Ryan sticks with Smith at quarterback
The Sports Xchange
NFL Team Report - New York Jets - INSIDE SLANT
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan wasted little time Monday in choosing between the candidates to start at quarterback for the Jets on Sunday. But did he really have a choice to make?
About 24 hours after he benched Geno Smith at halftime of the Jets' 23-3 loss to the Dolphins, Ryan announced that Smith, who was 4-of-10 for 29 yards and an interception Sunday and has one touchdown and 11 interceptions in his last six games, would line up behind center when the Jets host the Raiders this Sunday.
"He'll bounce back from this and I'm just waiting for him to have a great game," Ryan said. "Obviously, it's a challenge to everybody, not just him. I think he has it in him I don't think there's a doubt that he has it in him. We'll find out soon enough."
What Ryan already knows is that his alternatives aren't any better than Smith. Backup Matt Simms directed the Jets into the red zone twice in seven second-half series but generally looked like an undrafted free agent who sporadically started in college.
Third-stringer David Garrard, who was signed to compete with and mentor Smith in March, retired in May and returned in October but has yet to suit up on game-day, is almost certainly the Jets quarterback best equipped to manage a game. But he hasn't taken a regular-season snap since December 2010 and is hampered by chronic knee and back injuries.
So while Smith is far from an enticing option, Simms proved Sunday he's no better and Garrard may not be able to withstand a full game's worth of punishment.
"I believe in Geno," Ryan said. "I think he has the tools to be a good quarterback in this league. I believe that."
What choice does he have?
NFL Team Report - New York Jets - NOTES, QUOTES
--If history is any indication, coach Rex Ryan either has to lead the Jets to the divisional round of the playoffs or begin searching for a new job.
The Jets have scored just three points in each of their last two losses. It is the fourth time in franchise history the Jets have scored three points or less in consecutive games.
In 1976, the Jets were outscored 62-3 in consecutive defeats to Denver and Miami. First-year coach Lou Holtz resigned with one game remaining
In 2005, the Jets were beaten by a combined 57-3 in back-to-back games against Carolina and Denver. Herm Edwards was fired the day after the season.
Joe Walton's job appeared to be endangered in 1986, when the Jets opened up 10-1 before losing to Miami 45-3 and the Los Angeles Rams 17-3 to begin a season-ending five-game losing streak. But the Jets backed into the playoffs, beat Kansas City in the wild-card game and had a 10-point lead over Cleveland late in the fourth quarter of the AFC divisional playoff before losing in double overtime.
Alas, at 5-7 and hampered by all sorts of tiebreaker disadvantages, the Jets are 2-7 against the AFC and have lost to Miami, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Tennessee, all of whom are either 6-6 or 5-7, the Jets' playoff hopes are threadbare at best.
Nor is recent NFL history kind to the Jets and Ryan's future job prospects, The Jets are the first team to score a field goal or less in consecutive games since the Browns were shut out in the final two games of the 2008 season. Cleveland's head coach and general manager -- Romeo Crennel and Phil Savage, respectively -- were each subsequently fired.