After a subpar outing against the Miami Dolphins in the first half, Ryan benched Smith, the team's second-round pick and starter since Week 1, at the start the third quarter on Sunday. Smith was replaced by quarterback Matt Simms, who didn't do much in the Jets' 23-3 defeat.
Prior to Smith’s benching, he completed 4-of-10 passes for 29 yards and one interception. His passer rating was 8.3.
It was definitely time for Ryan to make this move.
Smith has thrown eight touchdowns and 19 interceptions this season. He also lost five fumbles and did not have a touchdown pass in New York’s past five games prior to his benching.
Smith was battling with Mark Sanchez for the starting spot in the preseason, but Sanchez got hurt in the third preseason game, which forced Smith into the role. While he has had some decent moments, he probably could have used a season to sit and learn. He has played worse than fellow rookie starters EJ Manuel of Buffalo, Mike Glennon of Tampa Bay and even undrafted rookie Matt McGloin of the Raiders, who has four touchdowns and two interceptions in his three starts. Add in the pressure of playing in the New York market, and it's no surprise that Smith's struggles led to his in-game demotion.
The Jets had just two first downs in the first half on Sunday and assumed that Simms couldn't be much worse than Smith. We'll see if the Jets go back to Smith as their starter next week.
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