CINCINNATI -- The education of Geno Smith continues, this time with another NFL regular-season first: Getting yanked from a blowout loss.
The bad news is that he played poorly enough to deserve it; the good news is that the Jets' rookie quarterback is competitive enough that he was upset by it.
The other good news is that he was mature enough to admit coach Rex Ryan made a logical decision in the fourth quarter of a 49-9 loss to the Bengals when he replaced him with Matt Simms.
"I'm always upset," he said after completing 20 of 30 passes for 159 yards and two interceptions -- both of which were returned for touchdowns.
"I understand why the decision was made, but I always want to be in the game. I never want to come out of a game, never want to be in those situations where we're down and I have to be pulled from a game."
Smith's speaking tone was the same one he uses after every outing, good or bad, as was his what-me-worry take on his latest round of damaging errors.
Is he concerned that the mistakes keep on coming halfway through the season?
"Well, no," he said. "Mistakes are going to happen. They're always going to happen no matter how many years I play in this league. It's something to get better from, something to learn from."
Ryan did not sugarcoat Smith's work, saying, "It was like the rest of the team. Obviously, it was a poor performance on everybody's part."
Later, he was asked if the game was a step back for Smith after the previous Sunday's rousing victory over the Patriots.
"I mean, it wasn't a good performance, for sure," he said.
Ryan said he had planned to give Smith one last series after the Bengals took a 42-9 lead late in the third quarter, then insert Simms. But that series resulted in the Bengals' second pick-6 of the game, and that was that.
Smith blamed himself both for throwing that second interception to Adam Jones and for failing to tackle him on what turned into a 60-yard return.
"The guy made a great break on it and was able to take it in," Smith said. "I should have made the tackle. I should not have forced it in the first place but should have made the tackle."
Smith had been intercepted by Chris Crocker in the third quarter, a ball Crocker returned 32 yards for a score.
"I can say it wasn't my best pass, but he made a great play on it," Smith said. "It's something that I have to do a better job of keeping the ball out of the reach of defenders so they can't make those plays."
Said Crocker: "I got a good read on the route and stretched my glove and off I went."
Someone asked Smith if, as a young leader, he planned to say anything to the team about Sunday's rout.
Said Smith: "I think it's pretty much self-explanatory after a loss like this."