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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Geno Smith's torn ACL made the Jets' decision a little easier on Monday, but it still doesn't change the long-term reality of their quarterback mess. Ryan Fitzpatrick may have to be their starter for now, but he still isn't their quarterback of the future.

So the sooner they get Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg into some games, the better off their franchise will be.

They can't go to either of those two young quarterbacks right now, and it's important to understand that. That's why they're turning back to the 33-year-old Fitzpatrick less than a week after making it pretty clear they didn't want him to be their quarterback anymore.

Petty, the Jets' fourth-round pick in 2015, only returned to practice 11 days ago after missing six weeks with a shoulder injury. And in those 11 days, as the third-string quarterback, he's barely gotten any practice reps.

And Hackenberg, the Jets' second-round pick this past April, now gets even less time with the offense at practice since he mostly works with the scout team. The Jets think he's so behind, so not ready to play, that he played in only two preseason games (and terribly, by the way). And Jets head coach Todd Bowles already made it clear the rookie won't play this season in what Bowles called "a redshirt year."

So for now, it has to be Fitzpatrick by default. And he probably can keep the job for a few weeks too, especially with winnable games coming up against the Browns (0-7), Dolphins (3-4) and Rams (3-4).

The Jets are free to dream about being 5-5 at the bye week and returning home for what they'd hope could be a season-saving game against the Patriots. It may seem like a stretch to think they can get themselves from 1-5 into the playoff conversation, but there is always hope.

But the minute there is no hope left -- as soon as they lose another game or two, really, and accept the impossible scenario staring them in the face -- they have to end the Fitzpatrick Era because it won't do them any good not to. The minute they played hardball with Fitzpatrick and declined to commit any significant money to him beyond this season, they made it clear he would not be their quarterback in 2017.

Since they now know it won't be Smith -- since his season is over and his contract is about to expire -- they need to find out who that is.

It's possible their 2017 quarterback isn't on their roster. But they do have those two young quarterbacks sitting there, collecting dust. Petty, a 25-year-old out of Baylor, has been OK in limited preseason action the last two years, good enough at times to give some in the organization some hope. Clearly, since the Jets drafted Hackenberg in the second-round this past April, GM Mike Maccagnan and his staff weren't sold on Petty's potential. But there's enough talent there to warrant a look in a regular season game.

And it's important that Petty gets that look because he's a key piece of this puzzle. Even if the Jets don't think of Hackenberg as the mistake that so many others around the NFL think he was, they at least know he's more of a project than they expected. Many rookie quarterbacks in recent years have managed to thrive immediately as starters. It speaks volumes about Hackenberg that the Jets didn't think he was even ready for preseason games.

If he's their quarterback of the future, you can bet that they'll bring in a veteran next season to start until he's ready -- maybe just a stopgap free agent like Brian Hoyer or Mike Glennon. Or maybe they go bigger and try to engineer a deal for Jay Cutler or Tony Romo. But perhaps, if Petty plays well enough, he can be the stopgap. Maybe that's unrealistic, but there's only one way to know for sure.

And it wouldn't hurt, by the way, to take a look at Hackenberg, even if it's only in the regular season finale. If he shows no growth, no ability to handle himself after watching and working all season, maybe the conclusion will be that the Jets don't have a quarterback of the future on their roster -- or that his future is not as immediate as they hoped.

That will free them up to go look somewhere else.

They need to know, though. They need to know if they have to go back into the draft, or if they should pursue a young quarterback like a Colin Kaepernick, or if they just need someone to keep the seat warm until Petty or Hackenberg are ready. Playing Fitzpatrick doesn't help them reach any of those conclusions, and playing him enough to win a few meaningless games down the stretch doesn't help their future at all.

The only thing that will help now, once their playoff fantasy is over, is to see what they have in Petty and Hackenberg, to judge for themselves if they are capable of being a starter or not. Because the most important thing the Jets can accomplish in the final 10 games is finding out if they have a quarterback for next season. Pretty soon, nothing else about this season will matter at all.

Tags: Bryce Petty , Christian Hackenberg , Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Ralph Vacchiano

Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are back with a rare Victory Monday version of the podcast. Of course, the news is never all good, as word has dropped about Geno Smith's torn ACL…so they cover that and also play your messages about Ryan Fitzpatrick, the offensive play calling, and whether or not the Jets should play the 3-4 defense.

Geno Smith (7) runs with the ball while being defended by Baltimore Ravens defensive end Timmy Jernigan (99). (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
Geno Smith (7) runs with the ball while being defended by Baltimore Ravens defensive end Timmy Jernigan (99). (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

Jets QB Geno Smith has a torn ACL in his right knee, a source confirmed to's Ralph Vacchiano. 

Smith plans to get a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN, though it's expected that his season is over.

Ian Rapoport reported earlier Monday that the Jets believed Smith's knee was fine and that the MRI was being done as a precaution.

Smith left Sunday's win against the Ravens in the second quarter after injuring his right knee and was replaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick, who he had recently unseated as the starting quarterback.

Smith was listed as questionable to return but stayed out for the remainder of the game.

He was 4-for-8 passing for 95 yards, including a 69-yard TD pass to Quincy Enumwa that gave the Jets a 10-0 lead. Smith, who was sacked before he left the game, also ran once for seven yards.

Smith was criticized by former Jets QB Joe Namath for not returning. In a tweet, Namath questioned the severity of the injury. Smith responded with his own tweet after the game, saying doctors have the final say. 

Smith's contract with the Jets expires after this season.

Tags: Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick

 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

Sheldon Richardson was happy to be lined up on the defensive line during the Jets' 24-16 win against the Ravens Sunday.

He had eight tackles, including three for a loss, and a sack.

"I mean, yeah, y'all must have forgot. Made Pro Bowl that year I played 3 Technique, then moved to outside linebacker," Richardson told reporters after the game. "I cause a lot more havoc when I'm close to the ball. The way this team is set up, potential-wise, I've got to play outside linebacker. I just picked up the slack."

Richardson was moved back to his natural position Sunday due to the ankle injury to Muhammad Wilkerson.

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With Wilkerson out, Jets head coach Todd Bowles was left with no choice but to put Richardson back onto the defensive line -- and it paid off. Neither Richardson nor Leonard Williams had their most dominating of games, but it allowed players like Lorenzo Mauldin to play a more suitable role, leading to better contributions than they'd provided all season.

Also, on the back end, the Jets continued with a more assignment-based approach, playing a lot of two-deep coverages and leading to each of their five main defensive backs making key plays instead of showing confusion and looking overmatched as they had all year.

In our recent roundtable discussion, Brian Bassett and I both suggested simplifying things and getting players into situations where they can do what they do best. Whether or not Bowles was forced into doing that, it's obvious the defense played better than it has since opening day -- another game where they were missing one of their key starters in Richardson.

Tags: Leonard Williams , Lorenzo Mauldin , Muhammad Wilkerson , Sheldon Richardson

Bent: Is Sunday's win against the Raves too little too late? Probably. Did it come at the expense of a struggling injury-plagued team? Absolutely.

Has it just led me to look back on that opening day loss and regret not being in the mix at 3-4 right now? You betcha. Nevertheless, it was still nice to see the Jets start to take some baby steps back towards respectability...

Forte (22) rushes for a touchdown at MetLife Stadium (Credit: Noah K. Murray | USA Today).

Winning games is what the NFL is all about and if this win can help the team figure out the best way to do that in future then it could help to steer the Jets back in the right direction.

Next week's game against the 0-7 Browns looks like a lay-up, but could be a trap game. While it seems improbable for a two-win team to experience a trap game at this stage of the season, if the Jets are looking ahead to the trip to Miami in terms of "if we win that game we'll be 4-5 when we host the Rams" then the Browns could easily trip them up.

Clearly the Browns are struggling, but the Jets have proven capable of beating themselves so they will need to be disciplined and limit their mistakes as the Browns have shown some signs of figuring things out. They could have run the Bengals close yesterday if not for a Hail Mary pass just before half time.

Lorenzo Mauldin (55) reacts after a defensive stop at MetLife Stadium (Credit: Noah K. Murray | USA Today).

For now, it's just good to see them get back the winning habit and show that they can be competitive. Hopefully they maintain their focus next week and can keep it going...

In this week's BGA, I analyze Week 7 performances by Todd Bowles, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Quincy Enunwa and the Wide Receivers, Nick Mangold and the Offensive Line, Buster Skrine and the Defensive Backs, Darron Lee and the Linebackers, Leonard Williams and the Defensive Line the and special teams, all which you can read here...

Tags: BGA

 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Jets RB Matt Forté had a big day Sunday as the Jets beat the Ravens, 24-16.

The 30-year-old Forte had 30 carries for 100 yards, 54 receiving yards, and a pair of touchdowns.

"It felt good," Forte told reporters after the game. "We popped a couple runs... We're still waiting on getting that big long one. We ran the ball pretty efficiently in the red zone. I was proud of that."

Forte had struggled over his past three games as his touches were reduced -- his high for carries during that time was 15 against the Chiefs on Sept. 25.

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After some disappointing performances, Forté finally discovered the fountain of youth Sunday. He seemed to have rediscovered his burst and at last found some room to make some open-field cuts. It was far from a perfect performance, though.

While Forté ran for 100 yards for the second time this season, it again took him until his 30th carry to get there. At halftime, he had just 32 yards on 10 carries. And if the Jets had continued to trail and abandoned the running game as they had in previous weeks, then we'd probably be talking about another disappointing display. He also lost a fumble inside the Ravens' five-yard line and there were a couple of plays in the first half where he seemed to have a big enough hole to pick up the first down quite easily, only to dance around behind the line of scrimmage and end up short of the marker.

It was in the short passing game that the Jets were able to get Forté going. You may recall last year that when Chris Ivory was struggling, he finally broke out in a game where they got him going on a few short passes. When the run- blocking is struggling, that seems to be a good way of allowing your back to shift through the gears and get your engine running smoothly again.

One of the reasons Forté was able to make contributions in the passing game was that he was getting plays which would ordinarily go to Bilal Powell. Once again, this was perhaps not something that was planned in advance but rather a reaction to the Geno Smith injury. Powell was the Jets' emergency quarterback, so they stopped using him in case Ryan Fitzpatrick got hurt as well.

Tags: Matt Forte

GEICO SportsNite: FNNY 00:04:47
After both New York teams picked up wins in Week 7, the FNNY crew addresses the Jets' new QB controversy and the Giants' game in London.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Just four days ago, Ryan Fitzpatrick was pretty sure he had already thrown his last pass for the Jets. So when he jogged out into the Jets' huddle once again late in the first half on Sunday, he said "We almost all had to laugh at the situation, just the irony of it."

It was, as he said, "pretty ironic". But there's nothing funny at all about the Jets' continuing quarterback mess. Every time they make a decision about a quarterback it turns out to be a bad one.

And this time, there is no good decision for them to make.

Really, it couldn't have happened in a more Jet-like way on Sunday, either, with the deposed Fitzpatrick had to replace his replacement, Geno Smith, when Smith injured his right knee midway through the second quarter of what turned out to be a 24-16 win over the Baltimore Ravens. Now the Jets might be stuck with a 33-year-old quarterback they didn't want to play anymore.

