Turnovers hinder Jets, Smith
By Alan Robinson
Published: Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, 10:54 p.m.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Geno Smith was the mystery man of the NFL Draft — an obviously gifted West Virginia quarterback nobody could seem to figure out.
Was he a potential franchise player capable of making game-changing plays on a weekly basis or a turnover machine who would struggle against elite defenses and football's best defenders?
Six games into his career, the Jets don't seem to know, either.
Smith committed 11 turnovers as the Jets got off to a 2-2 start, then was dazzling at times while throwing three touchdown passes in a Monday night win at Atlanta. But he went back to making mistakes — two costly turnovers inside the Steelers' 20 — and the Steelers shut out the Jets in the second half of a 19-6 victory Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
It was the first time all season the Steelers looked themselves. Smith, on the other hand, went back to looking like … well, Geno Smith?
“We have to get better,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said, referring to Smith's mistakes. “There's no doubt. We have to get better, and I believe we will. We knew it was going to be a big challenge playing against that defense.”
Smith (19 of 34, 201 yards, 48.8 passer rating) wouldn't blame being short-handed — the Jets were without suspended tight end Kellen Winslow and injured wide receiver Santonio Holmes — for the repeated offensive failures and his two interceptions, by Ryan Clark and Lawrence Timmons.
“We can't talk about the guys we don't have,” Smith said. “Aside from a few plays here and there, we did a pretty decent job of moving the ball, but we didn't get it done overall.”
Was it simply too much to ask a rookie quarterback to go against the Steelers' defense — even this 2013 version — with two weeks of preparation off a bye? The Steelers are 6-1 under coach Mike Tomlin following a week off.
“Not just a rookie quarterback but any quarterback — nobody wants to be in third-and-long situations,” Steelers safety Troy Polamalu said.
As Smith said, “You can tell those guys had time to prepare. They didn't allow us to hit the big play, something we've been accustomed to doing.”
The Steelers are 10-3 against the Jets on the road, but offensive lineman Willie Colon — cut by the Steelers in the spring before being picked up by the Jets — expected a better performance from what had been one of the NFL's surprise teams this season.
“I felt like everything we wanted was there for us,” Colon said.
Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- With so many needs, Steelers can ill afford to miss in draft
- Steelers defense doesn’t make the grade in 2013 review
- Keisel might be at end of Steelers career
- Steelers restructure Brown’s contract to become salary cap compliant
- Steelers create cap space by re-signing Polamalu, Miller
- Steelers’ Worilds signs transition tag
- Ex-Colts executive Polian: Approach free agency with caution
- 6 players the Steelers will be watching at NFL Combine
- Steelers notebook: GM Colbert looks for ways to keep players healthy
- Steelers use transition tag on LB Worilds