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Bryce Petty’s audition starts off with a bang

December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) celebrates after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi
December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) celebrates after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi
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Sunday was a big day for New York Jets sophomore quarterback Bryce Petty. He helped his Jets erase a fourteen point deficit on their way to a thrilling 23-17 overtime victory against San Francisco.

After being selected by the New York Jets in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft, Bryce Petty was seen as a promising yet very flawed project. The thought was that it would be at least a pair of seasons until Jets fans got to get a good look at the young quarterback out of Baylor.

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After an injury to the initial starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets fans go to see Petty’s first start in a Week 10 home game against the Los Angeles Rams. In a very tough circumstance, Petty and the Jets fell to Los Angeles 6-9 as the team made sure to protect their second-year quarterback with a very basic offensive game plan.

It was a different story for Petty and Gang Green in their Week 14 matchup in Santa Clara. The Jets started off very poorly as they created a 17-3 hole for themselves to dig out of. Fortunately for them, they did just that and went to win in overtime behind an outstanding effort from Bilal Powell and a gritty performance from Petty.

The first thing that stuck out from Petty in this win was his mental toughness and grit. The first pass that he threw was a horrid interception on a pass intended for Quincy Enunwa who ran a short curl route. Instead of letting this blunder rattle him, Petty came back strong and continued to remain calm and play his game.

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Another factor that stood out for Petty, which came as a surprise to many, was his athleticism. He tallied four rushes for 19 yards (4.8 yards per carry), along with an impressive, diving two-point conversion. This element of Petty’s game will certainly help him for years to come.

As a passer, Petty had an up and down game, but he came through when it mattered most. In saying that, I’m referring to the fact that Petty got better as the game went along. When the Jets needed to come back in the second half, Petty delivered including a pair of beautiful passes to rookie wide receiver Robby Anderson.

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To sum things up, Sunday’s game was a very encouraging step in the right direction for Petty. It will be crucial to closely monitor the progress that he makes within the Jets’ final three games, in which they will be playing divisional opponents.

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