Saturday, January 31, 2015

NFL: Jets name Smith their starting QB

The formal announcement was a surprise to no one. Not the Jets fans. Not the media. And, especially, not Geno Smith.

Rex Ryan finally made it official after the Jets' 35-24 preseason loss to the Giants on Friday night, announcing that Smith will be the starting quarterback in Week 1.

Now comes perhaps the toughest part for Smith: keeping the job. Especially with a still very effective Michael Vick on the sideline, accepting of his backup role but hungry for any chance he gets.

Smith capped his final preseason appearance - he won't play at the Eagles on Thursday - by going 9 of 14 for 137 yards with a touchdown.

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Raji out for the season

Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji is out for the season after sustaining a torn right biceps in Friday's preseason game against the Raiders, a league source confirmed.

Bradford injured

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford reinjured the left knee he had surgery on last season, and the Rams had four other starters hurt in a 33-14 win over the Cleveland Browns. Bradford went down after being hit by Browns defensive lineman Armonty Bryant in the first quarter.

Browns backup QB Johnny Manziel had a 7-yard TD run but was sacked twice by Rams rookie Michael Sam.

Giants flagged

New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin studied the films of the victory over the Jets and saw a glaring problem - the Giants' defense gave up too many penalties for Coughlin's liking. It was the third straight preseason game where the Giants were flagged at least 10 times.

"We have to clean up the hands to the face penalties. No matter how you look at it, that's a foul."

Raiders struggling

The Raiders might need to wait until the start of the regular season for the passing game to hit its stride. Quarterback Matt Schaub, who played his high school ball at West Chester East, and the first-team offense struggled again in the final full dress rehearsal for the season, struggling to move the ball with any consistency in the loss to Green Bay.

Mystery ailment

Lions linebacker Kyle Van Noy says it's hard to pinpoint the injury that kept him out of Friday night's preseason win over Jacksonville.

"I can't say where, exactly, because it moves," Van Noy said. "I can't say one specific area."

Preseason games

Orleans Darkwa ran in from 1 yard with 1 minute, 45 seconds left, and the host Dolphins rallied from two scores down to beat the Cowboys, 25-20. . . . Joe Flacco's final throw was a TD pass, providing a positive ending to an uneven performance by the host Ravens' first-team offense in a 23-17 victory over the Redskins. . . . Josh McCown directed two first-half TD drives in the Buccaneers' 27-14 win over the host Bills. . . . Bishop Sankey's 3-yard TD run and two-point conversion with 5:45 remaining gave Tennessee its first lead as the Titans rallied to beat the host Falcons, 24-17.

Associated Press
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