Monday, December 16, 2013

Geno Smith after loss: 'I let Rex down today'

Geno Smith shares a lot of the blame for the New York Jets woes this season but found himself singularly apologizing to his head coach after a key turnover led to yet another loss on Sunday.

The struggling rookie’s 21st interception of the season was returned 42 yards for a touchdown by Captain Munnerlyn, and helped the Carolina Panthers beat Rex Ryan's Jets 30-20 at Bank of America Stadium.

“I let Rex down today,” Smith said. “He had talked to me about not having a turnover. I wanted to do that today. On one occasion, I got sloppy with it and forced it. I didn’t get it done. Ultimately, in this league, that’s something I’ve learned, that’s what it comes down to — one or two plays here or there.”

Ryan's career with the Jets is hanging on every remaining game this season and the rookie quarterback's playmaking is critical to his coach's survival.

Smith said the Panthers' defense didn't do anything unusual during the play and he took full responsibility for the turnover.

"I just shouldn't have thrown that pass,"said Smith.  "Should have checked it down."

Smith’s blown play came with the Jets trailing by 10 and trying to get back in the game. He threw it into double coverage, and helped put the Jets’ already slim playoff hopes in serious jeopardy.

He finished 15-for-28 for167 yards, one touchdown, and that one, costly pick.

Smith has now thrown 21 interceptions this season and is also far and away the lowest-rated quarterback in the league, according to the rankings done by Pro Football Focus.

The Jets (6-8) will be eliminated from playoff contention if Baltimore wins at Detroit on Monday night.

“This one would be Ripley’s if we pull it off,” Ryan said of the team’s playoff hopes.

Or you can expect apologies all around.

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