Is Geno a franchise quarterback?
In this year’s draft, the Jets selected QB Geno Smith in the 2nd round, proving there would be a real quarterback competition. The competition lasted a little more than two and a half preseason games, because Mark Sanchez would suffer a season ending injury. Sanchez’s injury gave Smith the starting job, even though Rex Ryan will not name him the starter for the rest of the season. In this week’s press conference Ryan was asked if Geno is the starter for the rest of the year and he responded that Smith is the starter this week for the Bengals game.
Though seven games is way too early to determine if Smith is a franchise quarterback, I wanted to compare his stats to those of Sanchez, because many of us thought he was going to be that franchise quarterback we have been waiting for.
The first comparison is team record; both quarterbacks led their team to a 4-3 record. In ’09, Sanchez and the Jets won their first 3 games against the Texans, Patriots, and the Titans, before losing 3 in a row to the Saints, Dolphins, and the Bills. The Jets ended their losing streak by beating the Raiders in the seventh game. As far as Geno Smith goes, he has led his team to a win every other week. The Jets beat Tampa Bay in Week 1, then lost to the Patriots, in Week 3 they beat the Bills, before losing to the Titans, they beat the Falcons on Monday Night Football in Week 5, then they lost to the Steelers, and beat the Patriots in Week 7. Geno Smith has 2 fourth quarter comebacks, Sanchez did not have any comebacks in his first seven games.
At this point in the season, Sanchez was 94/179 passing, that’s a completion percentage of 52.5, with 1,178 yards, an average of 168.3 yards/game, 6 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Smith is 130/223, for a completion percentage of 58.3, with 1,723 yards, an average of 246.1 yards/game, with 8 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. When we compare the two players, Geno’s stats line is better than Sanchez’s, Smith is 36/44, for a completion percentage of 81.8, 545 more yards, 2 more touchdowns, although he does have 1 more interception.
Like I said earlier, it has only been seven games and it is way too early to determine if Smith is the franchise quarterback the Jets and us fans have been looking for, but if he continues to improve from week to week, the sky is the limit.