Ninkovich takes blame for Geno Smith rushing TD

Ninkovich takes blame for Geno Smith rushing TD
October 21, 2013, 7:00 pm

FOXBORO -- Rob Ninkovich played 93 snaps in Sunday's loss to the New York Jets. One of those snaps resulted in Geno Smith's third-quarter touchdown run that put the Jets up 24-21.

Ninkovich spoke on Monday about what went wrong, and he admitted to being at fault on Smith's 8-yard touchdown run to the right side.

On 2nd-and-goal from the 8-yard line, Smith dropped back, and stepped up into the large opening on the right side, as Ninkovich rushed from the outside, attempting to go wide on Jets right tackle Austin Howard.

Ninkovich actually got around Howard with good speed, but as he reached out to grab Smith with his right arm, Smith bounced up and ran towards daylight.

Several Patriots defenders failed to take Smith down before he got to the end zone, but still, Ninkovich took the blame, a day later.

"With a guy that can run, as a defensive lineman, it's our job to keep [Geno Smith] in the pocket," said Ninkovich. "But it's also our job to get pressure and not let him be comfortable back there. So you've got to kind of play both sides of that.

"You've got to rush hard to where you're trying to get pressure on him, but also you've got to rush smart, like on that play where he scrambled there for that touchdown. There's a big step up lane there for him. That's all me. That's my fault. I shouldn't have tried to take a shot there in the red zone, trying to run around the guy."