Or maybe even worse, they'll have to make things even messier by benching him again.

Remember, as ridiculous as it seems, the Jets (2-5) think this season isn't over. They see three winnable games in front of them and envision being 5-5 heading into their bye. And many of their players won 10 games behind Fitzpatrick last season and they didn't exactly seem thrilled with the quarterback change.

At least they understood Fitzpatrick had been awful this season, and that Todd Bowles was left with no other choice. But on Sunday, in relief, Fitzpatrick was 9 of 14 for 120 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. Not great, but good enough for a win.

And now Bowles may have to tell his veteran players he's sitting Fitzpatrick again?

"It's too early to tell right now," Todd Bowles said. "We'll see what the injury status is before I make that determination."

Maybe Smith's injury makes the decision easy for Bowles. Smith - who was 4 of 8 for 95 yards, thanks to a short pass that Quincy Enunwa turned into a 69-yard touchdown before he left -- said "I don't think it'll be anything too significant". He added that "Honestly, I was begging to go back out there" and he appeared to be moving OK on the sidelines and again after the game. But he really has no idea and he'll have an MRI on Monday. Then we'll all know if Bowles has any decision to make at all.

But here's the bigger problem: None of this actually matters. The Jets are probably going to have to go 8-2 the rest of the way to make the playoffs, and they still have two games left against the Patriots. This season is essentially over. The most important thing they need to do now is figure out who their quarterback is going to be in 2017.

It's definitely not going to be Fitzpatrick. The Jets made that clear when they only gave him a one-year contract, which is why it makes no sense to turn back to him if Smith is healthy enough to play. And really, even going to Smith is pointless since his contract is up at the end of the season too and he's almost certainly not the Jets quarterback of the future.

Ideally, they'd look at Bryce Petty, but he missed more than a month of practice with a shoulder injury he suffered in the summer, and the Jets feel that he's not quite ready to play. Maybe if Smith's knee is worse than he thinks, Petty can get ready by getting more practice reps as Fitzpatrick's backup over the next few weeks. But it's likely his time as a Jets starter is probably at least a month away.

So in the meantime, the Jets are stuck. More proof - and a lesson for Jets GM Mike Maccagnan as he heads into the offseason - that teams that don't have a franchise quarterback are constantly searching for one.

And the Jets, as what seems like a decades-long search continues, are left with nothing but drama. A week ago, as Fitzpatrick was continuing to unravel, Smith told ESPN that he was getting "antsy" to play and he was stalking around the sidelines like he was trying to remind his coaches he was there. Then on Sunday, Fitzpatrick declared that "Yeah," he should be the Jets starter the next week in Cleveland, and he basically took management to task for their lack of faith in his ability.

Well, sure, that has to be tough. Just like it was tough for the owner, GM and coach to watch Fitzpatrick throw no fourth-quarter touchdowns and 10 fourth-quarter interceptions this season. And that is surely why they decided to give Smith a try. Smith was the old regime's quarterback of the future, but at 26 he was at least worth one last look before the Jets gave up on him completely.

Now they may have lost the chance to do that. Or they might feel forced to inexplicably give up that chance. Meanwhile, the only two quarterbacks under contract for next season - Petty and Christian Hackenberg - aren't ready for the Jets to take a real look at yet.

It's a quagmire, which is basically what the Jets' quarterback situation has been forever. They have been on a never-ending carousel of mediocre quarterbacks, stop gap solutions, and quarterbacks of the future who just don't quite work out as expected. Now they're stuck in between two who probably don't figure into their future.

Bowles may have to make a difficult choice, but in the end it's one that won't really matter. All that matters is doing whatever they can to make sure they have a real quarterback of the future in place for next season, so they're never stuck in a mess like this again.

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick , Ralph Vacchiano

Bowles, Geno on the win 00:02:12
Todd Bowles and Geno Smith discuss the Jets' 24-16 win against the Ravens on Sunday in the Meadowlands.

Former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath criticized Geno Smith for not returning to the game after sustaining a knee injury in Sunday's win over the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium.

Smith left the game in the second quarter with a right knee injury when Baltimore's Matthew Judon sacked him. Ryan Fitzpatrick, whom head coach Todd Bowles benched in favor of Smith earlier this week, entered.

Smith, who will undergo an MRI later this week to determine the severity of his injury, did not return to the game and was seen on the sidelines in street clothes, which Namath pointed out on Twitter.

Smith responded on Twitter later Sunday night.

Before he left the game, Smith threw for 95 yards and one touchdown on 4-for-8 passing. Fitzpatrick went 9 for 14 with 120 passing yards and one touchdown.

Tags: Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick

Jets Post Game Overtime Grades 00:03:47
Ray Lucas, Mike Westhoff and Chad Cascadden grade the Jets offensive and defensive performance in a 24-16 win against the Baltimore Ravens.

GEICO SportsNite: Fitz believes 00:00:36
Ryan Fitzpatrick says he's lost the confidence of coaches and ownership, but still believes in his ability to perform as the starting QB.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Ryan Fitzpatrick absolutely believes he should be the Jets' starting quarterback when they play in Cleveland on Sunday. He's just not sure he will be because he's not sure Jets management believes in him anymore.

And Fitzpatrick didn't sound thrilled about that last part, when he called out owner Woody Johnson, GM Mike Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles for their lack of faith after the Jets' 24-16 win over the Baltimore Ravens. Fitzpatrick went 9 of 14 for 120 yards and a touchdown after he was called on to replace his injured replacement, Geno Smith in the second quarter.

He called the whole situation "pretty ironic," but it was clear he thought the lack of faith from his bosses was pretty sad.

"The biggest thing in this game in order to last is to have a belief in yourself," Fitzpatrick said. "Because when the owner stops believing in you, and the GM stops believing in you and the coaches stop believing in you, sometimes all you have is yourself. That's something I've had to deal with before. That's what I'm dealing with now."

Asked directly if he felt the Jets' owner, GM, and coaches have stopped believing in him here, Fitzpatrick said "Yeah, I think when you get put on the bench that's the reason why."

That's probably true, though Fitzpatrick contributed to that with some awful play and 10 fourth-quarter interceptions this season. Bowles - and anyone else who may have been in on the decision - was probably influenced by the Jets' 1-5 record as well.

And really, the Jets have never appeared to have much faith in the 33-year-old Fitzpatrick, even after his career-best performance during their 10-6 season last year. When it was over, the Jets' played hardball with him in contract negotiations and refused to commit big money to him longterm. They ended up signing him to just a one-year deal worth $12 million.

That was a clear sign of a lack of faith right there.

So how does Fitzpatrick deal with those slights from the people in charge of his career with the Jets?

"It's not easy," he said. "But I think my teammates believing in me is a big thing. Their opinion of me, that's what drives me and what matters. I know I still have that belief in the huddle.

"I'm human so it's not the easiest thing in the world to deal with, but it's something I have dealt with."

The good news? If Firtzpatrick is the starter next week - "I think I should start every week," he said - at least he'll still be angry about his situation. And that seems to work reasonably well for him.

"I probably play better as an underdog, pissed off," he said. "So going forward, yeah, I'll be pissed off."

Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick , Ralph Vacchiano

Bowles, Geno on the win 00:02:12
Todd Bowles and Geno Smith discuss the Jets' 24-16 win against the Ravens on Sunday in the Meadowlands.

The benched Ryan Fitzpatrick took over for an injured Geno Smith and threw a touchdown pass as the Jets came from behind to defeat the Ravens 24-16 Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Smith left in the second quarter with what appeared to be a right knee injury on a sack. Fitzpatrick entered with the Jets trailing 13-7 and helped lead a seven-play, 85-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 13-yard TD pass to Matt Forte.

The Jets also intercepted Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco twice in the third quarter, leading to 10 Jets points. The second pick led to Forte's 1-yard TD run that put the Jets ahead, 24-16.

Smith (4-for-8) also threw a TD pass and neither he nor Fitzpatrick threw an interception.

To read a full recap, stats, play-by-play and box score, go to SNY.TV

Brian Bassett, Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

What a weird, serendipitous way for the Jets to win. While Geno Smith was fair in the first half, his injury opened the door to Ryan Fitzpatrick who seemed like a much different version of himself this week. Fitz played fine but he played within himself and the Jets relied on Matt Forte to shoulder much of the load.

The Jets secondary had a good game, or at the very least had a commendable game against a listless Joe Flacco. The Ravens only touchdown came on the botched catch by the Jets punter which turned into a Ravens score.

The Jets and their fans should be proud of this win and have some hope in the weeks ahead, but who knows what Geno Smith's injury means for the quarterbacking of this team ... so expect another week of oversaturated quarterback talk.

Tags: Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick

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THE GAME: The Baltimore Ravens (3-3) at the Jets (1-5) at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. on Sunday, Oct. 23, 1 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER: After the cold, wind and rain blow through on Saturday, the forecast calls for a gorgeous fall day - lots of sun and temperatures in the low-to-mid 60s.


Jets: Inactive: TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle), LB Darron Lee (ankle), RG Brent Qvale (neck), WR Jeremy Butler; QB Christian Hackenberg;  OLB Darron Lee; QB Bryce Petty; DE Muhammad Wilkerson. Active: T 
Ryan Clady, C Nick Mangold. 

Ravens: Inactive: OLB Elvis Dumervil (foot), LB C.J. Mosley (hamstring); WR Steve Smith; OT Ronnie Staley; OLB Terrell Suggs; CB Shareece Wright; G Marshal Yanda. Active: WR Kamar Aiken; QB Joe Flacco; WR Devin Hester; DB Jerraud Powers; CB Jimmy Smith.


Visit at halftime to see Jets Halftime Live where members of Jets Post Game Live will break down the first half.

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Leave your comments about today's game in the comments section below.

Tags: Baltimore Ravens

Vacc's 3 Keys: Ravens-Jets 00:03:22
SNY NFL insider Ralph Vacchiano discusses his three keys to a Jets' victory on Sunday vs. the Baltimore Ravens.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME: The Baltimore Ravens (3-3) at the Jets (1-5) at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. on Sunday, Oct. 23, 1 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER: After the cold, wind and rain blow through on Saturday, the forecast for Sunday calls for a gorgeous fall day - lots of sun and temperatures in the low-to-mid 60s.

WHAT IT MEANS: For the 2016 Jets? Nothing. They're burnt toast. For the 2017 Jets? Maybe a lot. For Geno Smith? Everything. This is all about Smith and the Jets' quarterback situation now. It's the beginning of what likely will be a decent stretch of games where he'll have the chance to prove that he either belongs in the conversation about the Jets' 2017 quarterback or that he's good enough to play (and maybe start) somewhere else. The result probably doesn't really matter much. It's all about how Smith plays.

PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Geno Smith. Perhaps you've heard that Ryan Fitzpatrick has been benched and Smith is starting? Seriously, he had two nearly full years to prove his worth to the NFL and all he proved was that he was somewhere between bad and mediocre. Now he gets a reprieve just when it looked like he'd be holding a clipboard on the Jets' bench until his contract ran out. The Jets are a mess, so that's not going to help his cause. But his mobility actually might help him behind what has become a porous and injury-plagued offensive line. Maybe that will give him a chance to get the ball into the hands of his playmakers. Though to be honest, that's really playmaker, singular. He's got to ride Brandon Marshall because in the last few weeks nobody has stepped up. Regardless, only one of two things can happen here. One is that Smith does at least an adequate job (or better) and he gets to continue on as the Jets quarterback. But the other is that he stinks and the Jets are forced to go back to Fitzpatrick, in which case you will never see Smith on the field for the Jets again. Because if that happens, they'll just ride Fitzpatrick until they believe Bryce Petty is ready for his close-up.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Jets WR Brandon Marshall vs. Ravens CBs. I know, you were expecting another Smith item. But this is somewhat related. Did you see what Odell Beckham did to the Ravens' secondary last week? They looked like cartoon characters flailing at him as he went by. Now, Marshall is a much different receiver than Beckham is, but he's certainly good enough to take advantage of this banged up group. A lot of this, of course, will depend on who plays. Their top three corners are all injured - Jimmy Smith is questionable with a concussion he suffered against the Giants. Shareece Wright is doubtful with a thigh injury and Jarraud Powers is questionable with a thigh injury (The Ravens have six players on the injury report with thigh injuries, by the way. What's up with that?). The only healthy corners on their roster are Will Davis and rookie Tavon Young. The whole thing certainly sets up for Marshall to have the potential for a big day - you know, assuming Smith can get him the ball.

INJURY REPORT: On top of everything else, the Jets are now an injury-plagued mess, too.

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle), rookie LB Darron Lee (ankle) and RT Brent Qvale (stinger) are all out. But the big news is that DE Mo Wilkerson's ankle is getting worse and he'll sit this game out. The good news is that the Jets do still have some pretty good defensive linemen without him. The bad news, though, is the entire line has been badly underperforming. LT Ryan Clady (shoulder) and C Nick Mangold (knee) are active, but who knows how limited they really are?

For the Ravens, you can forget about a bunch of key players, including WR Steve Smith (doubtful, ankle), G Marshal Yanda (doubtful, shoulder), Wright (doubtful), LB Terrell Suggs (doubtful, biceps) and LB CJ Mosley (out, hamstring). Oh, LB Elvis Dumervil (foot) is still out, too. QB Joe Flacco missed a couple of practices with a shoulder injury, and that would've been the end for the Ravens, but he will play.

THE PICK: The Ravens are not a good team. The problem is the Jets are worse. Maybe they shouldn't be, but they have been underperforming in a bunch of key areas, including their rushing attack, their secondary and their pass rush. Add in some awful quarterback play and … well, you get the picture. The Jets are trying to address the quarterback issue, but I'm not sure I trust Smith to suddenly be the spark that Bowles thinks he will be. He still has to deal with all the same issues Fitzpatrick was dealing with.

Maybe his mobility will help counteract the offensive line problems, but other than that? To see the Jets beating the Ravens I'd have to assume some of the other parts of their mess will suddenly come around. I don't see that. And while, again, the Ravens aren't good and they are pretty banged up, I do trust their quarterback. Joe Flacco is playing with an injured shoulder and maybe that'll keep this game close. But as we saw against the Giants a week ago, if he's given time in the pocket he can still make things happen. Not much, with this Ravens team, but likely enough to beat the Jets. Ravens 16, Jets 10.


Tags: Baltimore Ravens , Brandon Marshall , Brent Qvale , Bryce Petty , Geno Smith , Nick Mangold , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Ralph Vacchiano

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to pass during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Matt Kartozian)
New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to pass during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Matt Kartozian)

With Ryan Fitzpatrick struggling, Geno Smith is set to get the start for the Jets Sunday against the Ravens, but's Ian Rapoport reports Smith could get an extended look as New York's top quarterback. 

According to Rapoport, with the Jets already sitting at 1-5, head coach Todd Bowles could stick with Smith for the long haul to see what he can do at the position. 

Smith has not started in a game since Week 17 in 2014 against the Dolphins in Miami, which was Rex Ryan's last game as the Jets' head coach. Smith did come into last week's game against the Cardinals, going 4-for-6 with 31 yards, but he also threw an interception. 

For his career, Smith has completed 57.9 percent of his passed and thrown 27 touchdowns to 36 interceptions. 

Tags: Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick

New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) stretches before a game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)
New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis (24) stretches before a game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner)

Brian Bassett, Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

While the Jets offense wasn't always firing on all cylinders last season it could at least rely on a solid and at times sparkling defense. This year? Not so much. While the Jets might have one of the most talented lines in football, they are still being forced to play Sheldon Richardson out of position at linebacker.

The linebackers might be much younger than they were a year ago, but youth and athleticism haven't trumped last year's experience. Last year's once great secondary is in utter ruins. Buster Skrine is being used as a boundary corner, where he is woefully out of position and as last week's game demonstrated he is in over his head. Calvin Pryor has regressed and, just like last year, Marcus Gilchrist is as good as the rest of the secondary is … which is to say bad. Darrelle Revis might be playing through injuries, but I see that as a weak excuse when you pay attention to his effort level...

Bent, does this defense need a total overhaul?

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It depends what you mean by a total overhaul. Do they need to completely replace most of the personnel? Or is it simply a matter of either getting rid of personnel that doesn't fit the system or tweaking the system to better utilize the talent they currently have? Which brings up another point. What IS their system at the moment? Have they lost their identity?

While it's not their *only* option, the coaching staff obviously feels that Richardson in that role is their *best* option, which is disappointing considering how all indications were that the plan was to play 3-4 but they don't seem to have the personnel for it. All offseason, we heard nothing but good things about guys who are mostly riding the pine when they should be playing that role. Furthermore, Richardson added weight specifically because he was told he wouldn't be playing linebacker and it shows when he's forced into open-field pursuit situations. In any case, as determined as they are to play that style, they'll randomly shift into a 4-3 for a series or two and that's not really working either.

I'm less worried about Skrine because he played far more on the outside this week (over 80 percent) than he had been the rest of the season (under 40 percent) so that was probably just a one-week experiment - one which was really badly timed with Jerome Boger and his flag-happy crew working the game. I'd also venture that until this week, he'd been outperforming everyone else in the secondary, so maybe they tried to put a bit more on his plate out of desperation.

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I think it is easy to be "multiple" when you have the talent at all levels of the defense and this unit just doesn't seem to have it, or in the right combinations, or constituted the right way. The fact that they are forcing Richardson into the linebacker role is troubling and a pretty big indictment of the team's drafting at the OLB position in the last two years. Regardless of what they have or don't have I think this defense would be better suited to running a modified Tampa 2, perhaps with more nickel sub-packaging.

If the Jets allowed their quick defensive linemen to attack the run and pass and asked the secondary to play off-coverage (as they already seem wont to do) while asking them to be aggressive in the bargain, it might serve them better. I do think it comes down to who would play the middle linebacker position. Is David Harris gifted enough in coverage to make it work in Cover 3? Can the young Darron Lee pick up that mantle? Do you move a safety down into a modified Mike? I have no idea …

Corey asked me this week if I think defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers will be fired. I told him for Todd Bowles to fire Rodgers he would be essentially firing himself. Is that the right conclusion or do you think bringing in a new DC makes sense?

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That way of thinking makes sense. I think it's difficult to be aggressive when you're uncertain about what you're doing and perhaps simplifying things will mitigate that, especially for an inexperienced player like Lee or even Pryor. However, the players arguably deserve the brunt of the blame for not getting to grips with the system well enough. Do the struggles cause them to keep changing things up though or is it the other way around?

If Rodgers is fired that's going to look bad on Bowles even if he throws him under the bus, because that's a guy he hand-picked. This team needs to find a way to overcome the kind of adversity they never faced last year. Hopefully there's still time for the coaching staff to figure out a way around it, otherwise the overhaul at season's end is going to be personnel-based rather than strategic.

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Dennis Thurman got a pass from Rex as long as possible, the same will happen with Rodgers and as I've asserted before I think this is more about personnel than anything else. The Jets would be wise to see what this defense is when given some more experience at ILB, talent at OLB, and some help at cornerback. Heck, the Jets might be able to free up a decent amount of space just in releasing Revis and Gilchrist; those two would be worth just shy of $13 million. This could help them find some young blood through free agency in their secondary. That $13 million doesn't even count the $10 million they could make available if the Jets don't bring Ryan Clady back.

The Jets can make the cap space available, which is great, but they still need to find some better defensive talent in the draft... No small feat for a team who could very well be in the QB hunt early in the draft.

Tags: Darrelle Revis , Marcus Gilchrist , Sheldon Richardson , Brian Bassett

Aug 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Brandon Allen (9) is packed by New York Jets linebacker Julian Stanford (51) during second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Brandon Allen (9) is packed by New York Jets linebacker Julian Stanford (51) during second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets have signed LBs Victor Ochi and Julian Stanford to the active roster from the practice squad, the team announced Saturday. 

In two corresponding moves, the Jets placed LB Erin Henderson and on the non-football injury/illness list and TE Braedon Bowman on IR with a torn ACL. 

Stanford has played in three games with the Jets this season, assisting on one tackle. 

Ochi signed on with the Jets after he hurt his shoulder with the Ravens right before the season opener. 

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The biggest news here is that Henderson has been taken off the roster. In the short term, that's a problem because Darron Lee is already out of tomorrow's game and David Harris likely isn't 100 percent as he makes his return from an injury of his own. More importantly, though, I hope whatever the deal is with Henderson is not too serious and resolves itself soon.

With Henderson out, Bruce Carter will presumably start alongside Harris, and Stanford -- who saw some playing time earlier this season - will back them up. This might also force the Jets to run more packages with Sheldon Richardson (and Mike Catapano) at linebacker, I'm afraid.

It's also a shame Bowman was hurt before he had much of a chance to showcase his potential. Hopefully he'll make a speedy recovery so he is able to compete for a role next season.

As for Ochi, he's a local product with some edge rushing abilities that has perhaps been brought aboard to push the likes of Catapano and Lorenzo Mauldin. The rookie impressed with two sacks during preseason with tomorrow's opponent, Baltimore, and could bolster one area of the team that hasn't done much so far.

Tags: Erin Henderson

Oct 16, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; 
          Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) in the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) in the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

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During the season, Bent's Game Analysis charts games for some of the Jets' upcoming opponents, enabling a breakdown of what to watch out for on gameday…

The Jets head home tomorrow for a matchup between two teams desperate for a win. The Baltimore Ravens began the year 3-0, but have lost three games since, including a loss to the Giants at MetLife Stadium last week. All six of their games have been decided by six points or fewer, so they could conceivably be anything from 0-6 to 6-0. The Ravens have dominated the Jets over the years, losing only the first-ever meeting between the team in 1997 and winning all eight since then. That included a 19-3 win over a Jets team quarterbacked by Geno Smith in 2013. Smith makes his return to the Jets' starting line-up tomorrow.

After the jump, I break down the positional groupings (BGA-style!) for the Ravens to try and highlight what to watch out for.


Joe Flacco has missed a couple of days of practice this week, as he is dealing with a shoulder injury. He had finished up the game against the Giants last week, though, coming up just short down the stretch. Despite losing three in a row, Flacco has shown good ball security as he hasn't thrown an interception in any of those losses.

