Jets bench brutal Smith in 23-3 loss to Dolphins
The New York Jets’ starting quarterback is uncertain, and their
playoff hopes are fading.
It looks as though they’re in for a rough final four games.
Geno Smith was benched in favor of Matt Simms to start the
second half of the Jets’ 23-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday,
sending New York’s shaky quarterback situation into a mess of
”We’ll take a look at the tape and we’ll evaluate it at the
appropriate time,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said. ”Obviously, I can’t
tell you who’s starting. It’s safe to say we will put the guys in
who we think will give us the best opportunity to be successful. I
think that’s the way it always is, and that’s the way it’ll be
moving forward. I can’t answer that question, though, right
”We need to see it and get everybody’s opinion and do what we
think is in the best interest of our team.”
Smith had a brutal first half, going 4 for 10 for 29 yards with
an interception and an 8.3 quarterback rating as the Jets (5-7)
trailed 6-0. Smith, who has one touchdown and 11 interceptions in
his last seven games, overthrew receivers a few times and couldn’t
get the offense moving.
”I’ve got to look at myself in the mirror and figure out ways
to get better,” Smith said. ”It seems like I say this every week,
but there’s always a way to get better and I’ve got plenty of room
to improve, so I’ve just got to continue to plug at it and got to
Simms, the son of former Giants star Phil Simms, jogged in to
loud cheers from the MetLife Stadium crowd as the Jets opened the
third quarter after Ryan and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg
converged on him in the locker room at halftime.
”They just told me to be ready,” Simms said. ”Rex came up to
me and said, `Are you ready to go? Do you know the game plan? Are
you good to go?’
”I said, `Yes sir, I’m ready to go.’ That was it.”
Smith acknowledged that the benching stung.
”It’s tough to not be out there with my guys fighting, no
matter what the score is,” Smith said. ”But, you’ve got to suck
it up and be a man about it. That’s what I try to do my best to
The move took Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon by
”I didn’t think they would do it like that, but we knew that we
were getting in their heads,” he said. ”It worked in our favor.
We knew we were doing something right.”
The quarterback change did nothing to alter the game’s momentum
as the Jets lost their third straight and looked every bit like a
bunch that needs to start thinking about next season.
”It was an awful performance by us,” Ryan said.
On the other side, Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins played like a
team trying to keep its playoff hopes alive.
Tannehill threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns as the Dolphins
kept pace in the AFC postseason picture. Brian Hartline and Mike
Wallace caught touchdown passes for Miami (6-6), which converted
two turnovers into 10 points.
”It was big,” Hartline said. ”You go the opposite way and you
fall to 5-7 and it’s pretty slim pickins the rest of the
Tannehill finished 28 of 43 with an interception as the Dolphins
took control in the second half after dominating the stats sheet in
the first two quarters.
Philip Wheeler recovered a fumble by Simms on the Jets’ second
possession of the third quarter, and the Dolphins took quick
advantage with a 31-yard catch-and-run by Hartline.
Nick Folk finally got the Jets on the scoreboard with a 20-yard
field goal with 4:30 left in the third quarter. But, New York’s
momentum was quickly squashed as Wallace caught a short pass from
Tannehill and ran through a poor tackle try by Dee Milliner and
zipped into the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown and a 20-3 lead
with just over a minute left in the third quarter – and sending
many Jets fans heading for the exits early.
The Dolphins dominated on offense during the first two quarters
in every statistic, outgaining the Jets 265 yards to 39 with 16
first downs compared to New York’s 2. Miami also held the ball for
24 minutes, 12 seconds, with New York having it for just 5:48.
The Dolphins ran more plays (50) in the first half than the Jets
had total yards. Miami finished by outgaining New York 453-177.
”We’re not making enough plays across the board,” tight end
Kellen Winslow Jr. said. ”That’s pretty much it.”
NOTES: Jets KR-WR Josh Cribbs left in the second quarter with a
shoulder injury and didn’t return. … Jets WR Santonio Holmes was
active after not practicing all week with a hamstring issue, but
saw few snaps and had no catches. ”It was a coaches’ decision,”
Holmes said. Ryan said the team was trying to ”pace” Holmes.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org