Thursday, August 22, 2013

In all fairness, Geno to start against Giants


In an opportune moment, Mark Sanchez didn't run away with the starting job in the New York Jets' second preseason game, which saw Sanchez play the entire first half with rookie Geno Smith sidelined to injury.

But even if Sanchez lit up the place, he wouldn't have been handed the keys at the finish.

As expected, Smith will get the nod in the team's third exhibition game -- a contest with the cross-town New York Giants. Jets coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday that didn't think it would be "fair" to have given Sanchez the win in the positional competition this week no matter what the outcome of their bout with the Jacksonville Jaguars last Saturday.

"We did say all along that it was going to be an equal competition, and I think, obviously, the fact that Geno wasn’t able to play last week, you never really saw him when there were 'live bullets' so to speak," Ryan said. "So it wouldn’t be an equal competition had we not played it out this way."

Smith connected on six of seven passes in his preseason debut two weeks ago before exiting the field with the ankle ailment. He struggled the following week in practice but has reportedly bounced back in a big way this week.

Meanwhile, Sanchez has looked good in practice but tossed a pick-six on his first series against the Jaguars before saving a little face with a touchdown.

Sanchez is the favorite for the Week 1 gig just based on experience, but if Smith puts together a stellar showing against the G-Men Saturday, bets could be back on.

Follow Nick @NickStDenis
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily