“Some guys scramble to buy more time,” Arrington said. “He’s scrambling to get the first down and gain yards. He’s definitely one of those guys we’ve got to try and set the edge, keep him in the pocket. It’s a lot easier said than done.”
McCourty said Smith still did a good job of “keeping his eyes downfield,” looking to pass. He relied heavily on tight end Kellen Winslow, who caught seven passes for 78 yards, but McCourty said, “He made the right read. Kellen Winslow got open, and he got the ball to him. He wasn’t trying to force things to guys that were covered.”
It now seems long ago that Sanchez won four road playoff games, including one against the Patriots in the first round of the 2010 playoffs at Gillette Stadium. Even before Sanchez suffered a shoulder injury that put him on the shelf, Arrington suggested the writing was on the wall when the Jets drafted Smith in the second round.
“I’m sure they didn’t want to invest that much and not put him on the field,” Arrington said. “And he’s an extremely great talent, as well. It should be a good matchup for us.”