Nashville, TN – With the defense playing about as well as anyone could have hoped through three games, the powers at be knew the Jets would go only as far as their rookie quarterback could take them.
After a four turnover, 10 penalty, 38-13, beat down at the hands of the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, Geno Smith certainly did more to harm his team than help it.
“We just got our butts kicked,” said Rex Ryan, visibly disgusted with the way his team performed in Nashville.
After having his best game as a pro in Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills, Smith appeared to take a step backward against the Titans, committing four turnovers, including two fumbles, while passing for 289 yards and one touchdown.
Smith struggled early and often, getting picked off by Alterraun Verner on a pass intended for Stephen Hill on the second play of the game. Hill sustained a head injury on the play and would not return.
Things officially unraveled for Smith in the four quarter when he appeared to change hands with the ball, behind his back, while getting sacked, fumbling in the end zone and having it picked up for a Titans touchdown.
Of the 38 points the Titans scored, 28 of them came directly as a result of a Jets’ turnover.
“I’m extremely disappointed in the way I took care of the ball today. I was piss poor,” said Smith.
After the game, Ryan assured reporters that Geno Smith will be at the helm moving forward, taking offense to the criticism being heaped on his young starter.
“How often can we make that excuse?” said Ryan about blaming the struggling rookie. “I think we’re unfairly criticizing one man. The Tennessee Titans beat everyone. They didn’t just line up against Geno Smith.”
The sloppy play did indeed extend well beyond Smith, as the Jets were penalized 10 more times on Sunday. That, after a week of push-ups and a record 20 penalties against the Bills.
“It shocks me. I never expected the game to turn out like this. I’m shocked. I don’t know what else to say,” said Ryan. “Come hell or high water, it’s going to get fixed.”
The defense was again stellar against the run, limiting another big-time running back to under 100 yards, as Chris Johnson finished with 21 yards on 15 carries.
Titans quarterback Jake Locker left the game in the third quarter after getting hit by Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples, suffering what appeared to be a serious hip injury. Locker was carted off the field and did not return after throwing a career high three touchdowns.
The Jets will be in the Georgia Dome next week for a Monday Night Football match-up against the Atlanta Falcons.
“It’s a butt whooping. We took it,” said Willie Colon. “We have to own it.”