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Geno Smith Was Kind of Awesome for 8 Games in 2013

I was looking at the Game Splits app today and decided to look at some Geno Smith splits. The Game Splits app is a fun way to do some data exploration, but you should also be careful about the conclusions you draw from it. First, any time you chop up a number you’re looking at two groups of smaller samples that might not have a casual relationship in the way that you think they do. For instance, David Justice is famously known to have had a much better batting average on odd days of the month in one season. Some splits just happen.

So take the following information with a grain of salt: Geno Smith was kind of awesome in Jets wins last year. Look at the table below from the App.

download (72)

Admittedly Geno was so horrible1 in Jets losses that I’m probably focusing on the wrong thing to look at his line in the Jets wins, but I’m a glass half full type of guy.

One of the most over used phrases in evaluation circles is “shows ability to” because it throws all concept of probability out the window in favor of a view that reduces things to whether you’ve ever seen a prospect do something. “Shows ability to catch the ball out of the backfield” for a player that only caught 10 passes in their final season of college is essentially misleading. They might show ability to do it and then the odds of them actually doing it might be really long.

So “shows ability to not suck in team wins” is probably meaningless, but that’s what we get from Geno.

In Jets wins he wasn’t that far off from RGIII’s rookie season. Griffin was more efficient in the passing game and more prolific in the running game, but Geno is close2

I should say that the reason I ended up looking at the Splits App is that I’m working on my WR value article which will feature Eric Decker. I have a thought in my head which is basically that I do think the Jets could re-create the success of the WAS offense with Geno playing the RGIII role, Decker as Garcon, and an overly bronzed Jersey Shore castmate as Mike Shanahan. The splits above actually do give me a little bit of hope that this could be true. That split is cherry picked, but we’re talking about players that are so cheap in fantasy drafts (Decker is WR33 and I bet Geno isn’t even being drafted) that you don’t have to worry about downside really. The only consideration is upside.

What will be the catalyst that will make Geno play in 2014 like he did in Jets wins? Maybe a year of experience. Maybe the influence of Decker and some other new pieces. But really this thesis is about an hour old so I’ll have to keep working on it.

  1. he was on a 32 INT pace, which is what would happen if Carson Palmer and Eli Manning ever had a child together and then that child grew up to be an NFL quarterback  (back)
  2. In the Jets wins. In the losses he made Blaine Gabbert look like Joe Montana in Tecmo Bowl when you run back to the 1 every play and then throw a 99 yard touchdown to Jerry Rice, resulting in 1000 yards passing per game.  (back)

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