NFL Picks: Losing Geno Smith Doesn't Improve Jets' Playoff Chances

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, August 13, 2015 8:49 PM GMT

Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015 8:49 PM GMT

Our professional NFL consultant discusses the aftermath of another New York Jets embarrassing situation. How will the recent loss of Geno Smith affect the Jets already iffy playoff chances? Will veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick seamlessly take over and not miss a beat? Read this extremely insightful article which addresses those issues and more.

Another Embarrassment for the New York Jets
Any avid sports fan would’ve had to be living under a rock, in order not to hear about the latest fiasco involving the New York Jets. Just when Jets fans thought things couldn’t get much worse than last week’s debacle involving star defensive linemen Sheldon Richardson, well, it just did. On Tuesday, reserve linebacker IK Enemkpali sucker punched projected starting quarterback Geno Smith, and all due to a reported $600 debt. The specifics of how that money was allegedly owed by Smith to Enemkpali have been well documented over the past 24 hours, and excuse me if I choose not to elaborate on that topic. As the end result of that mind boggling occurrence, Smith has a fractured jaw in two places that will require surgery, and he is expected to be out for six to ten weeks. Newly hired head coach Todd Bowles immediately released Enemkpali, who was a 6th round draft choice of the Jets in 2014.

 

Vagabond Fitzpatrick Becomes Jets Starting Quarterback
My area of concentration in this article will be geared toward the Jets present quarterback situation. Barring something unforeseen taking place between now and the Jets opening regular season game, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be under center in week one. The 32-year old veteran will be playing for his 6th team in eleven years. He’s been a starter at all five (St. Louis, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Tennessee, and Houston) of his previous stops.

 

Comparing Smith to Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick has a record of 33-55-1 (.371) as a starter, and has failed to attain a winning record in that role during any of the first ten years of his NFL career. His numbers aren’t bad by any stretch, but they’re less than inspiring all the same. The former 7th round draft choice out of Harvard has completed 60.2 % of his pass attempts, and threw for 123 touchdowns versus 101 interceptions.

Speaking of uninspiring, that was the story of Geno Smith’s first two years in the NFL. The 2013 second round draft choice out of West Virginia has gone a dismal 11-18 (.379) as a starter. Smith had completed 57.5% of his passes which is hardly impressive. Even more alarming was his touchdown pass to interception ratio. He’s thrown for 25 touchdowns and has been intercepted 34 times. What’s unfortunate is that Smith was having a terrific training camp prior to Tuesday’s mishap. However, at the end of the day, there won’t be much of a drop off if any at all with Fitzpatrick running the show. You can even make a solid argument that the Jets' chances improved as a result of this very disturbing situation. I for one won’t share that sentiment.

 

Chan Galley ConnectionIt wasn’t long after the Jets hired Chan Gailey to be their offensive coordinator that free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick was signed. That was by no coincidence, considering Fitzpatrick made 45 starts for the Buffalo Bills from 2010 through 2012, and his head coach at the time was none other than Chan It wasn’t long after the Jets hired Chan Gailey to be their offensive coordinator that free agent Ryan Fitzpatrick was signed. That was by no coincidence, considering Fitzpatrick made 45 starts for the Buffalo Bills from 2010 through 2012, and his head coach at the time was none other than Chan Gailey. During that span with Galley, Fitzpatrick went 16-29 as Buffalo’s starter, completed 60.3% of his pass attempts for 10,232 yards, and tossed 71 touchdown passes versus 54 interceptions. Those results and statistics certainly don’t lend itself to any degree of confidence for Jets fans. However, there’s a silver lining in knowing Fitzpatrick should have a full grasp of Gailey’s offensive scheme, and he’ll require little of any learning curve.

 

Final Analysis
The Jets' NFL odds of winning the AFC East, or even qualifying for the playoffs, remain status quo in my opinion. Whether it was Geno Smith or Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Jets would’ve had their work cut out for them either way. In terms of my NFL picks, I’ll be steering clear of the Jets for any 2015 futures bets. They’ll field a formidable defense, and the addition of wide receiver Brandon Marshall will undoubtedly enhance their passing game. The running game, quarterback play, and a transitional period due to a brand new coaching staff are huge concerns of mine.

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