New York Jets
Geno Smith: Week 2, at New England.
|Dropback||1||16||0||1, 15 yards||5||5|
|Total||2||18||0||1, 15 yards||6||5|
Smith is clearly still adjusting to the speed of the NFL, so he’s going to continue running through progressions slowly, throwing the ball late to receivers and taking unnecessary sacks until things start slowing down for him. The encouraging news for Jets fans through two games, though, is that Smith already looks to be more accurate with the football than Mark Sanchez ever was – that’s not saying much, but hey, it’s something. And through the first three quarters of Thursday night’s game, Smith was typically accurate with his throws, even on deeper passes down the field. Then the fourth quarter hit and his accuracy notably tanked on all three interceptions, blowing an golden opportunity to steal a win from the Patriots when their passing game is in disarray. Unfortunately for the Jets, their group of skill position players wasn’t much better than Tom Brady’s – no Jeremy Kerley meant a whole lot more Clyde Gates, Stephen Hill and Bilal Powell than Smith would have wanted, I’m sure.
New England Patriots
Tom Brady: Week 2, vs. NY Jets.
|Dropback||0||0||0||1, 16 yards||5||5|
|Total||0||0||0||1, 16 yards||6||8|
Brady obviously got little-to-no help from his receivers Thursday night. Rookie second-round pick Aaron Dobson caught the lone touchdown of the night on a busted Jets coverage but otherwise played horrendously enough that casual observers could have reasonably wondered whether it was his first time ever playing football. Kenbrell Thompkins performed marginally better than in the opener at Buffalo, which is to say still not well enough to merit any playing time. And those were Brady’s second and third receivers. When Julian Edelman is getting targeted on nearly 50% of a team’s passing attempts and you honestly think that ratio should be even higher, you’ve got issues with your receiving core.
On the other hand, though, Brady missed a lot of throws, too and many of them by a wide margin. In fact, I counted more inaccurate throws as the main reason for a Patriots incompletion than I did drops (although there were several more miscommunications between Brady and his receivers and I’m inclined to think Brady generally knows where those guys are supposed to be). The reasons for the Patriots’ poor offensive start in the first two games doesn’t solely lie with Brady’s supporting cast – Brady himself hasn’t been displayed the accuracy you would expect from a perennial Pro Bowler and a future Hall of Fame quarterback. Chalk up a lot of the sloppiness on both sides to the rain and short week of preparation, but right now it’s pretty hard to believe that the Patriots are going to be the same high-scoring machine in 2013 that they’ve been in years past even after they get Gronk and Danny Amendola back.