Prior to the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter, Smith had thrown eight passes. He ended up finishing with 13 pass attempts, completing seven for 65 yards and an interception.
Ryan insisted after the 16-13 loss that the decision to take the ball out of Smith's hands wasn't for lack of trust in the second-year player.
"It had zero to do with us not having faith in our quarterback," Ryan said. "It had everything to do with us trying to win the game."
To be fair, the Jets' plan worked for the first half, and they compiled 277 total yards on the ground. However, the few times Smith was asked to throw, he was out of rhythm and off target.
Making the switch back to Smith was about evaluating the quarterback to see if he can be the future. Throwing 13 times allows for almost no evaluation. Around The NFL's Dan Hanzus pondered after the game whether the game plan was Ryan hitting back at management for reportedly pushing Smith over Michael Vick.
Ryan, however, insisted the game plan was installed to maximize their chance of winning.
"It's easy to sit back and question the fact that we didn't throw it as much, now, but at the end of the day, we wanted to run the football," Ryan said. "We felt that gave us the best opportunity to win the game."
If the best chance of winning includes never passing, that doesn't speak well at all about the man paid to throw the ball.