Michael Vick Squanders Opportunity to Steal Geno Smith’s Starting Job
By Rich Bergeron
NFL Week 5 Matchup – Jets vs Chargers
Change isn’t always a good thing. Geno Smith and Michael Vick split the plays Sunday, but both Jets quarterbacks had essentially the same results in a sun-scorched San Diego. Smith threw an interception and the Chargers sacked Vick twice on the way to just 60 total combined passing yards on the day for the two leading QBs on the team. Vick ended the day with a 6.6 QBR, followed by Smith’s pitiful 3.1 rating. Vick had one impressive 13 yard run, but he didn’t seem any more capable of accumulating first downs than Smith was. Jets’ Coach Rex Ryan already decided he will stick with Smith as the starter.
The 110 degree on-field temperature obviously had an impact on the Jets Sunday. Geno Smith and Michael Vick were often shown commiserating together on the sidelines, camped out in the shade under a makeshift canopy when the San Diego offense was on the field. Though they were both clearly disappointed with their respective efforts (or lack thereof), Vick and Smith seemed oddly comfortable and content in their little man cave of shame.
Meanwhile, Philip Rivers (20-28, 288 yards, 3 TDs, INT) presented a clinic on how to quarterback a football team. Someone on the Jets sidelines should have handed Vick and Smith some paper and pencils to take notes. As if Rivers having a career day wasn’t bad enough for the Jets, his lone interception was fumbled away on the next play by Jets Running Back Chris Johnson.
Any team can have a bad day, of course, but this one was exceptionally bad for the Jets. This one was catastrophically bad. This one is bad enough to get someone fired if it doesn’t mark a fundamental turning point for the Jets. It may take a major shakeup to motivate this team to turn it around.
There have been a variety of stories about backup quarterbacks rising to the occasion when given huge opportunities, including some amazing stories that came to light so far this season (Google Mike Glennon). Vick might have been counted among those impressive tales of quarterbacking his team to a win off the bench, but he choked in the heat of a horrible day he’d probably like to forget.
The bottom line is Michael Vick’s destiny was in his own hands on Sunday, and he couldn’t capitalize on the situation. He silenced all those disenchanted Jets fans who complained that it was time for a change, time to look to the veteran to rescue the young, clumsy buck. Instead, both men looked equally inexperienced and out of sorts Sunday against a motivated and mean San Diego defense. Now those same fans who were screaming for Ryan to put Vick in the game might finally admit that bringing the controversial QB to New York probably wasn’t such a great idea after all.
The final 31-0 score and the lowly 151 total yards for the 1-4 Jets said it all. Jets fans might as well start saying, “Maybe next year.”