Flacco is expected to play, but if he doesn't - or if the Jets can knock him out of the game - Ryan Mallett is the number two. Mallett started six games last season - four with the Texans and two at the end of the year after being picked up by the Ravens. His team was 2-4 in those games and he had four touchdown passes and eight interceptions.

Offensive Line

Five-time pro bowler Marshal Yanda leads the Ravens' offensive line. However, he's listed as doubtful with a shoulder injury. 

The Ravens, who have already been struggling with injuries all year, will have to reshuffle again if Yanda is out. Rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley hasn't played since Week 3 due to a foot injury, but he might be able to return. Another rookie, Alex Lewis, started the first three games at left guard and the last two in place of Stanley, missing one due to concussion in between. Lewis might move back to left guard if Stanley returns. The other tackle, Ricky Wagner, missed the last game with a thigh injury but should be back in the line-up. 

The only healthy starter has been Jeremy Zuttah, who is Baltimore's starting center for the third straight year and one of the keys to their running game.

Each of their backups has already started a couple of games. John Urschel filled in for two games at left guard while Stanley was out, James Hurst has started one game at each tackle spot and Ryan Jensen has started one game at each guard spot. Two of those three will presumably start alongside Wagner, Lewis and Zuttah if Stanley and Yanda are inactive. Hurst struggled against pass rushers with power last season. 

The Ravens also recently bolstered their depth by signing a certain Vladimir Ducasse.

Running Backs

The Ravens' running game is led by Terrance West, who has played well during the three-game losing streak with 295 yards and three scores, including a 100-yard game against the Raiders. He is averaging 4.7 yards per carry and on course for a 1,000-yard season.

Fullback Kyle Juszczyk is their best pass catching threat out of the backfield. His 17 receptions exceed the totals for the rest of the backs on the roster put together. Justin Forsett was a big threat last year, but was released after a disappointing start, so youngsters Buck Allen and Kenneth Dixon should start to get more time.


The ageless Steve Smith is still productive, but looks set to miss tomorrow's game with an ankle injury. The Ravens are actually led in receiving yards by a rejuvenated Mike Wallace and, in terms of receptions, by tight end Dennis Pitta. 

Reserve Kamar Aiken is dealing with a thigh issue, which puts more pressure on Breshad Perriman to start producing. Last year's first-round pick has started to make some plays after missing his rookie season due to a knee injury, but has yet to really break out. He almost had a game-winning touchdown catch a couple of weeks ago, but failed to come down inbounds.

Receiver Chris Moore and backup tight end Crockett Gillmore will provide depth off the bench. Ironically, recent Jets' signing Jeremy Butler was released by the Ravens due to a surplus of depth, but the recent injuries have obviously eradicated that.

Defensive Line

The defensive line is the Ravens' healthiest unit right now and has been performing well. Nose tackle Brandon Williams, a player many Ravens fans have claimed belongs in the discussion with the top defensive linemen in the league, has had a quiet start to the year. Nevertheless the Jets' struggling offensive line is sure to have their hands full with him.

Timmy Jernigan is having a breakout season alongside Williams. He's been excellent against the run and already has three sacks.

Veteran Lawrence Guy is a solid third starter and the Ravens have been getting good production from their primary backup, an undrafted rookie from Samford by the name of Michael Pierce.


By contrast, the linebacker group, which figured to be a major strength, has been ravaged by injuries. Elvis Dumervil and CJ Mosley have been ruled out and Terrell Suggs is doubtful, leaving Zach Orr as the only healthy starter. Orr, who had never started an NFL game before this season, is the team's leading tackler by a significant margin.

Albert McClellan and Za'Darius Smith have seen plenty of playing time this year and will likely be starting tomorrow. McClellan had been starting outside anyway with Dumervil missing most of the season so far, but he'll kick inside. Smith started on the outside last week and has been getting rotational reps all year.

Other than Suggs, the rest of the linebackers have yet to register a sack between them so far this season. Rookies Matt Judon and Kamalei Correa will be forced to step up if Suggs misses out as expected.

Defensive Backs

The offseason acquisition of Eric Weddle has gone well, as Weddle has been outstanding in his 10th season, having spent the first nine with the Chargers.

There are injury concerns in the defensive backfield too, though. The top three cornerbacks are all dealing with injuries with Shareece Wright listed as doubtful, and Jimmy Smith and Jerraud Powers questionable. Smith would be a big loss because he's their only cornerback over six feet tall, which could bode well for Brandon Marshall. The secondary was already weakened due to five players being on injured reserve, including two potential starters in Kyle Arrington and Matt Elam.

Rookie corner Tavon Young made his first NFL start last week, but had been contributing off the bench. The inexperienced Will Davis was also forced into significant action at cornerback last week. Young and Davis each gave up a long touchdown pass to Odell Beckham in the Giants' come-from-behind win.

Lardarius Webb starts at safety alongside Weddle, with Anthony Levine operating as the third safety. All three are capable of playing in the slot, which gives them options with the injuries at cornerback. Kendrick Lewis is another option, but he's dealing with a thigh injury.

Special Teams

The Ravens' kicking game is excellent. Justin Tucker has made all 15 field goals this year, including a 54-yard game winner against the Jags in week three. He was the AFC special teams player of the month for September, although Washington wasn't fooled when he lined up like he was going to kick left footed to telegraph a doomed fake a few weeks ago. Punter Sam Koch is also good, although he has allowed more return yards than anyone in the league, apart from Shane Lechler.

Veteran return man Devin Hester is another player listed as questionable. If he can't go, Webb is listed as the second-string punt returner with Moore as the second-string kickoff returner. Dixon could also be an option.

Lewis is probably their best player in coverage, but with him injured, Levine would be one of their main special teamers to watch.

I'll be back on Monday to recap the game.

Stats from PFF were used in the completion of this article.

Tags: Baltimore Ravens , Geno Smith

New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) warms up prior to a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. (Raymond Carlin III)
New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) warms up prior to a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. (Raymond Carlin III)

Out for the rest of this season, WR Eric Decker is looking toward a full return at the beginning of the 2017 season, he told reporters Friday

Already ruled out for the season with a tear in his rotator cuff, Decker also had hip surgery earlier this week. 

"I'm not worried about missing any time next year," he said Friday. "With a couple of months left in the season and how long the offseason is, I'll be fine by the start of next year."

The wide receiver will likely be on crutches, he said, and will get surgery to repair his shoulder in the coming weeks. 

He finished this season with nine catches and two touchdowns in three games. 


Tags: Eric Decker

GEICO SportsNite: Jets' mindset 00:02:18
Brandon Marshall talks about how the Jets are approaching their game against the Ravens in the hope of avoiding yet another loss.

New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. (William Hauser - USA Today)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. (William Hauser - USA Today)

The Jets have announced their injury report ahead of their Week 7 matchup with the Ravens. 

The following players are listed...


  • Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle) 
  • Ryan Clady (shoulder)
  • Nick Mangold (knee) 


  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle) 
  • Darron Lee (ankle) 
  • Brent Qvale (neck) 
  • Braedon Bowman (knee)
Tags: Baltimore Ravens , Muhammad Wilkerson

Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jets WR Brandon Marshall and DE Sheldon Richardson were embroiled in an argument following Week 3's loss the the Chiefs, but Richardson said the yelling between the two means little, according to an ESPN New York report. 

Head coach Todd Bowles acknowledged the incident, and believed it was not significant. 

Richardson did not want to discuss the matter in detail, but also downplayed the argument. 

"That's Brandon, bro," Richardson said, according to ESPN. "I got nothing to talk about on that note.

"That's locker-room business. "That's what it's supposed to be."

Marshall chalked it up to the players having a normal reaction following a losing effort. 

"I think the thing that's so hard to do in sports is, it's so emotional, you put so much into it and you have so many alpha males in one room, it can be hard to communicate, at times, when you're fresh off disappointment," Marshall said. 

The loss in Kansas City kicked off a string of four straight losses, as the Jets now sit at 1-5. 

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The Kansas City game was the game in which Ryan Fitzpatrick melted down with six interceptions. It is hard to know precisely what this was about and even harder to guess, but to Marshall's point when there are that many alphas it is going to be hard in the middle of a loss to hash everything out in a Chicken Soup for the Soul style group hug.

While this story sounds like it is true based on the comments of Marshall and Richardson, I'm not overly alarmed. I should hope that emotions were high after that brutal loss. I should hope veterans were getting into it with each other in an effort to make the team better.

Having said that, these are the sorts of stories we are going to start hearing because the Jets are 1-5 as opposed to being 5-1. It has already turned negative so buckle up for a bumpy 10 more games.

Tags: Brandon Marshall , Sheldon Richardson

Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of their game at Heinz Field. The Steelers won, 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Bridge - USA Today)
Oct 9, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of their game at Heinz Field. The Steelers won, 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Bridge - USA Today)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles spoke with the media after practice Friday. Here's what we learned…

  • TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, LB Darron Lee, RT Brent Qvale, and DE Muhammad Wilkerson missed practice.
  • Seferian-Jenkins, Lee, Qvale, and TE Braedon Bowman are all out for Sunday's game against the Ravens.
  • Wilkerson, T Ryan Clady, and C Nick Mangold are all listed as questionable for Sunday.
  • Bowles indicated that Wilkerson's ankle has been bothering him more lately, and that it's possible he won't play Sunday.

New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. (William Hauser - USA Today)
New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. (William Hauser - USA Today)

Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson has been playing with a sore ankle "for a couple of weeks," according to Kimberly A. Martin of Newsday.

"Is my foot bothering me? Yes," said Wilkerson, who would not blame the injury for his recent struggles.

After recording 1 ½ sacks in the season opener against Cincinnati, WIlkerson has failed to get to the quarterback in the last five games. 

Wilkerson would not provide a definitive answer regarding his status for Sunday's game after sitting out of practice Thursday. 

"I don't call those shots," he said. "I can't say I'm not playing."

Defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers was more optimistic of Wilkerson's health and his status against Baltimore.

"When you talk about his health and everything, you have to take that up with Todd (Bowles)," Rodgers said, deferring any decisions to the head coach. "But just watching his play, I wouldn't say there's a drop-off because he's playing so many plays.

"I just think it's something, right now, like maintenance," Rodgers added. "But coming into the game, he's ready to roll."

The Jets signed the soon to be 27-year-old Wilkerson to a five-year, $86 million deal in the offseason. 

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson

GEICO SportsNite: Geno's turn 00:01:05
After a rough start to the season, Jets head coach Todd Bowles names Geno Smith the new starting QB to replace struggling Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Although the Jets have gotten off to a very poor 1-5 start, owner Woody Johnson has put his support behind head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan, stating the team is not making any changes to its leadership.

"We got 10 games to go. I'm very confident with [coach] Todd Bowles and [general manager] Mike [Maccagnan]," Johnson said. "I think we've got an excellent team [of leaders]. I really respect Todd, I know he's doing what he's going to do. It's football. He's a good coach. I have long-term confidence in him and in Mike and in their teams."

Despite the slow start, Johnson is confident with his head coach and general manager. However the owner did show some frustration with the team's performance during Monday night's loss to the Arizona Cardinals in front of a national audience.

