Geno Smith delivered a dramatic win in his first game at quarterback for the New York Jets. The Jets topped Darrelle Revis and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 18-17, in a defensive struggle. Geno Smith was the recipient of a late hit out of bounds from Lavonte David with seven seconds left in the fourth quarter, drawing a 15-yard penalty and setting up the game-winning field goal by Nick Folk. Geno Smith had a solid stat line for his first NFL game, passing for 256 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Just a few days after comparing the 2013 New York Jets to the 2009 team that went to the AFC Championship Game during his first season as head coach, Rex Ryan watched his team pull out a tight win reminiscent of the 2009 Jets: a low scoring affair that came down to the wire. The Jets got it done with rookie Geno Smith at quarterback, and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg certainly didn't try to hide him.
Geno Smith completed 24 of his 38 passes on the way to 256 yards passing, with one touchdown and one interception. Smith was also the team's leading rusher, with 47 yards on six carries, and his ability to break the pocket and scramble drew the penalty that led to the game-winning kick by Nick Folk.
The offensive performance was far from perfect, but Marty Mornhinweg did a good job of keeping the Buccaneers on their heels with some well-timed screens and even a few wildcat plays. The Jets defense lived up to its reputation under Rex Ryan, suffocating Doug Martin and the Tampa Bay rushing attack, recording three sacks and adding a Dawan Landry interception of Josh Freeman.
The scoring opened with a safety by Josh Freeman, which gave the Jets a 2-0 lead in the first quarter. The Buccaneers went up 7-2 on a 17-yard pass from Freeman to Mike Williams. The Jets then cut the lead to 7-5 on a 40-yard Nick Folk field goal. The Buccaneers answered with a touchdown from Doug Martin, but Geno Smith found Kellen Winslow for a 7-yard touchdown pass with 34 seconds left in the first half to keep the game tight.
The third quarter was scoreless, but the drama turned up in the fourth quarter. Nick Folk threaded a 30-yard field goal through the uprights, giving the Jets a tenuous one point lead. After the teams traded punts, Josh Freeman led the Bucs down the field for a go-ahead field goal after converting a third-and-10 with a 37-yard strike to Vincent Jackson. It took Geno Smith just a few plays to get the Jets in field goal range, aided by the 15-yard penalty for a late hit. After an incomplete pass on first down, he hit Kellen Winslow for a 25-yard connection, stopped the clock with a spike, then scrambled for 10 yards and drew the late hit out of bounds. Nick Folk nailed the 48-yarder and clinched a Jets win.
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