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Falcons-Jets: Defensive Line Makes Geno Smith Look Good

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Fact: the only thing fear has to fear is Osi Umenyiora himself

Scott Cunningham

When your team is 1-4, it's tough to engage in any analysis. No matter the positives, if the wins aren't there, nothing else matters. With that said, we Falcoholics, we unhappy few, we merry band of brothers, we must carry on.

Last night's game really came down to Geno Smith. It came down to what the defense allowed him to do. He was efficient, and he didn't miss a beat. He looked like the franchise quarterback the Jets are hoping him to be. But he's still Geno Smith; he's still that immature rookie with poor mechanics who doesn't have the football intelligence to play quarterback in the NFL. Or not.

Look, I'm not about assigning blame to any one unit, but the defensive line deserves its fair share. You can't blame the corner backs, especially Desmond Trufant, who for the fifth consecutive game had a pass defensed. He's playing his tail off in a rookie campaign that most of us didn't imagine was possible. But he's getting mediocre-at-best pass rush from a defensive line that just isn't built to consistently generate meaningful pressure.

It wasn't all bad for the pass rush. As Dave mentioned in the recap, Corey Peters and Osi Umenyiora turned it on in the second half. The defensive line logged 3 sacks, but as you (should) know, sacks aren't everything, and if they're intermittent, winning the trench battle won't be easy. Letting Geno Smith complete over 75 percent of his passes en route to a 3 touchdown day is just unacceptable. Osi Umenyiora can't play both right and left defensive end. If this were a high school team, I'd make them duck walk until their quads exploded. But alas, it isn't. These are professionals. We think.

As for the run defense, it was again adequate. If this were 1999, I'd be singing the rush defense's praises. But it isn't. The NFL is now a passing league, and if you're willing to let Geno Smith run all over you, then Vishnu help ya.

Your thoughts?