"That's the way I feel. Onward and outward, we've had a tough schedule, it's no excuse. We've been in some games. But Monday night was ... we gotta be better than that."

The Jets will turn to Geno Smith at quarterback this week as they look to bounce back at home against the Baltimore Ravens.

 (Vincent Carchietta)
(Vincent Carchietta)

Jets QB Bryce Petty told Manish Mehta of the Daily News he's ready to play and help contribute.

"I want to contribute," Petty said. "I want to compete. But that's everybody in this locker room. So, I just have to continue to get better and study that book and study the gameplans and be ready to rock n' roll. That part hasn't changed since Day One…. So, definitely, yeah, I'm ready to play."

Head coach Todd Bowles said earlier this week that Geno Smith was the only serious consideration at this time to replace Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starting QB, noting that Petty needed more practice after missing most of the season due to a shoulder injury.

"He needs to practice a good bit," Bowles said. "He needs to practice a good bit and get some reps. A week coming back after over a month, he needs to practice a little while."

Petty, who has yet to appear in a regular season game, says he'll be ready if his opportunity comes.

"Shoot, I want game action," he said. "I think that's what everybody in this locker room wants… is to get an opportunity. That's all you can ask for in life in general, much less in this game. So, I definitely want an opportunity. … My plan is to go in and prepare like I am and then just wait for my number to be called and just jump on that opportunity. I've been in this league a short amount of time, but what I have learned is that when you do get your opportunity, you got to jump on it. Because they're quick and few and far between."

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Petty's comments are not unlike any other backup who is waiting for his chance to play. It makes sense that he wants to be ready for the opportunity if and when it arises.

While the Jets could revert back to Ryan Fitzpatrick at some point, the team's hesitance to move away from him until now signals that it stands to reason that he might not get another chance. With 10 games remaining, the Jets might want to see just what they have in their backups, most importantly Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg -- the quarterbacks on which this regime spent some serious draft capital.

Petty played well in the summer against backups and players who are no longer on NFL rosters, but playing against starting-caliber NFL defenses in October and November is a different matter.

According to Mehta, Petty has been at the Jets practice facility early every day, so maybe some of that will help if and when he does see snaps in the regular season.

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The season has gone downhill so dramatically that we're nearing the point at which the Jets have nothing to lose by giving Petty a shot. Maybe he can become the latest in a recent stream of young NFL quarterbacks who were unexpectedly not-terrible despite the fact that it seemed like they were being thrown to the wolves too soon.

I know that the majority of the Jets' fanbase isn't particularly optimistic about Geno Smith's chances of making a success of this opportunity to start, but at least Petty has a clean slate and that new car smell should at least buy him a little grace period.

Petty has portrayed a confident air since being drafted, so it's not a shock to see that he considers himself "ready" even though that contradicts Todd Bowles' comments that he needs more reps. Petty has shown modest improvements since being drafted, based on his preseason appearances. If and when the time comes to get a look at Petty, we'll see if facing real bullets can accelerate that development.

Tags: Bryce Petty

Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett punch this week's podcast in the face, as they face the future with Geno Smith. They examine how the change in Jets signal callers will affect this week's game against the Ravens, and look ahead to what it all means for the rest of the season and beyond.

New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of their game at Heinz Field. (Jason Bridge)
New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of their game at Heinz Field. (Jason Bridge)

Jets head coach Todd Bowles spoke with the media after Thursday's practice. Here's what we learned...

  • TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle), LB Darron Lee (ankle) T Brent Qvale (neck), TE Braedon Bowman (knee), and DE Sheldon Richardson (personal issue) all missed practice Thursday.
  • Lee will not play on Sunday and it's unlikely Qvale will play.
  • Richardson is expected to play on Sunday.
  • DE Muhammad Wilkerson, T Ryan Clady, and C Nick Mangold were limited.
  • CB Buster Skrine returned to practice.


Tags: Brent Qvale , Buster Skrine , Darron Lee , Muhammad Wilkerson , Nick Mangold , Ryan Clady , Sheldon Richardson

 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Brandon Marshall knows what everyone thinks about Geno Smith. He knows the critiques of his erratic performance as a starter. He knows the questions about his maturity after the infamous I.K Enemkpali punch. He knows many aren't sure if Smith can really be an NFL quarterback.

And he knows this is a huge opportunity for his friend to prove everybody wrong.

"I haven't been through a quarterback change like this where we have a guy that's our No. 2 guy that's really talented," Marshall said. "The thing that Geno needed to learn, which he did, is not about anything football. It's about coming into work every single day and being consistent.

"I think the person who benefitted the most from this last year and a half has been Geno. It's been amazing to see this guy grow and really punch adversity in the face."

Whether he really did get up from the Enemkpali punch that broke his jaw and cost him his job in the summer of 2015 and "punch adversity in the face" will be crystal clear in the coming weeks now that the 26-year-old Smith is back under the microscope as the starting quarterback of the star-crossed Jets. In some ways he steps into a horrible situation -- a 1-5 team with no realistic shot at the playoffs and a locker room filled with some players skeptical about the change.

But in other ways it couldn't be more perfect. The bar is set low, thanks to his performance as starter in 2013-14 and the Jets' performance so far this season. Plus for the next four weeks the Jets don't face a team with a record above .500. Show small signs of improvement, win a couple of winnable games, and it'll be hard to say that as a quarterback he hasn't improved.

Of course, it's about more than that, too. It's about how he handles everything else -- the criticism that will surely come, the skepticism that already has, the doubts he has to know some of his teammates have. Will he be the sulking, moody quarterback he often seemed like before. Or will he be what every team expects and hopes their franchise quarterback will always be -- an unflappable pro?

"You guys have been really tough on him and he hasn't always dealt with that the right way," Marshall said. "A lot of that is frustration. But that's a process. He'll continue to grow and learn.

"But what people need to understand -- especially the media -- is it's personal. When you read stuff about you, especially negative when you're putting your all into something and you're going out there trying to do the right thing, not trying to mess it up, and you get crushed, especially in this market, we take it personally. Take a kid who is 22 years old … you have grown men crushing him … (and) a lot of these guys who talk about Geno in the media are guys who can be his father. Just imagine if that was your kid in that situation, a guy that's trying his best, but may be messing up here and there."

Sure, it's easy to imagine how tough and painful that can be. But it's part of the job of being a starting quarterback, especially in New York. Many, many, many before him have handled it well, and done so without cursing out fans, as Smith once did, or pouting about the harsh words from the media. If he can't, then maybe this job isn't for him -- at least not here.

And the same goes for handling his teammates. Yes, in a perfect world they'd all fall in line behind Smith and immediately anoint him and respect him as the leader a quarterback should be. But many of them won 10 games with Fitzpatrick last season and that's not something easily forgotten. Nor is it easy to forget the image of Smith refusing to solve or walk away from his dispute with Enemkpali before allowing it to go too far.

Maybe that's why, when Jets head coach Todd Bowles was asked on Wednesday if his players respected Smith, he didn't exactly offer a ringing endorsement.

"I'm sure they do," he said. "You can respect people as a player and not hang out with that person. This is football. They don't have to be best friends. They don't hate him."

That's enough for them to co-exist, but not enough in the dynamics of a football team. A good quarterback is an unquestioned leader. A good quarterback has unshakable trust. Teammates have to look at him as the ultimate example of how to conduct their business on and off the field. His attitude and demeanor, as much as his play, dictates the direction of the team.

Smith has to realize that, just as much as he has to play well, to prove he's still an NFL quarterback -- either with the Jets, should they choose to re-sign him for next season, or for anyone else. There can be no more questionable use of social media, no more missed meetings, no more fights or any other signs that he's too immature to handle the job.

On Wednesday, Smith did seem to say mostly the right things, though he didn't really say much about anything at all. He deflected (politely) nearly every question asked, to make it clear that, as he believes, this isn't about him.

"It's not really going to be about me," he said. "It never is. It never has been. I'm still growing. I'm still learning as a player."

Except, of course, this is all about him and whether he can play his way into the Jets' or someone else's plans for 2017. And for his sake, most of the growing and learning better be over. This isn't a long-term experiment. He likely has no more than four games to prove he's a different quarterback, a different leader than he was. If he can't, you can bet Bryce Petty -- or maybe even rookie Christian Hackenberg -- will get an audition over the final six games.

For now, though, it's Smith's time. It's his "opportunity," as so many made clear on Wednesday afternoon. The play is the thing in the end. He has to prove he still has the ability to do it at quarterback.

He has to prove he's much more ready to handle the whole experience than he was before.

"I commend him for being able to pick himself up when he has made mistakes," Marshall said. "He has an opportunity to prove himself. Some of your most beloved players and coaches have made mistakes and done some childish things. It's all part of the process and growing up. He's fine. He'll be all right."

Tags: Brandon Marshall , Bryce Petty , Christian Hackenberg , Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Ralph Vacchiano

Bryce Petty (Bill Streicher - USA Today)
Bryce Petty (Bill Streicher - USA Today)

The Jets have replaced starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick with Geno Smith, who will make his first start of the season Sunday against the Ravens.

Despite having four quarterbacks on the active roster, head coach Todd Bowles said only Smith was considered to replace Fitzpatrick, citing a lack of practice time from Bryce Petty and the inexperience of rookie Christian Hackenberg as his reasoning. 

Petty, 25, was selected in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Baylor.

"Bryce (Petty) has only practiced for a week and Hack's (Christian Hackenberg) not ready. It was Geno or Fitz," said Bowles. "He needs to practice a good bit. He needs to practice a good bit and get some reps. A week coming back after over a month, he needs to practice a little while."

The second-year QB yet to appear in a regular season NFL game.

Hackenberg, 21, was selected in the second round (51st overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Penn State. Bowles is hesistant to use his rookie QB, who he views as fourth on the depth chart, until he further develops. 

"You've got to get reps to get ready. He's a rookie quarterback and he's got three in front of him," said Bowles of Hackenberg. "He's not going to get enough reps to be ready to throw in there like that. He's getting plenty of scout team reps. He's learning poise in the pocket and is getting experience that way."

After replacing Fitzpatrick on Monday night in the Jets' 28-3 loss to the Cardinals in the fourth quarter, Smith completed four of six passing attempts for 31 yards and threw an interception. 

For at least Sunday, Smith will serve as the team's starting QB and Fitzpatrick will assume the role of backup. 

Tags: Bryce Petty , Christian Hackenberg , Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Tim Reilly

GEICO SportsNite: Jets new QB 00:03:17
Jeane Coakley breaks down all the latest on the Jets as they name quarterback Geno Smith the official starter for Sunday's game.

Jeane Coakley breaks down all the latest on the Jets as they name quarterback Geno Smith the official starter for Sunday's game.

New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) reacts after being benched in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Jets 28-3. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) reacts after being benched in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Jets 28-3. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, now the team's backup, told reporters Wednesday that he will respect the decision to start Geno Smith made by head coach Todd Bowles, although he is not pleased with it. 

Fitzpatrick struggled again in Monday night's loss to the Cardinals, throwing his 11th interception of the year and failing to throw a touchdown. 

