The Jets' Record Penalties -- Offense Carries The Day
The young QB, Smith, has poise
The New York Jets were penalized 20 times for 168 yards and rookie quarterback Geno Smith threw two interceptions. Still, it didn’t stop their momentum to a 27-20 exciting victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Smith busted from the starting gate on the opening drive by distributing the ball efficiently and rushing for an eight yard touchdown. But in the second quarter the momentum shifted to the Buffalo Bills when Dan Carpenter kicked a 37 yard field goal to lessen the lead to 7 – 3.
On the next drive for the New York Jets, Smith threw his first interception to Bills safety Jim Leonhard, who returned the ball for 27 yards, which set-up a 23 yard field goal from Carpenter.
Although, there were 20 penalties against the Jets, the defense managed to get through and perform when expected. “Stats are one thing, but once you get a little lead and play well against the run you can pin your ears back and get him. We had some great coverage," said linebacker Calvin Pace, but as for the penalties against the Jets. “I knew it was up there. We need to do better. I’ll leave it at that.”
A good example of a lack of communication by the Jets was when the ball was fumbled, Center Nick Mangold hiked the ball to Smith, but he wasn’t there. The ball sailed 21 yards for a Bills recovery. That’s when Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson sacked bills quarterback E.J. Manuel for nine yards on the next drive.
He also registered another sack, which contributed to his first multi-sack game of his career. He leads the team with three sacks.
"I just want to be in every game because of our team. I don’t care who is doing what. Today, we had our moments on offense and defense,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “I thought we had our moments on special teams as well. We challenged all three phases, and I think they all played well today.”
Whenever offense made a mistake by turning the ball over, the defense balanced the difference, and the New York Jets special team added flavor. Nonetheless, extra credit should go to the offense. They accumulated 513 yards of total offense: the running back Bilal Powell produced 149 rushing yards; wide receiver Santonio Holmes totaled 154 receiving yards and Stephen Hill registered 108 receiving yards; and rookie Rookie QB Smith tossed his first career 300-yard passing game on 16-of-29 passing and two touchdowns with two interceptions.
“Honestly, we’ll give a lot of credit to Coach Marty (Mornhinweg) for calling the right plays for us and putting us in the right situations," said Holmes. “With Geno’s poise, he can be as great as he wants to be. His opportunity is definitely something that we’re going to look forward to for a long time.”
As of now, the Jets record is 2-1.
Evidently, the spotlight is on rookie quarterback Smith and the Jets defense to give him a chance to pull them through games. Penalties and turnovers eventually may cost them games.
“It’s been a while since we had 20 penalties. I don’t know. We’ve just had a couple of weeks in a row. We have to get better,” said Ryan. “We think we’re working hard at it, but we have to find a way to get better. How many games are you going to win when you turn the ball over twice and commit 20 penalties? We have to get rid of the self-inflicted things. Yeah, I’m upset because of this – the 20 penalties and all that. We’ve been one of the least penalized teams in the league, so I know we can get this fixed. That’s kind of what excites me. How good can this team be when we eliminate the self-inflicted wounds? We all can take responsibility for it, but it starts with me. We will get it corrected. I will get it corrected.”