On Sunday afternoon, Geno Smith threw two more interceptions, bring his total to ten on the season. On the first interception, No. 7 sailed the ball over his intended target's head and into the hands of Steelers' safety Ryan Clark. The play came when the Jets were in the red zone with an opportunity to take an early lead. "In the pocket there are strict guidelines as to the way you can throw it away," said Smith on why he didn't throw the ball out of bounds on his first interception of the day.. If you sail it out of bounds it would be intentional grounding. I was always taught just try and aim at a target, but not try and complete it. And that's not to make an excuse for it. It was an interception all the way and not to dwell on the past, but we've got to learn from it, I've got to learn from it and then move on from it."
Pittsburgh's defense was wreaking havoc on the first year signal-caller, forcing him to make questionable calls on the field. The two interceptions came in crucial points of the game, once in the third quarter to shrink a ten point advantage, and the last in hopes of gaining a touchdown before the two minute warning in the final quarter. But these mistakes are not holding Smith back from moving forward. He plans to learn from these mistakes and to eliminate making crucial mistakes in the weeks to follow.
" Try and never have them, but if you do, you have to learn from it and that's something that I've been facing so far in my career here," admitted Smith. "It's something that kind of expected and it's something that I've just got to learn from and improve on."
Mistakes like Smith has been experiencing are often expected to occur when a rookie quarterback is in command. However, Smith does not like to label his miscues as "rookie mistakes."
"I don't look at them as rookie mistakes, I just seem them as mistakes," said Smith. "I think every quarterback in this league is going to make some of those mistakes and the key thing is to try and eliminate them, try to avoid those mistakes.
The Steelers' defense forced those two crucial mistakes by the Jets' rookie by taking away the long completions and forcing the first year quarterback to check down to his secondary targets. New York's ability to connect on long completions has been a great threat to opposing defenses, but Pittsburgh's goal coming into last week was to eliminate the big plays.
I think every team, every defense's goal is to eliminate those plays and you're right, we've done a pretty good job of having a few of those, but we didn't capitalize on the chances that we got against Pittsburgh," said Smith.
For Geno Smith, this past week's game was a step back from the Week 5 thriller against the Atlanta Falcons. He threw two more interceptions and continued to make mistakes on the field. Moving forward from the 19-6 loss against the Steelers, the young quarterback has to eliminate these mistakes in order for the Jets to soar over New England in this week's matchup.