The New York Jets still have to sort out their backup quarterback situation. Bryce Petty however appears to gain fan support after a promising performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Numbers can be a tricky thing, especially statistics. On paper, both Geno Smith and Bryce Petty appeared to have solid outings with the New York Jets during the preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, those in attendance were able to account for an intangible element of this quarterback duel that may have eluded television audiences. You know, the famous “IT” factor.
Last night, Smith finished 8-of-14 for 79 yards, which included a 17-yard touchdown pass. It was a great one to rookie wide receiver Charone Peake with 27 seconds left in the second quarter. While that may sound like a good day at the office, these statistics do not account for a lack of chemistry.
Smith, thanks to wild incompletions and two early three-and-outs, halted whatever offensive momentum Fitzpatrick had established in the first quarter. In retrospect, Smith’s last minute touchdown acted as an apology to the MetLife faithful, who voiced their disapproval of the former second-round pick whenever he touched the pigskin.
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Petty, the Jets’ fourth-round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, took the field in the third quarter.
Out of the gate, he threw completions of 19, 20 and 21 yards, all while marching his offensive unit into the red zone.
Although his efforts resulted in a missed 39-yard field goal, it only took the former Baylor Bear one drive to do what Smith couldn’t in a quarter: make fans turn to their friends, family and say, “That guy should be our backup quarterback.”
Sure, the arrival of the regular season may be in its infantile stages, but that doesn’t mean that bold predictions are off the table. Petty, despite a less than perfect performance against the Jaguars, demonstrated a certain spark, a certain “IT” factor, that Smith clearly lacks. Unless Smith steps it up, he will surely sink to third-string on Gang Green’s final depth chart.