In a dramatic 18-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New York Jets rookie became the first quarterback drafted in the second round or later to pass for 250-plus yards and win an opener since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
"He'll start this game," Ryan told reporters. " ... With a short week like this, Geno will be the quarterback. And, again, I don't think we're looking past New England. They're 100 percent of our attention."
Injured passer Mark Sanchez will not play Thursday. Ryan confirmed that Sanchez will seek a second opinion on what reportedly is a separated right shoulder. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Sanchez will "see Dr. (James) Andrews this week" to gain clarity.
"Actually, with Mark's situation, we're going to take this time -- and not that he had a setback or anything else -- but we're going to take this time to go get a different opinion," Ryan said. " ... To make sure everybody's very comfortable with where he's at."
Even when Sanchez regains his health, he's unlikely to see the field for New York. Smith wasn't perfect Sunday, but he moved the offense and passed for 256 yards and one touchdown with one interception. Most importantly, Smith led the Jets to something his embattled coach needed most: a win.
The best-case scenario for Gang Green? A day in the near future when weekly quarterback announcements are unnecessary. Another win from Smith would help seal the deal.