EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Eric Decker summed up his feelings about the state of the New York Jets rather succinctly on Sunday.
“We’re not a bad football team, we just do stupid stuff,” the receiver said after he saw his quarterbacks turn the ball over six times in a 43-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium.
The loss dropped the Jets to 1-7, and ignited a debate over just who should be the starting quarterback.
Second-year veteran Geno Smith was abysmal Sunday – throwing interceptions on three straight drives – before getting benched for Michael Vick.
“We didn’t execute,” Smith said of what went wrong in the first quarter. “When I say ‘we,’ I’m talking about myself because it was just atrocious, the way that I started out. I never expected to start a game out like that.”
Smith’s performance had the home fans howling for his removal, which occurred in the first quarter.
Vick did move the ball better for New York. He made some plays with his legs – rushing eight times for 69 yards – but also failed to take care of the ball, throwing one interception and losing two fumbles.
“That’s normal for our guys to start pressing, for me to start pressing and start feeling like nothing’s going your way,” Vick said. “You want to make something happen and that’s when things happen that aren’t in your favor. We’ve got to learn from that.”
Vick finished the game 18 of 36 for 153 yards and one interception, while Smith was 2 of 8 for 5 yards and three interceptions – a passer rating of 0.0.
Vick credited the Bills’ defense, but added that the Jets made it easy for them.
“They had a good defense overall, but I think we did a good job of moving the ball,” he said. “In the second half, we kind of killed ourselves. We were always in bad field position. … Teams are going to tee off and you make it easy and you can’t do that against that type of defense.
“I take nothing away from them. They have a great defense, almost top 10 in everything, but you just can’t have that. You can’t turn the ball over six times.”
The turnovers were piled up so fast, even the Jets were having trouble adding them all up. Guard Willie Colon angrily muttered “seven turnovers” when asked what made the Bills’ defense so tough.
Colon can be forgiven for losing count. At one point it seemed like every pass was in danger of being picked off by a Buffalo defender.
“Hats off to the Buffalo Bills,” Smith said. “They had a good game plan.”
The Jets announced after the game that Smith underwent an X-ray on his shoulder, but he said the injury “wasn’t something that I think played a major role in today’s game.”
Ryan, whose job performance is also under the microscope, said he’s “sick and tired of losing, that’s for sure.”
“We kept shooting ourselves in the foot with penalties,” he said. “I certainly didn’t think we’d play this way. I thought we had a great week of practice and preparation. The execution fell flat. … I have no idea why we’re not playing better.”