Geno gets call for strug­gling Jets against Ravens

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Den­nis Waszak Jr.

Mired in a four-game skid and their play­off hopes dwin­dling, the New York Jets shook things up.

Geno Smith is in at quar­ter­back. Ryan Fitzpa­trick is out.

Now, Todd Bowles’ bunch will see if any of it can make a dif­fer­ence when the Jets (1-5) take on the Baltimore Ravens (3-3) at MetLife Sta­dium to­day.

“I think it’s an op­por­tu­nity for all of us to go out there and try to get a win,” Smith said. “We’re on a fourgame los­ing streak. No one likes it. It’s a bit­ter taste in our mouths.

“We just have to put to­gether some good prac­tices, build mo­men­tum up into the game and then go out there and just play reck­lessly, play hard with a reck­less aban­don and do what­ever we have to do to get this vic­tory.”

That was the think­ing for Bowles when he de­cided to switch from Fitzpa­trick , who had thrown an NFLlead­ing 11 in­ter­cep­tions and just five touch­downs in the Jets’ first six games.

New York ranks 26th in over­all of­fense and is last in the NFL in scor­ing with 15.8 points per game and red zone of­fense with eight TDs in 22 trips in­side op­po­nents’ 20-yard line (36.4 per­cent).

“Hope­fully it cre­ates a spark,” Bowles said. “It gives (Smith) the op­por­tu­nity to play. We’re 1-5 and we haven’t shown any signs of progress on of­fense, so I made the change.”

John Har­baugh and the Ravens — who have dropped three straight — en­tered the week ex­pect­ing to see Fitzpa­trick, but the coach didn’t seem too con­cerned about see­ing a dif­fer­ent quar­ter­back.

“It won’t change a ton, be­cause I think the of­fense is go­ing to re­main, es­sen­tially, the same with what they do,” Har­baugh said.

“It will nuance a lit­tle bit in cer­tain di­rec­tions. We didn’t hear that un­til right at the end of prac­tice out here (Wed­nes­day), but we al­ready put in some stuff that we thought would be more Geno Smith-ori­ented-type things.”

Here are some other things to know head­ing into the Ravens’ matchup with the Jets:


Ravens quar­ter­back Joe Flacco missed the team’s first two prac­tices of the week with a right shoul­der in­jury, but he ex­pects to play.

Flacco said his shoul­der was “sore” and thought rest would help him be ready. He was in­jured dur­ing the Ravens’ 27-23 loss to the New York Giants last Sun­day and didn’t feel any pain un­til af­ter the game. Flacco added that the MRI re­sults showed “noth­ing to worry about.”

It’s pos­si­ble, Har­baugh said, that Flacco could sit out prac­tice the en­tire week and still play. If not, Flacco’s backup is Ryan Mal­lett.

“I’d say he’s day-to-day,” Har­baugh said of Flacco. “In my mind, he’s a go.”


A sched­ul­ing quirk has the Ravens play­ing in New Jersey for a sec­ond straight Sun­day. They’ll hope to es­cape with a split af­ter los­ing to the Giants 27-23 .

“Go­ing there, coming back, and go­ing right back — I’ve never done that be­fore,” re­ceiver Mike Wallace said. “I think it will be bet­ter for us the sec­ond time, be­cause we know ex­actly what to ex­pect, we know ex­actly how it is go­ing to go. It wasn’t a bad trip at all. We went on the train, and it was about two hours. It wasn’t bad.”


In Smith’s pre­vi­ous start for the Jets in the 2014 reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale at Mi­ami, a 37-24 win, he com­pleted 20 of 25 passes for a ca­reer-high 358 yards and a per­fect 158.3 passer rat­ing.

None of the eight play­ers who caught a pass from him that day is on the Jets’ ac­tive ros­ter.

Eric Decker is the only one even still on the team, but is on in­jured re­serve with a shoul­der in­jury and also had hip surgery ear­lier this week. Jace Amaro (Ten­nessee), Jeff Cum­ber­land (San Diego), Zach Sud­feld (free agent), Jeremy Ker­ley (San Fran­cisco), Chris Owusu (free agent), Chris Ivory (Jack­sonville) and Chris Johnson (Ari­zona) are all else­where.


The Ravens are ex­pected to be with­out ca­reer sacks leader Ter­rell Suggs (bi­ceps ) and Elvis Dumervil (foot), who had a team-high six in 2015.

That leaves vet­eran tackle Timmy Jerni­gan and young lineback­ers Matthew Judon, Ka­malei Cor­rea and Za’Dar­ius Smith to pick up the slack.

“I’ll be ex­cited to see those guys play,” Har­baugh said of the in­ex­pe­ri­enced trio of LBs. “I re­ally am look­ing for­ward to it.”

The Ravens have 11 sacks this sea­son, in­clud­ing five by Suggs and three by Jerni­gan. Judon, Cor­rea and Smith have yet to col­lar the quar­ter­back.


Since en­ter­ing the NFL in 2008, Jets run­ning back Matt Forte has 13,171 yards from scrim­mage — 8,962 yards rush­ing, 4,209 yards re­ceiv­ing — the most in the league dur­ing that span.

But af­ter a solid start with 196 yards and three touch­downs on 52 car­ries in his first two games with the Jets, Forte has run for just 164 yards and no TDs on 50 car­ries in the four games since — in­clud­ing a sea­son-low 19 yards on nine car­ries Mon­day night at Ari­zona. Next up: the Ravens’ No. 1-ranked run de­fense.


Jets quar­ter­back Geno Smith scram­bles as Car­di­nals nose tackle Rodney Gunter de­fends dur­ing sec­ond half of New York’s loss to Ari­zona.

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