The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports
Rookie quarterback Geno Smith received a gift-wrapped opportunity to overtake Mark Sanchez as the Jets' main signal-caller in 2013 against the Giants.
Smith failed on a massive level, though, hurling three interceptions in a span of 12 pass attempts. It's highly possible that a turnover-free performance would have earned Smith the starting job.
Instead, the Jets quarterback competition turned into a debacle and hit rock bottom.
For Smith, his struggles are part of a learning curve. However, the multitude of mistakes he committed against the Giants make it known that he's simply not ready to take over the Jets' offense to start the season.
The fact that Smith suffered a mild right ankle sprain in his preseason debut against the Lions—and was slowed down in practice—had a noticeable impact on his immediate development.
Smith looked flustered under center against the Giants. He telegraphed several passes and seldom read the entire field before making a throwing decision.
His three interceptions happened for entirely different reasons: a late-timed pass, an overthrow and a bad read.
The Jets seemingly simplified their offensive attack for Smith, tossing several screen passes, in the face of an aggressive pass rush.
Smith's "brutal" practice doesn't mirror how bad his first NFL start was.
He struggled against a first-team defense that ranked 31st in the league last season.
He added-on to an unrecoverable performance by running out of the end zone for a safety after the Jets were pinned deep into their own territory at the start of the fourth quarter.
Smith was supposed to supply upside to the Jets' QB dilemma. The rookie boasts some potential, but he's not a foolproof answer to the Sanchez problem at this juncture.