From the Armchair: Jets, Week 12

11/25/13 in NFL   |   GFortier   |   520 respect

Blog Photo - From the Armchair: Jets, Week 12
That about sums it up.
Each week, win or lose, I've broken down the Jets effort by focusing on 3-4 main takeaways from the game. Today, however, in the aftermath of the Jets' 19-3 loss at Baltimore, there's really one issue I'm going to write about because I feel it takes precedence over any other aspect of the Jets effort yesterday: the tone set by the coaches and their game plan.

It was obvious from the very first drive that the Jets coaching staff wanted to hide Geno Smith as best they could. They ran the ball, they ran the wildcat, they even had Josh Cribbs throw a pass to Geno for a first down -- opting to go with every one of these plays over letting their rookie QB throw the ball. 

The first argument to be made for the game plan is that it simply shows that Geno Smith can't handle running the Marty Morninwheg West Coast offense. If that's the case, then go ahead and sit him; venture into the unknown with Matt Simms. If Simms clearly can't handle the job either, then you have a different conversation.

All this game plan accomplishes is crushing Geno's confidence and sending a message to the rest of the team: we're afraid that we're going to lose. Geno Smith's confidence is one of his strengths, and by neutering him you're completely taking that away from the young quarterback, leaving him absolutely no chance to recover. A QB's confidence is a very real and important entity. 

When you make the decision to start a rookie QB, you take the good with the bad. This is the exact same way the Jets broke Mark Sanchez beyond repair. They found themselves in the playoff hunt back in 2009 after starting a surprising 3-0, then taught Sanchez how to play "not to lose." It's a losing formula for a young QB.

Not only does this destroy Geno's development, it turns this season into a waste at the QB position. If there's one thing that Jets, and any rebuilding team for that matter, should be able to take away from a season, it's the definitive knowledge as to whether or not you need to pursue a new franchise QB. Without letting Geno throw the ball, take his lumps, and either learn, or not learn from his mistakes, they're stunting the evaluation process. 

With the loss, the Jets fall from the 6th seed to 10th place in the Wild Card hunt in the AFC. If they have any chance of getting back into the race they will have to let whomever is at QB operate the West Coast offense as it was intended. Worst case scenario, they will know that both Smith and Simms are incapable of doing so and will be able to draft a QB early in the 2014 draft. Right now, they're doing nothing but trying, and failing, to tread water. 

This is the kind fo mismanagement that gets coaches fired (and rightfully so) and sets a team in rebuilding mode back another year or two.

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11/26/13   |   kobe_lova   |   61916 respect

I agree. Good job. :)