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Michael Vick named Jets starter against Chiefs

The veteran replaced second-year starter Geno Smith in the first quarter against Buffalo.
Michael Vick

Michael Vick struggled at times against Buffalo, but also moved the offense.

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The Jets are moving on from Geno Smith 24 starts into the second-year quarterback's NFL career.

Head coach Rex Ryan named Michael Vick as starter for Sunday's game at the Chiefs after Sunday's "atrocious" performance from Smith.

Smith was benched during Sunday's 43-23 loss to the Bills following three interceptions in the game's opening four drives. He's shown little development and the 1-7 Jets can hang much of their woeful season on his shoulders. Vick led the Jets on three scoring drives in the first half.

Ryan said on Monday the decision to bench Smith was "about the immediate."

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"I'm not looking past this week. This is truly about this week," Ryan said. "It's not any long-term deal."

Turnovers have been a major concern for Smith. He is currently projected to have 20 interceptions, the same as his rookie season. The Jets had hoped he had addressed those issues at the end of last year. Instead, the struggles are just as big as when he was a rookie.

Smith is 9-15 as a starter. He has thrown for 4,416 career yards along with 19 touchdowns and 31 interceptions.

Vick isn't the perfect solution for the Jets' ailing offense, but the veteran is a four-time Pro Bowler and has playoff experience. He still struggles with turnovers though, including two fumbles and an interception on Sunday.

Vick threw 36 passes against Buffalo — the most he's thrown since Week 2 last year.

The Jets have a road game against the Chiefs and then return to MetLife Stadium to play the Steelers.

General manager John Idzik said Smith "has been inconsistent" and he termed the quarterback process "an organizational decision."

"We know we need more consistent quarterback play. When you're trying to develop a young quarterback, there's going to be rough patches," Idzik said. "Is it one step forward, two steps back? Or is it two steps forward and one step back? And of course, there's others in play. There's Mike Vick, there's Matt Simms on the practice roster. We consider all our guys, 53 and the 10 on the practice [squad]. They've all got to be ready."

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.

 
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