"I mean, I don't like it," Fitzpatrick said. "I'm disappointed that we're making the change, but disappointed in my play this year as well. The competitor in me really wants to be out there. The guy that was the leader of this team last year and the beginning of this year wants to be out there, but it's the decision that Todd (Bowles) made and I have to respect his decision, but I don't have to like it."

After the team's fourth consecutive loss, Bowles said Wednesday the Jets' offense was "stagnant" and it was time for a change, which will hopefully lead to better production. Fitzpatrick agreed, but hoped it would not come down to a change in quarterbacks. 

"We're 1-5, so something has got to change," Fitzpatrick said. "And the way that we played on offense the last four weeks, something had to change. So I guess I was the change."

Fitzpatrick added that he didn't know a change was coming after Sunday's game.

"I didn't know," he said. "I've been around and been at it long enough to know that when you're 1-5, usually good things aren't happening and it's not all smiles in the building. I don't want to say that I expected it, but it's not shocking to me that they wanted to change things up in some regard."

Smith will start Sunday's matchup with the Ravens, his first start since Week 17 in 2014 against the Dolphins. 

Tags: Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick

Bowles on starting Geno at QB 00:02:06
Todd Bowles discusses his decision to start Geno Smith at quarterback over Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Ravens on Sunday.

Head coach Todd Bowles addressed the media on Wednesday, focusing on Geno Smith replacing Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. Here is what we learned...

  • The offense has been "stagnant" so a change in quarterbacks could be beneficial. 
  • It was only Bowles' decision to change quarterbacks.  
  • The decision was made because of production and nothing to do with leadership. 
  • Bowles needed to see the film from the game to make a definitive choice. 
  • As for why Smith was only considered, Bryce Petty has only practiced a week and needs more reps. Christian Hackenberg hasn't had many reps with three guys playing in front of him
  • Geno has "good spunk in the huddle" and now has opportunity to succeed. 
  • The Jets will take who plays quarterback "week to week" and it is possible Fitzpatrick comes back. 
  • Fitzpatrick earned his role from play last year, but it's Smith's team now. 
  • Geno has been taking reps with first team all week. He had been getting about 20 percent of the first-team reps earlier in the season. 
  • Some things in offense will change now because Smith has different abilities.  
  • Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle), Darron Lee (ankle), Brent Qvale (neck), Buster Skrine (excused), Ryan Clady (shoulder) and Nick Mangold (knee) all did not practice Wednesday. 
  • Breno Giacomini and Devin Smith practiced Wednesday but will not play Sunday. 
  • David Harris got some reps in practice Wednesday. 

Tags: Bryce Petty , Christian Hackenberg , Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick

Smith to be named Jets' starter 00:07:36
Breaking News: Ralph Vacchiano calls in ahead of the Jets' announcement that Geno Smith will start at quarterback Sunday.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- More than a decade ago, on the day the Eli Manning Era began for the Giants, Kurt Warner stood at his locker and made a good case for why his benching needed to be permanent. Once a team made the move from a veteran quarterback, he said, they needed to give the younger one every possible chance to succeed.

That's why the Ryan Fitzpatrick Era has to be completely over now for the Jets. It's Geno Smith's team now - or at least for now -- and for better and sometimes for worse.

Things are likely going to be hard enough for the 26-year-old Smith, a former second-round pick (2013) and once the future of this star-crossed franchise. No, he's not a rookie learning how to play the toughest position in sports. But his situation might be even tougher. He's already had nearly two full years to prove his worth as a starter and he proved to be somewhere between bad and mediocre. And his maturity and leadership came into question too from the infamous I.K. Enemkpali punch.

So the pressure is on him to prove to the Jets he has a future beyond the expiration of his contract at the end of the season. He has to prove to them he's better than he showed in the extended chance he's already gotten. They all know what he can do. They know he couldn't do it. So he's not only trying to get the Jets to rise above their 1-5 record. He's trying to rise above himself.

But he needs a chance to do that. Not one game. Not two. A string of games, where he has a chance to get into a rhythm, to feel what it's like to play again after essentially taking the last two seasons off. He can't do that if he can feel Fitzpatrick -- a favorite of his teammates, coming off a year of incredible success - standing over his shoulder. He can't do that if Todd Bowles treats the quarterback position like a Yo-Yo snapping back on its string.

Bowles needs to just let Smith play - play through his struggles and his successes, assuming he's going to have a little bit of each. There can be no quick hook. There can definitely be no going back to Fitzpatrick. Because if the Jets bench Smith again they will have lost him forever. And if it gets to that point the season will be even more over than it is now, and there'll be no sense in going back to a 33-year-old journeyman who is not under contract for next year.

The good news for Smith is that Fitzpatrick has done the heavy lifting - or heavy dropping - on the season already. He's been terrible, sure, but he also was the sacrificial lamb through the Jets' brutal, six-game opening of the season. Smith enters in the soft spot - games against the Baltimore Ravens (3-3), at Cleveland (0-6), at Miami (2-4) and vs. the Los Angeles Rams (3-3). Those are four theoretically winnable games that give the Jets at least somewhat of a chance to be 5-5 heading into their bye week.

That seems like a reasonable enough stretch to decide if they have any slim hope left in the season, and to get a good look at what Smith can do. If, at the bye - they return for a home game against the New England Patriots, by the way - they're 5-5 or even 4-6 and want to dream about a longshot run, then great. That probably means Smith is playing well and they can stick with him. If he's struggling and they're 3-7 or worse and they're ready to start thinking about 2017, then they still have six games to give Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg a chance.

And at that point, that would make sense. Because as soon as the Jets can accept the reality - mathematical or otherwise - that their season is over, they have to turn their attention to next season. Because if they can't make the playoffs, then nothing they do is nearly as important as figuring out if they have a quarterback for 2017 and who that might be.

So give Smith four games, maybe five to show what he can do. If he's good enough to show the Jets he deserves a shot in 2017, great. If not, then give Petty or Hackenberg a look to see if there's anything there, or if they need to turn to the draft or free agency in the offseason.

But Fitzpatrick? It's over. Going back to him doesn't do any favors for anyone and it doesn't help the Jets in any direction. He already proved he can't help them this season. He'll be a detriment as a looming shadow hovering over Smith, and if he's forced back in then it'll already be too late for 2016 anyway. And obviously he's not the future. His future is as somebody else's backup. The Jets knew that when they spent the offseason refusing to give him any significant financial commitment beyond the end of this season.

He had a wonderful season last year and it was a thrill ride for the Jets, right up until the disappointing, playoff-less ending. But the Jets always knew that this year would be the end of that line. They may think they have a season to still salvage, but they have to keep one eye on 2017 with everything they do from here. And they need to make sure they find their quarterback of the future.

The only way to begin doing that is to make sure that Fitzpatrick stays in the past.

Tags: Bryce Petty , Christian Hackenberg , Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Ralph Vacchiano

Smith to be named Jets' starter 00:07:36
Breaking News: Ralph Vacchiano calls in ahead of the Jets' announcement that Geno Smith will start at quarterback Sunday.

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

This is a last-ditch effort to salvage the season by a desperate team, and it's also the only move that the Jets could make to try and turn things around. But it comes with a bonus: A chance for them to maybe get a head start on planning for 2017.

First things first: Let's face it, Ryan Fitzpatrick has been terrible. Sure, there have been extenuating circumstances, and Todd Bowles was right to blame the offensive line for a lot of them on Monday night in Arizona. But for most of the season - and definitely on Monday night - Fitzpatrick has just been off. His throws have been off target, his decisions have been bad and unbelievably he's thrown 10 fourth-quarter interceptions and no fourth-quarter touchdowns this season. With numbers and film like that, this quarterback change won't be difficult to sell to the veterans on the team.

They went to Geno Smith - and not Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg - for a couple of reasons. One is that they don't seem to think that Petty or Hackenberg are ready. But the bigger one is this: the Jets, despite being 1-5, aren't ready to concede the season. Certainly the players aren't. The veterans in the locker room don't want to think about next year in Week 7. They see four very winnable games coming up, and a chance to get back to .500. Sure, maybe they're dreaming, and maybe that's not even enough to get them back in the playoff race. But they're not ready to give up on that chance and look towards 2017 just yet.

Turning to Smith gives them a chance to do both. Like him or not, he's got talent and experience. He also now has a golden opportunity to prove to everybody that he's grown up and should be back in the conversation about who the Jets quarterback should be next season. His contract is up at the end of the year, and the Jets have given no indication that they think Smith is their future. These next few games are his chance to change their minds.

It's hard to believe the Jets will turn back to Fitzpatrick at this point -- and they shouldn't -- so it's the Geno Show now, as long as he's playing well, and probably as long as the Jets remain mathematically alive. If Smith starts to really struggle, and if the Jets at some point accept the reality that they are done, then they will look to 2017 and give Petty and maybe even Hackenberg an audition. Because for the Jets, once reality sets in, nothing will be more important than figuring out who their quarterback is for next season.

This is Smith's chance to prove that it should be him. And if he somehow gets the Jets back into the fringe of the playoff conversation, all the better.

Tags: Bryce Petty , Christian Hackenberg , Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Ralph Vacchiano

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to pass during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Matt Kartozian)
New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to pass during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Matt Kartozian)

The Jets plan to name Geno Smith their new starting quarterback today, SNY's Jeane Coakley has confirmed

Smith takes over for Ryan Fitzpatrick, who after having a career year last season, struggled mightily in the Jets' first six games this season.

"The coach made the decision and I back him 100 percent," Jets owner Woody Johnson said, according to's Ian Rapoport

Smith saw his first action of the season on Monday when he entered the game in place of Fitzpatrick with the Jets already down 28-3 to the Cardinals. Smith went 4-for-6 for 31 yards and an interception on his only drive, and also fumbled a ball that was recovered by New York.

Fitzpatrick has thrown for 1,441 yards, five touchdowns, and a league-high 11 interceptions in his six starts. The veteran quarterback has not looked good while compiling a completion percentage of 57.0 percent, a QBR of 47.5, and a Passer Rating of 63.4. The offense managed only three touchdowns in the last four games with Fitzpatrick under center.

Following Monday's game, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters that Fitzpatrick would remain the team's starter. However on a conference call on Tuesday, Bowles walked back those comments, stating he needed to discuss who would start at quarterback with his coaching staff.

Sunday's start against Baltimore will be the first for Smith since Dec. 28, 2014.

SNY will have live coverage of Todd Bowles' press conference at 3:45p.m.

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This isn't entirely surprising with how badly things have gone. However, with the lukewarm endorsements given in respect of Smith's viability to start, you have to wonder whether the team really believes he's their guy or are they just taking the opportunity to rule him out as the potential face of the franchise?

Back in July, I went back to the film and broke down Smith's 2015 appearance with a view to determining how he would fare if called upon to start. This proved frustrating, as I watched Smith continue to make the same kinds of errors he'd been associated with in his first two seasons. Monday night's cameo did little to reassure me he's worked on those things as he still fumbled in the pocket and threw an interception. Nevertheless, he did make a few good throws and Fitzpatrick is in such a slump that the mere ability to make a few good throws could potentially provide a short-term upgrade.

Where will this lead though? Is it Smith's job to lose now or is Fitzpatrick being given a chance to get his head right and work on a few things before he reclaims his job? And if Smith falters, would they turn to Bryce Petty or even Christian Hackenberg next? Clearly this move produces a lot of questions and it's difficult to be confident that Smith will answer them all.

