The one thing settled among the New York Jets quarterbacks on Thursday night is that the team needs more production out of at least one of them.
The Jets had just 91 first-half yards in their preseason opener against the Colts, although they squeezed 10 points out of that. Geno Smith got the start and Michael Vick relieved him, as expected, and neither stood out.
Smith was a pedestrian 4-of-6 for 33 yards in his quarter of work. Vick came in during the second quarter and looked like he can still run. But, like Smith, the offense took few chances. Vick was 3-of-6 for 17 yards passing and also led the Jets with 19 first-half rushing yards. Matt Simms took over to start the second half.
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Smith didn’t get many chances to push the ball downfield, settling for a lot of short throws. His best two plays might have been a 10-yard gain on a zone-read run, and a nice pass to Eric Decker on third down … which was whistled dead for a false start penalty. Third down was replayed, Smith threw a dump-off pass that went nowhere, and the Jets punted.
Vick showed some of the moves he is famous for. On a third down he sidestepped the rush, ran left and got to the corner against defensive tackle Jeris Pendleton and picked up the first down on a 15-yard gain. It looked like vintage Vick. He completed a short fourth-down pass to the flat in the red zone later in the drive to pick up a first down, and that set up a Chris Johnson touchdown run.
Vick wasn’t so hot on the next drive, when he had a pass batted down and took a sack on third-and-9.
Smith has been and will be given every chance to be the starter, and nothing he (or Vick) did on Thursday night should change that course. But over the course of the preseason, Smith will probably have to do more to make Jets fans excited about him being the guy to lead them into the 2014 season.
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