With about five minutes remaining and his team trailing 31-24, Jets quarterback Geno Smith – facing a 4th-and-4 from the Green Bay 36 – could have played it safe. He could have looked for a receiver underneath or a tight end across the middle.
Nope. Smith wanted it all.
So he went for it.
The second-year quarterback saw Jeremy Kerley streaking up the left sideline and let it fly. Somehow, Kerley came down the catch, and suddenly, the Jets were an extra point away from tying the game.
Jets fans were elated.
And then, they weren’t.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg – or was it defensive end Sheldon Richardson? – had apparently called timeout. No play, no touchdown.
“I actually don’t know exactly what happened on that play,” Jets linebacker Demario Davis said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I was just watching. We all got excited, but there was a timeout called. It just happens in sports. Sometimes unfortunate events happen that don’t work in your favor and it works in the favor of somebody else. It’s part of the game.”
The Jets wound up converting the first down on their ensuing play but later turned the ball over on downs.
Richardson accepted blame for the blunder, but Mornhinweg overruled him, taking responsibility himself. Mornhinweg said he needs to a better job of communicating and trusting Smith.
According to NFL rules, the head coach is the only person on the sidelines allowed to call timeout, but if the play clock is winding down and a snap is imminent, the side judge can grant a timeout if it is heard from the sideline.
“The person I would want to hear from is the referee,” Davis said. “(Who called it) if Rex didn’t call it? That’s what I want to know.”
In the end, the Jets lost 31-24, squandering an 18-point lead in the process. Davis was extremely upset after the game, even though he played well (six tackles, two sacks).
“All we care about is winning,” Davis said. “It’s not about individual effort. It’s about all of us doing the same thing for a common goal, and any time we don’t get that common goal, we’re all kind of disappointed about it and we’re trying to to figure out what we got to do to fix it. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
Gottlieb asked Davis, 25, what it’s like to play for Rex Ryan.
“It’s the best,” Davis said. “I wouldn’t want to play for any other head coach. He’s a great defensive mind. I’ve learned so much about playing defense by the way he strategically plans for an opponent. I don’t think anyone in the league looks forward to coming in and playing against a Rex Ryan defense, let alone a Rex Ryan team. We just have to be more consistent in executing what our coaches are asking us to do. I think our coaches did great last game putting us in position to be successful. We didn’t do what we needed to do technically for four quarters to be successful. We can’t allow that.”
Gottlieb also asked if Aaron Rodgers talks trash.
“We had a conversation on the field,” Davis said. “I’ll kind of leave it at that.”
What was the conversation about?
“I won’t bring it off the field,” Davis said. “What happens on the white lines is for the people on the white lines. Hopefully we can get you some mics and you can hear it a little bit.”
Gottlieb asked if Davis did a Discount Double Check after sacking Rodgers.
“It don’t matter, man,” Davis said, chuckling. “He got the W.”