The New York Jets always seem to complicate things at quarterback which is the most important position on the team. They once again made a move that basically came down to money.
After the loss to Los Angeles Rams, head coach, Todd Bowles stated he decided to start quarterback Bryce Petty due to Ryan Fitzpatrick not being completely healthy. Fitzpatrick wasn’t completely healthy even though he took reps in practice. Petty took the majority of the important reps, and for him to get the important reps, it was good to see him out there.
Basically, Fitzpatrick was just going to be used as an emergency in the grand scheme of things. However, rumors of Petty started circulating as early as Friday leading me to believe Fitzpatrick was probably healthy enough to start Sunday. With past medical experience, this is fishy. This wasn’t about winning games but actually, how to make money.
Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan wanted to create a buzz by starting Petty because the stadium would have been half empty. Imagine? An empty stadium in Week 10 would have been terribly embarrassing if Fitzpatrick started. People were at least interested in seeing Petty’s first career start.
If one thinks about it, Bowles did not want to hear the boo birds every time Fitzpatrick threw an incomplete pass or heaven forbid, an interception. Even with Petty starting, and only down by 3 points, MetLife Stadium started to empty out with 5 minutes still on the clock. The passion and respect for the team showed in attendance (again ones that arrived was pretty much just intrigued to see Petty start).
I have no doubt, season ticket holders would not have shown up if it was not for Petty. It was a business/financial move to not lose money at the stadium and have it empty with only Ram fans and bitter Jet fans booing. It was an ignorant decision, the Jets desperately needed this win and should not have started a rookie quarterback that many in the organization suspected was not ready.
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Now the team is completely out of the playoff picture whereas a win Sunday would have kept their very slim playoff chances alive. Especially with an important game against the New England Patriots coming up after their bye. It’s obvious they were not even thinking playoffs. At this point, I think they are going for a first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and if that’s the case, I hope people lose their jobs. I want people that try to win, even when there is little to no hope, not just completely give up. It would have been better to keep Fitzpatrick in to seal our playoffs faith and have Petty be the starter AFTER the Patriots game. No reason to throw him into the lions’ den.
But as usual, the Jets rushed instead of developing. They have a way of just throwing quarterbacks when they are not completely ready. Petty didn’t perform terribly, but he performed exactly as anyone starting their first professional game would perform. He was hesitant to throw, held onto the ball too long, and was indecisive. I will give him credit with the 52-yard throw outside the numbers which I doubt Fitzpatrick could do in his dreams. However, the interception at the end of the game was another sign that he was not ready to handle the pressure of leading the team in a hurry up situation with the game on the line.
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall said it best in a post-game interview via the Media Relations Department of the Jets: Still, the difference between Fitzpatrick and Petty was clear to Marshall. “Experience,” Marshall said. “That’s the biggest thing. Fitz has seen so much. He’s seen everything that a defense can throw at you. Bryce hasn’t.” This is a huge insight, there is no substitute for experience and Marshall knows and sees it better than anyone on the team.
Bottom line, Petty was not ready. After hearing his post game interview, it’s obvious he has that special something and the Jets need to develop that. I don’t just have high hopes but believe Petty has what it takes to be a franchise quarterback in the future. All he needs are the right talent around him and continued training. Make no mistake about it, Petty should have a bright future when all is said and done.