The New York Jets benched quarterback Geno Smith in favor of backup Michael Vick after the former threw three interceptions during a 43-23 Week 8 home loss to their AFC East rivals, the Buffalo Bills.
Geno Smith may have seen his last days as starting quarterback of the New York Jets.
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According to NFL.com's Conor Orr, Smith threw three interceptions during a 43-23 home loss to the visiting Buffalo Bills on Oct. 26, prompting Jets head coach Rex Ryan to turn to backup Michael Vick instead. With the loss, the Jets fell to 1-7 on the season:
"It didn't take long, but Geno Smith has been benched again.
"The embattled quarterback threw three picks on the Jets' first four drives in the 43-23 loss to the Bills on Sunday, the last of which brought the Bills all the way to New York's 1-yard line, leading to a Kyle Orton touchdown pass.
"Smith, who came into the game with seven interceptions, lost his spot after forcing a horrendous deep ball to Percy Harvin on the second series. The following drive, he threw an almost identical route to tight end Jeff Cumberland, which was also picked.
"The third interception, which continued a barrage of boos from the fans at MetLife Stadium, almost immediately prompted Michael Vick to place his helmet on and start throwing to Eric Decker. This is the second time this season Smith has been benched.
"At this point, the Jets find themselves in a precarious position. Vick, at 34, is not the team's quarterback of the future. Smith has some potential but has been so prone to moments like these -- complete lapses in sound football -- that makes him difficult to trust again.
"After the game, Rex Ryan said he has 'no idea' who will start at QB in Week 9.
"The team is spiraling at 1-7 but is being supported by a fan base that has grown wary of the Jets' failed efforts to develop a quarterback in recent years. Might playing an established star for the remainder of the season tide them over?
"Will Rex finally admit that Smith is not the answer?"
ESPN New York's Johnette Howard wrote more about Smith's benching on her Oct. 26 blog:
"But the Geno Smith era has to be over. Now. Unless Ryan or general manager Ryan Idzik wants to risk losing their locker room, not just more games.
"Jets wide receiver Eric Decker -- who left playing with Peyton Manning for this, remember -- was blunt when asked what kind of 'spark' Vick provided after Smith was benched with just 10:22 into the game.
"'Well, we started getting first downs,' Decker shot back. Speaking of the entire offense now, Decker added: 'When you do stupid stuff, you're never going to win football games.'
"...Speaking of his interception throws, he said, 'Just missed them. I think they were good reads. I just missed the throws. In the NFL, if you get a chance to see the guy, you should hit him, right?'
"Now Vick deserves a fair shot to see what he can do. He deserves a full week of practice with the first team all season. He has been a good soldier through traning camp, through farces like hearing the Jets' management paint his shot at the No. 1 job an open competition, or, later, Ryan infamously saying that starting Smith -- or even not getting Vick more first team reps -- were 'organizational' decisions.
"It's impossible to defend Smith as the starter anymore.
"The team knows it. Vick knows it. Even Smith knows it."
Smith has thrown for 4,416 yards, 19 touchdowns and 31 interceptions on a 66.2 passer rating in 24 career regular-season games for the Jets, per ESPN stats.
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