Geno Smith is on pace to put up very similar numbers to the what Mark Sanchez produced for the Jets last season. But, despite the similarities, Smith wants to be clear that he and Sanchez are very different.
“No, I’m not Mark,” Smith said coldly when asked about a comparison on Wednesday, per ESPN. “I don’t think it’s fair to compare his season to mine. It’s two different seasons, two different guys, two different players, two different styles, two different systems. I know you guys want to compare every single thing, but it doesn’t make a difference.”
Smith is right. He is quarterbacking a different team in a different season, but the similarities are still too evident to ignore altogether.
In 2012, Sanchez threw for 2,883 yards and 13 touchdowns, completed 54.3 percent of his passes and turned the ball over an NFL-high 26 times (18 interceptions and eight fumbles lost) in 15 games. Smith, who was pulled from Sunday’s loss to the Bills after his fourth turnover, is actually on pace to produce eerily similar numbers to his predecessor this season.
Through 10 games, Smith has already thrown for 2,100 yards and is completing 56.3 percent of his throws to go along with eight touchdowns and 20 turnovers (16 interceptions and four fumbles). Those numbers projected over a full 16 games will actually be worse than Sanchez’s.
If Smith continues at this pace, he’ll throw for 3,360 yards and complete about 56 percent of his passes, but he’ll also throw just 12 touchdowns compared to 26 interceptions and turn the ball over around 32 times. The Jets already have a league-worst minus-14 turnover differential, which could only be made worse if Smith continues to struggle.
The Jets (5-5) are in a better situation for a playoff push than they were last season. However, that improvement can’t be attributed much to the change at quarterback.