Regrettably, no matter what happens, this doesn't look good on the front office. It seems inevitable that paying Fitzpatrick $12 million was a major miscalculation and even if Smith succeeds, he's out of contract at the end of the year too, so one way or another they're going to be back at the negotiating table.

Tags: Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick

Jets Extra Point on Matt Forte 00:02:04
The Jets Extra Point panel discusses running back Matt Forte, wondering why he is not producing more yards per carry.

After beginning the season averaging 130.7 rushing yards in the first three games, the Jets have run for just 78.3 yards per game in the last three. 

Jets RB Matt Forte did not shy away from voicing his displeasure about the team's ground game.

"My job is to run the ball," Forte said. "I'm not looking on the other side. If we're not running the ball well, then I'm frustrated anyway and not happy with what's going on."

Forte had a combined 261 yards during New York's first three games. Since then, the starting running back has not topped 53 yards in a game, and bottomed out Monday night when he ran for a season-low 19 yards on nine carries.

It is hard to blame Forte for the Jets lack of a run game, as the offensive line has struggled to open up holes for the running backs. Yet Forte did not hesitate to put his support behind his offensive linemen.

"They're the guys up there doing the hard work so we can run the ball," the veteran running back said. "Of course, I have confidence in the offensive line."

Nick Mangold, the leader of the team's offensive line, knows they have to be better in order for the Jets to have a shot at establishing the run game.

"At this point, it's all about how we improve," said Mangold. "We'll look at films and see went wrong. We all made mistakes, and execution is the big thing."

Tags: Matt Forte , Nick Mangold

GEICO SportsNite: Todd Bowles 00:00:58
Jets head coach Todd Bowles speaks about who will be this weekend's starting quarterback for the New York Jets.

Ryan Fitzpatrick might not start at quarterback Sunday against the Ravens, Jets head coach Todd Bowles said Tuesday during a conference call.

Bowles indicated he's considering turning to Geno Smith and that Sunday's starter would be decided during a meeting on Tuesday night.

"I did (consider Smith) and when I discuss it with the staff, when they know, then everybody else will know," Bowles said. "If I decide to make a move, they'll know tomorrow."

Tuesday's stance is a reversal for Bowles, who said after Sunday's game that Fitzpatrick -- who was removed in favor of Geno Smith in the middle of the fourth quarter of Monday night's loss to the Cardinals -- would start against the Ravens.

"It's like a relief pitcher," Bowles said Sunday. "If the starting pitcher isn't doing it this game, this day, you put in the relief pitcher. Fitz will be back next week."

Fitzpatrick went 16-of-31 for 174 yards Monday night with no touchdowns and one interception.

He's completed 57 percent of his passes this season with five touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He threw 15 interceptions all of last season.

Brian Bassett, Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TJB Posts

No matter what they paid Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Jets need to consider all the options at quarterback.

Geno Smith probably won't be better, but maybe just being different is good enough for the 1-5 Jets, with no answers forthcoming or even visible from Fitzpatrick's play so far.

The game against the Bills was the exception rather than the rule and the Jets were happy to say in March, April, May, June and July that Smith was a fine enough quarterback for the team.

Now whether they really meant it or not seems up for debate, but it might be time for them to eat some of the words they were only too happy to dispense all spring and early summer.

Tags: Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick

New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) runs into the tunnel after his team's 37-31 win over the Buffalo Bills in an NFL football game on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert) (Bill Wippert/AP)
New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) runs into the tunnel after his team's 37-31 win over the Buffalo Bills in an NFL football game on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert) (Bill Wippert/AP)

The Jets have annouced that WR Eric Decker underwent surgery on his hip today.

From the Jets announcement: "The hip surgery was deemed necessary during an evaluation that occurred when Decker was placed on injured reserve for a torn rotator cuff on October 12." 

The recovery time for his hip surgery is six months and once Decker is off crutches "he will subsequently undergo a procedure on his shoulder. The estimated recovery for his shoulder surgery is eight months."

Head coach Todd Bowles told reporters on a conference call Tuesday evening that "it's probably too early" to tell if Decker will be ready for the start of the 2017 season.

"It'll probably be close," said Bowles. "We've got to see how he heals."

In three games this year, Decker had nine catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns in his third season with the Jets. 

The starting receiver finished last year with 80 receptions for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns, making it Decker's third professional season with 80 catches and 1,000 receiving yards.


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This latest development isn't exactly encouraging to hear. If Decker can't have the shoulder surgery until he's off crutches, then this will only delay his return even further. With a projected recovery time of eight months, that further increases the chances that he won't be ready to contribute at the start of next year.  

There's a longer term concern too. Jets fans are well aware of the effects hip issues can have on a player because of the struggles Antonio Cromartie had over the past few seasons. While Decker doesn't necessarily rely on his athleticism as much as Cromartie did, if this causes him to lose a step, he's going to find it much more difficult to create separation.

Hip problems have also limited Brandon Marshall at times in the past and he's still been productive into his thirties, so perhaps he'll be able to give Decker some useful guidance as to how to get back on the field and remain effective. That's if they're both still here next season, of course.

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With Decker already sidelined for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury, it makes sense to address any other nagging injuries he may be experiencing now. While we'd previously not heard much about his hip, the long recovery and rehab window afforded to Decker makes this the right time to undergo the procedure.

Depending on how the rest of the season goes, the Jets front office might be tempted by Decker's $5.7 million cap savings … but for the $8.7 million they are paying him next year I don't think the financial tradeoff makes sense outside a total regime change.

The Jets are already feeling the loss of Decker and while I like the depth the team has at wide receiver more than any year in recent memory, now is the time for some of those guys to step up into a larger role.

Tags: Eric Decker

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) leaves the field following the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) leaves the field following the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Prior to Monday night's loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Jets QB Geno Smith indicated his displeasure about remaining the team's backup quarterback behind Ryan Fitzpatrick to ESPN's Lisa Salters.

"I'm getting antsy," Smith said to Salters.

With Fitzpatrick under center, the Jets punted on seven of their first eight drives against Arizona, with the lone exception being a 39-yard field goal from Nick Folk. On the ninth drive, Fitzpatrick led the Jets down the field, only to throw an interception in the end zone. 

Prior to Todd Bowles making the switch at quarterback, Smith was visibly frustrated on the bench. The backup quarterback took off his hat and threw it, and was seen pacing the sidelines, making it clear to Bowles, the Jets, and everyone watching that he was looking to get into the game.

When he finally was put into the game, Smith did not look much better than Fitzpatrick.

Geno went 4-for-6 for 31 yards and an interception, and also fumbled a ball that was recovered by New York. 

Following the game, Bowles told reporters that Fitzpatrick would be back under center next week for the Jets' home game against the Ravens.

"Smith played [the role of] a relief pitcher," said the head coach. "Fitz will be back next week ... It definitely wasn't Fitz's fault. He barely had any time to throw."

This is unlikely to sit well with Smith, who has made it abundantly clear that he wants to be New York's starting quarterback.

"As a competitor, I want to play, at all times," Smith said after Monday's loss. "I think you guys know that. I can't reiterate that enough. I'm ready."

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As soon as the Cardinals applied some pressure, Smith's old issues returned on a strip-sack as he was hesistant, didn't anticipate pressure off the edge and displayed woeful ball security. Shortly afterwards, he forced a throw into tight coverage and was intercepted. It's difficult to judge Smith too harshly on such a short performance, especially with the game already over, but he hardly did much to instil any confidence in his supporters.>>>>>>>>>To read the rest of Bent's Game Analysis, CLICK HERE.

Tags: Geno Smith , Ryan Fitzpatrick

Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett see no hope for this Jets team after watching them get routed by the Cardinals in Arizona. The guys answer calls from listeners venting about the quarterback, the coaching, and the disappointing defense.

Ralph Vacchiano, NFL Insider | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Going into this season, the Jets knew they had to just find a way to survive their brutal, six-game opening stretch to keep their hopes of a playoff berth alive.

They didn't. They're 1-5.

And the reasons behind their hideous, 28-3 loss in Arizona Monday night are familiar, since they've been a relatively constant theme throughout their four-game losing streak. All that and more is covered in my 10 takeaways from the latest Jets' debacle:

1. The Jets committed seven penalties in the first 10 minutes of the game (including two that were declined). That's either the sign of an undisciplined team or one that just wasn't prepared to play. Either way, considering they came in 1-4 with their season on (or perhaps already over) the brink, that's just terrible.

2. The ease with which Arizona RB David Johnson got through the Jets' defensive line on his three touchdown runs - the 58-yarder early and 2-yarders in the second and third quarters - was frightening. The best thing about the Jets' defensive line this season has been that they've been strong against the run. This performance, though, was alarming.

3. The Jets hinted all week that their defense was going to be more aggressive and they certainly were. There were a lot more blitzes and some decent pressure from those blitzes on Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer. But that pressure just isn't coming from the line, and that's where it's all supposed to be coming from. Forget everything else, this is the story of this season. Well, OK, maybe the decline of Ryan Fitzpatrick is the story, but this is Story No. 1A. That line was supposed to be dominant. It was supposed to make up for a lot of other deficiencies. Now the best that can be said is that their defensive coordinator still thinks it's playing better than any position group on the team. Of course, it's now a 1-5 team, so he's probably right.

4. Late in the first half, Jets S Calvin Pryor blitzed straight up the middle and forced Palmer to throw a quick dump off to Johnson … who was being covered by Sheldon Richardson? I seriously can't think of any scenario where it's OK for Richardson to be in coverage like that, unless 10 other players have fallen down. Johnson went for 10 yards, not surprisingly. Seriously, the Jets have to figure out a way to have their defensive linemen play … you know, defensive line.

5. Fitzpatrick's magic seems totally gone and it's clear he's reverted back to his journeyman, up-and-down form of his pre-2015 career. He looked completely off target for much of the first half. When he was on target he was telegraphing his throws. And some of them were downright dangerous (like the one that nearly got Charone Peake killed in the third quarter). Overall, Fitz was 16 of 31 for 174 yards and an interception before he was mercifully pulled for Geno Smith. The big picture of this disaster, though: Fitzpatrick has no touchdowns and 10 interceptions in the second halves of the Jets' six games this season. With a number like that, it's hard to justify Todd Bowles' decision to stick with Fitzpatrick heading into their game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday

Video: Ralph Vacchiano on Jets' loss to Cardinals, QB issues

6. And yet, I will. … Even though I advocated a quarterback change at halftime … and again after his third-quarter end zone interception -- now is not the time for the Jets to make a quarterback switch for the rest of the season, even though it's clear Fitzpatrick won't be the Jets' quarterback in 2017. Why? Because they can't do that until they're absolutely eliminated from the playoff chase. And sure, at 1-5 they're basically done. But their next four games are against the Baltimore Ravens (3-3), at Cleveland (0-6), at Miami (2-4), and home against the L.A. Rams (3-3). It's certainly not ridiculous to think they'll emerge from that 5-5. OK, maybe they'd still be a longshot to make the playoffs. But at 5-5, the Jets would take that shot and they would want their No. 1 quarterback leading them at that point. Yes, that scenario is a fantasy and ignores the fact that they still have two games against the Patriots left and that they probably need to go 9-1 the rest of the season to make the playoffs anyway. But I guarantee you the Jets don't think they're out of it. It may sound ridiculous but they're not thinking about 2017. They're thinking "If we can just get to 5-5 …"

7. The offensive line didn't do Fitzpatrick any favors. He was under constant pressure. And what I thought was particularly problematic is the Jets attempted several screens where it sure appeared that the running back got to the outside but his blockers didn't go with him. And no, it didn't help that RT Brent Qvale and left guard James Carpenter got hurt during the game and center Nick Mangold was battling a knee injury all week. Still, the line was a trainwreck - and that's why Bowles basically blamed them for Fitzpatrick's disaster after the game.

