"Did I have any doubt? I wouldn't let doubt creep into my mind," Smith said after punctuating a solid preseason with his sharpest performance of the summer. "I always come in with the mindset that if I do what I have to do, I can be the starting quarterback and lead this team."
Now comes perhaps the toughest part for Smith keeping the job. Especially with a still-effective Michael Vick on the sideline, who accepts his backup role but is hungry for any opportunities.
Vick has been complimentary of Smith all offseason, and the two appear to have a terrific working relationship without any animosity. Vick has accepted his role, one that was explained to him as soon as he got here, but he's not complacent.
He knows he can still be effective in this league, and he would like to be starting. That's why he took offense to a story in Sports Illustrated's MMQB.com that said some Jets coaches privately were disappointed that Vick wasn't "more hell-bent on winning the starting job."
"That's not true at all," a miffed Vick said. "Me and my coaches, we have great conversations. We have open dialogue, and that was far from the case."
Lions • Detroit linebacker Kyle Van Noy says it's hard to pinpoint the injury that kept him out of Friday night's preseason win over Jacksonville.
Van Noy says he's waiting on further evaluation of the injury, which the team said was an abdominal problem. The Lions drafted the rookie from Brigham Young in the second round this year.
Packers • After a nice showing by the starters, the Packers appear as if they will need to move forward this season without a key defensive lineman.
Nose tackle B.J. Raji left Green Bay's 31-21 win Friday night over Oakland in the first quarter with an arm injury, and later stayed on the sideline for a while with a sleeve protecting his right arm. Coach Mike McCarthy said after the game that Raji was optimistic, although more tests were needed.
Raji tore his biceps and will miss the 2014 season, ESPN.com and NFL.com reported Saturday. The Packers, who were off Saturday, return to practice Sunday, when McCarthy will likely address what's next up front.
Raji moved inside from end this preseason, playing mainly in the base 3-4 scheme.
• Tampa Bay 27, Buffalo, 14
• Miami 25, Dallas 20
• Tennessee 24, Atlanta 17
• Baltimore 23,Washington 17
• New Orleans 23,Indianapolis 17
• St. Louis 33, Cleveland 14
• Minnesota 30, K.C. 12
• Houston 18, Denver 17
• San Diego at San Francisco, 2 p.m. • Cincinnati at Arizona, 6 p.m.