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AFC East


Jets QB Geno Smith Continues to Impress – Leads Jets Past Falcons on MNF

Jets QB Geno Smith gets a thumbs up from me so far.

If any QB had a right to have a chip on his shoulder, it’s Geno Smith. If any QB would have been forgiven for cracking under the pressure it’s Geno Smith. But instead, going into Week 6, Smith is as cool and poised as he was the night he was embarrassed on national television when he wasn’t drafted in the first round. And when that happened, if you remember, Smith went home, grabbed the second outfit that he brought with him to New York and returned to Radio City Music Hall shaking off the folks who had laughed at him the night before. We should have known then that the kid was something special.

This is not to say that Smith has played perfect games, but he’s been more than competent for a QB thrust into a dysfunctional team and media environment. With an impressive win over a Falcons team that is struggling on defense, Smith once again held his composure on a national stage. I’ve seen 3 of Smith’s games this season and each time he’s been better than the game before. It seems like a lifetime ago that certain draft scouts scoffed at his work ethic and leadership ability. When was the last time a QB made a point of apologizing to his defense and emphasizing how critical they’ve been to the team’s success?

I’m not jumping out the window on Smith or making any bold proclamations. But I’ve been impressed thus far and I want to be part of helping Smith’s story be told in real time. RG3 was such a dazzling and dynamic player with an amazing story in his rookie season last year. Colin Kaepernick’s run to the Superbowl after Alex Smith suffered a concussion was something to behold. But while all of that was happening, Andrew Luck was recharging the Colts and Ryan Tannehill was quietly exceeding expectations down in Miami. Some folks are still unaware of this as attention remains on RG3 and Kaepernick. Both QBs are struggling to live up to their potential and match the bar they set last year. Smith’s accomplishments would be easy to lose in the shuffle.

What I’ve seen of Smith so far is a guy who is patient in the pocket and lets the game come to him. If anything, he trusts the Jets haphazard O line more than he should. His blind spot is more like a gaping hole at the moment but that can be improved. He’s reasonably fast in his reads and is confident enough on the move that not being truly mobile isn’t the limitation that it could be. And while some QBs are staring receivers in the eye down field and missing the trees for the forest, Smith rarely loses sight of guy nearest to him. Those traits alone are something for Jets fans to celebrate. His poise alone gives him a real advantage over Mark Sanchez and I’ve never been one to rip Sanchez unnecessarily.

Coming up, I expect the Jets to roll over the Steelers. But the Bengals and Saints will be a real test for Smith. Can he withstand the pressure? Can he and the Oline jell enough to keep him on his feet? Will Rob Ryan’s mix of looks confuse the rookie? I’ll be watching to see.


Photos: Patriots’ Everyman Julian Edelman Gets Dapper for Photo Spread

Falcons have won 1 game. Eagles have won 2 games. Temple football hasn’t won yet. The Sixers are headed into a season that isn’t looking bright. I could use a bright spot. And lo and behold during a low moment some photos of Patriots WR/DB Julian Edelman come across my timeline that made me smile. Before I saw Edelman’s spread for John Varvatos I can’t say that I could have picked him out of a lineup. But now? Oh now I know what he looks like. Very nice Julian.



Head over to Varvatos’ site to see the full spread.

This season Edelman has been pushed into the most visible role he’s had since coming into the league. He’s had to step up with Wes Welker gone to Denver and Wes’ replacement Danny Amendola out due to injury. Not to mention Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots star TE, still sidelined due to after effects from surgeries performed on his arm. I can’t say that Edelman wows me as a receiver on a consistent basis but he does get the job done. Plus he’s versatile and willing to do whatever is necessary. Edelman has returned kicks, played defense and pretty much anything else the team needs him to do. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him making the gatorade on the sidelines to be quite honest.

The Patriots season got off to a rocky start with Tom Brady not playing well and screaming at receivers like Edelman, but true to form the team has been fighting and are currently 4-1.


How Can Anonymous Jets Comments Be a Sign of Discord When They All Seem to Agree?

Woke up to all these headlines about anonymous Jets players “ripping” Tim Tebow. So of course I assume that the Jets locker room has fallen apart again with infighting. I go read the quotes and that doesn’t seem to be the case. What it sounds like to me is a bunch of guys (including team staff) frustrated with the media and fans calling for Sanchez to be benched despite the fact that 1. Tebow is terrible (as one defensive player put it) and 2. the Jets have no receivers took an opportunity from a gossip rag to say what they’ve been dying to say.