8. The Jets did a better job than they had been doing at spreading the ball around to their receivers. Not successfully, of course, but they tried. They threw 30 of their 37 passes to receivers, and only six of those went in the direction of Brandon Marshall. Rookie Charone Peake had 10 thrown towards him (and caught five for 43 yards). Rookie Robby Anderson had a nice game (4 catches, 24 yards) - and he also laid a heck of a block on a Cardinals defensive back on the sidelines at the tail end of a Marshall catch. It was dangerously close to a late hit, but definitely legal. And hard. Anyway, the bigger problem was the rookies - Peake, Anderson and Jalin Marshall. They combined for 10 catches and 78 yards. That's a really pathetic 7.8 yards per catch. And it illustrates the problem the Jets have without Eric Decker. Brandon Marshall is the only game-breaker on the team.

9. I actually thought Quincy Enunwa could have emerged as a bit of a game-breaker, but so far that hasn't happened. His first catch came in the third quarter and that was on only the second ball thrown his direction. He ended up with three catches for 42 yards, but he is now the second best receiver on the team and the Jets really have to use him that way. Find ways to get him open and give him a chance. And while we're on that subject, normally here I'd advocate for throwing more to the running backs, too - and that's valid considering only seven passes were tossed to Bilal Powell and Matt Forte. But as I mentioned above, the blocking - particularly on screens - was basically nonexistent. Powell and Forte combined for four catches for 15 yards - not even four yards per catch.

10. This is somewhat premature, but since I've heard it in a few places since the end of the game on Monday night, I'll mention it: The idea that Todd Bowles' job should be in jeopardy if this season ends without a playoff berth is crazy. Yes, it would be disappointing. It would also be a sign that he basically worked a miracle with the team last year to get them close. Regardless, that's not how good franchises operate. They made a decision to hire Bowles, now they've got to give him a chance - and a chance isn't two years. It's especially not two years without a quarterback. They got lucky with Fitzpatrick last year. They're unlucky with him this year. The Jets need to find Bowles a quarterback for 2017. Then judge him.

Tags: Bilal Powell , Brandon Marshall , Brent Qvale , Calvin Pryor , Charone Peake , Eric Decker , Geno Smith , Jalin Marshall , James Carpenter , Matt Forte , Nick Mangold , Quincy Enunwa , Ryan Fitzpatrick , Sheldon Richardson , Ralph Vacchiano

Larry David presents the award for Outstanding Comedy Series
           during 68th Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater. (Robert Hanashiro)
Larry David presents the award for Outstanding Comedy Series during 68th Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theater. (Robert Hanashiro)

Comedian and lifelong Jets fan Larry David was in Glendale last night to witness the team's 28-3 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. 

When asked how he felt about the team's performance after the game, David's response was one you'd expect to hear in his hit TV show, Curb Your Enthusiasm.

"Oh wonderful," said David. "Couldn't have been more pleased."

This was not the first time the comedian has offered his views on the Jets. Prior to last season, David told Howard Stern that with a little bit of studying, he could take over as either the offensive or defensive coordinator for New York.

When asked what made him qualified for either position, the comedian replied, "When I was a kid and we used to play football in the parking lot, I would design very good plays."

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) avoids the tackle attempt of New York Giants cornerback Buster Skrine (41) as he scores a first quarter touchdown at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) avoids the tackle attempt of New York Giants cornerback Buster Skrine (41) as he scores a first quarter touchdown at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets committed 10 penalties for 83 yards in Monday night's loss to the Cardinals, with eight of the infractions coming in the first half alone. 

Jets CB Buster Skrine had a particularly rough game, getting whistled for three holding penalties and one pass interference call. According to ESPN, the 45 penalties he has taken since entering the league in 2011 are the second most in the league. 

Head coach Todd Bowles eventually replaced Skrine with Darryl Roberts

"Questionable or not, four penalties are four penalties," Bowles said after the game. "He had a bad game. He's got to be better with his hands. We can't play like that and he can't play like that if he's going to have penalties and get handsy like that."

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Jerome Boger's officiating crew victimized Skrine all day long, calling him for four penalties, at least a couple of which were extremely dubious.

Skrine was trying to play physical coverage, but that proved impossible with how the game was being officiated. Later in the game, the team obviously instructed him to play off instead and he gave up three consecutive identical plays where the receiver stopped and caught a back shoulder throw.

Skrine has had issues with penalties in the past, but seemed to have fixed that to some degree. Since the NFL tightened up their rules in 2014, he had 20 penalties in the first 20 games, but only five in the last 17 games prior to Monday night's game. >>>>> To read the rest of Bent's Game Analysis, CLICK HERE.

Tags: Arizona Cardinals , Buster Skrine

Vacchiano breaks down Jets' loss 00:04:13
Ralph Vacchiano breaks down the Jets' loss to the Cardinals and a possible change at quarterback as Ryan Fitzpatrick continues to struggle.

Despite struggling and getting removed from Monday's game, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will start on Sunday against the Ravens for the now 1-5 Jets, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters after the loss. 

Fitzpatrick never got into a rhythm, going 16-of-31 for 174 yards. He failed to throw a touchdown but did throw his NFL-leading fourth red-zone interception of the season. Geno Smith replaced Fitzpatrick halfway through the fourth quarter. 

"It's like a relief pitcher," Bowles said. "If the starting pitcher isn't doing it this game, this day, you put in the relief pitcher. Fitz will be back next week."

Overall for the season, Fitzpatrick has completed 57 percent of his passes, but has just five touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He threw 15 picks all of last season. 

"It's not that I have no confidence in Geno," Bowles told reporters. "We have two quarterbacks that can play right now. Fitz is our starter. Anybody back there would've been under duress today."

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We all knew that if Geno Smith was going to being taking snaps in October, the season must have taken a turn for the worst. However, that was the case again here, as the Jets struggled to move the ball all day and Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched for the fourth quarter.

Could the team be about to go with Smith as the starter? They're saying no, for now, but if Fitzpatrick continues to struggle, that day can't be too far off. >>>>> To read the rest of Bent's Game Analysis, CLICK HERE.


Tags: Ryan Fitzpatrick

New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee (50) makes a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James (81) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 31-13. Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets outside linebacker Darron Lee (50) makes a tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James (81) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 31-13. Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Jets LB Darron Lee will undergo tests on his injured ankle, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters after Monday night's loss to the Cardinals. 

Lee left in the third quarter of the game and went to the locker room for evaluation and did not return. Bowles did not know the severity of the injury immediately after the game. 

He finished the game with two total tackles, one solo. 

Tags: Darron Lee

Bowles and Fitzpatrick on loss 00:02:03
Todd Bowles and Ryan Fitzpatrick discuss the loss to the Cardinals and how the team can still turn it around.

The Jets gave up an early score, the offense couldn't get things going and failed to come back, as New York fell to the Cardinals, 28-3, on Monday night in Arizona. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick had another rough game, throwing for just 174 yards and 16-of-31 passing. Down three scores in the third quarter, he threw his fourth red-zone interception of the season, most in the league. Geno Smith replaced him about halfway through the fourth quarter. Smith threw an interception on his one drive. 

Running back David Johnson got the ball rolling for the Cardinals, scampering for a 58-yard touchdown down the near sideline, his first of three touchdowns of the night. 

He'd later add his second score of the day in the second quarter, a two-yard run to cap off a 75-yard drive. Not done there, Johnson would punch it in for the third time of the game with 5:24 left in the third. 

Carson Palmer was 23-for-34 passing against the Jets defense, connecting with Michael Floyd on a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to put the game away. 

The Jets finished with just 230 total yards and were penalized 10 times. 

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It's hard to imagine a worse performance in a must-win game than the Jets put on in Arizona on Monday night. And start with this: They committed seven penalties in the first 10 minutes of the game. That doesn't exactly scream, "Ready to play!"

You can probably blame the coaching staff for that, and then you can blame the players for everything else. Start with Ryan Fitzpatrick, who clearly has lost all of his 2015 magic. He looked terrible. His passes were off-target. Many of his decisions were poor. And it was so bad that the Jets had to at least be thinking about a quarterback change at halftime, or at the latest after he through an end zone interception late in the third quarter.

That was basically the Jets' last chance to make it a game. They never could get their offense in sync. They couldn't run the ball and with the exception of one big play by Brandon Marshall they basically got nothing out of their receivers.

As for the defense … Well, they did get a little more pressure on Cardinals QB Carson Palmer thanks to the aggressive blitzing they hinted at all week. But RB David Johnson ran for three touchdowns - a 58-yarder and two 2-yarders - and he was untouched on all three of them. He got no resistance from the Jets' defensive line and ran through terrible tackling behind them.

Or, to make a long story short: The Jets looked like a bad team. Which they are.

And now they are 1-5 after the much-hyped, killer, six-game stretch to start their season. They knew they had to go 3-3 to survive and instead they were about as bad as they possibly could be. The good news? Their next four games aren't exactly a basket of unbeatables. They play the Baltimore Ravens (3-3), at Cleveland (0-6), at Miami (2-4), and home against the L.A. Rams (3-3). So perhaps if they can improve their play they could head into their bye week 4-6 or 5-5.

The bad news? They still have to play the Patriots twice and they still probably need at least nine and maybe 10 wins to get to the playoffs. Their disastrous 1-5 start has basically removed their entire margin of error. And for all intents and purposes, they are essentially done.

Read more here for a full recap, stats and play-by-play box score.

Tags: Arizona Cardinals

THE GAME: The Jets (1-4) at the Arizona Cardinals (2-3) at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. on Monday, Oct. 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER: The stadium has a retractable roof, so it may not matter, but the forecast calls for temperatures around 90 during the day and dropping into the 60s -- pretty typical for the desert this time of year. No rain or wind either, not surprisingly.


Jets: Active: CB Darrelle Revis and C Nick Mangold are both active. 

Jets: Inactive: LB David Harris, T Brandon Shell, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WR Jeremy Butler, CB Nick Marshall and QBs Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg are all out. 

Cardinals: Active: DT Robert Nkemdiche is in. 

Cardinals: Inactive: DT Ed Stinson (toe), G Mike Lupati (ankle), CB Brandon Williams, RB Kerwynn Williams, DT Olsen Pierre, DT Xavier Williams and TE Hakeem Valles are all out. 


Visit at halftime to see Jets Halftime Live where members of Jets Post Game Live will break down the first half.

Leave your comments about today's game in the comments section below.

Tags: Arizona Cardinals
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