Not the best way to do something but I sure do understand. 

it’s fine for the media to report this story as being about Tebow since the Daily News only wrote the story because of him, but to miss the rest of the picture entirely is just nuts to me. Dissing Tebow isn’t a sign of a locker room falling apart because it’s clear that nobody and I mean nobody, including Coach Ryan I would assume, even sees Tebow as a part of the locker room. The team, like many people in the public, doesn’t even take Tebow seriously. Further, how can a team be in discord when they all are saying the same thing! 

To the second point, about the lack of Jets receivers, it’s a point rational people have tried to make all season especially after seeing the ridiculous number of pass attempts Sanchez has made in some games. When Antonio Cromartie said he was the second best receiver on the team behind Santonio he wasn’t just tooting his own horn–he was letting people know that the team is in desperate need of talent on offense. But, again, the mostly turned that into a story about how cocky Cromartie is.

I thought it was interesting that the quotes about the receivers were mainly attributed to team staff. We already knew Woody Johnson was out of touch, now we know his employees agree.

In terms of the Jets players making their comments anonymously, the media has made impossible to criticize Tebow on record no matter who you are.  Obviously, a player shouldn’t criticize teammates period — on record or off — but when the media  and by proxy the fans are missing the big picture repeatedly players get frustrated.  I think the Jets players are genuinely worried that they will wake up one morning and Tebow will be starting QB for their team. Rex Ryan clearly doesn’t want that to happen, but he probably also didn’t want Woody Johnson to sign him the first place.

There are no guarantees here especially since the media has told players what they think of Tebow for an entire year. Remember, the Broncos defensive players had to wait until Tebow was traded to dispute the media’s recount of Tebow “inspiring” them to play better.

In a nutshell, from my perspective people tried to defend Mark Sanchez and Ryan’s decision not to play Tebow in the wrong way. But is it a sign of discord or a desperate plea to Woody Johnson to get rid of the circus guy and get some real personnel. I vote for the latter.

Related, Peter Carroll has stated that he didn’t think bringing Tebow helped Sanchez AND he said that Tebow is a distraction. At this point who can disagree?



Feeling Sorry for Patriots WR Wes Welker (Related: I really don’t like the Pats)

Wes Welker broke one of the Patriots cardinal rules and then the Cardinals beat the Patriots. I’d say things are even for now.

New England Patriots WR Wes Welker used to be Tom Brady’s right hand man. That’s why it seemed logical that the Patriots would try to work out an acceptable deal to extend Welker despite his size and advancing age. Especially, since he returned so quickly from an injury that should have kept him out much longer than it did.

Before the season began, Welker expressed his frustrations over his contract.  Although he QUICKLY backtracked and said he was completely fine with everything and that his complaint wasn’t really a complaint rather a bad choice of words, it’s clear that the Patriots organization hasn’t forgiven Welker for not obeying their system of complete submission.

[To finish this post click Read More]



David Garrard will be sidelined for 2-4 weeks – have you joined #TeamMattMoore Yet?


David Garrard is the projected starting QB for the Dolphins this year but he had arthroscopic surgery that will put him out for 2-4 weeks.

Miami Dolphins QB and current projected starter David Garrard had arthroscopic knee surgery today and will miss 2-4 weeks. He’s 34 so let’s go with 4 weeks. And just to catch folks up, Garrard was unceremoniously released by the Jacksonville Jaguars and then sat out all of last season after having back surgery. 

Accounts from Dolphins camp say that Garrard looked sharp and strong which is why the last Hard Knocks episode ended with Coach Philbin informing Garrard, Matt Moore, and Ryan Tannehill that Garrard was the projected starter for now. To be honest, I haven’t seen Garrard play enough to comment on his strengths and weaknesses or even his style of play. I have no idea what *type* of player Garrard is and when I looked for old film on you tube I didn’t find anything (if you find something PLEASE post a link. Also, if you have thoughts on Garrard’s play, share that as well). 

[To finish reading this post and why I’m staying on Team Matt Moore until further notice, click Read More]