NY Jets: Is a quarterback controversy now on the table?

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The NY Jets will have an interesting decision to make at quarterback this offseason.

The NY Jets miraculously got their first victory off the season yesterday as they somehow knocked off the vaunted Rams and their hellacious defense.

If this were an ordinary year, no sweat off the Jets’ backs here, and congratulations to them on their first victory.

However, since we are in the age of tanking and losing is seen through more analytical lenses, what the Jets just did in this game could wind up having dire consequences for the future of their franchise.

I gave you guys the numbers on this game. You saw Jared Goff’s terrible numbers against the AFC East. You saw all the statistical probabilities that suggested the Rams would lose this game, at the very least fail to cover 17.5 points.

I surely thought something was up with this game, but I did not believe the Rams would actually have the audacity to outright lose it.

This is horrendous for the Rams who are looking to win the NFC West and perhaps even more horrendous for the Jets who have effectively knocked themselves out of the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft with their win.

Here’s the situation — both the Jets and Jaguars are 1-13 right now. If they both lose out, then Jacksonville owns the number one pick in the draft.

It’s apparently on “strength of schedule” that the Jaguars edge the Jets for the number one pick, which I don’t believe should be the case. However, I don’t make the rules.

That means the Jets, with this astonishing victory, have put themselves in line for not the number one pick in the draft this year and Trevor Lawrence, but now the number two pick in the draft and Justin Fields seemingly being the guy in their sights.

They need to lose out and for the Jags to win another game in order to get themselves back into that number one pick slot. If you’re a die-hard Jets fan, you are steaming at this victory, which is something you probably never thought you’d be after a Jets win.

How does this Jets team play so badly all season long with their only sliver of hope being the fact that they would land on Trevor Lawrence this year and then go into SoFi Stadium against perhaps the number one defense in football to pull off an improbable victory and blow everything they worked (or didn’t work) for?

If the answer to that question is not simply “It’s the NY Jets,” that answer is wrong. Now, here’s the bigger picture.

Let’s say you wind up with the number two pick instead of the number one and Jacksonville surely takes Trevor Lawrence? Do you hold and accept Justin Fields or do you try and trade back and continue to build around Sam Darnold with a new coaching staff and an otherwise fresh start?

Before you get all bent out of shape, it’s not as crazy as it sounds. Look, obviously, Justin Fields is probably the most talented quarterback we’ve seen in a while come out of Ohio State.

But in all honesty, I’m not someone who’s completely sold on him. He puts up the big numbers you want out of a college quarterback for a major university, he has a very nice arm and runs very well, but who is the last Ohio State quarterback to come out and live up to expectations?

It’s been quite a long time, no?

Dwayne Haskins. J.T. Barrett. Cardale Jones. Braxton Miller. Terrelle Pryor. Yes, Fields is better than all those guys, but if we’re looking at pure analytics, Buckeye quarterbacks just don’t get it done in the pros nowadays. That’s just the truth.

Maybe Fields breaks that narrative. Maybe he doesn’t.

To me, Trevor Lawrence is much more of a slam dunk whereas Fields is someone who has a lot of talent and a lot of upside, but at the same time, it’s going to be a gamble for whoever takes him. A lot bigger of a gamble than Lawrence is going to be in my oh so humble opinion.

The proof is in how Ohio State quarterbacks have panned out in recent memory. The proof is also in Fields and his performances in big games in college.

Not so fantastic if we’re being honest, and in fact, he lost pretty soundly to Lawrence and Clemson last year only scoring seven points in the second half of the Fiesta Bowl. There’s something to the fact that a college quarterback can play well in big games.

Deshaun Watson in his clashes with Alabama. Trevor Lawrence taking over for Watson at Clemson. Joe Burrow last year for LSU. Justin Herbert against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Tua for Bama. Even Jalen Hurts had some really good big games in college.

If you’re going to be in big games in college, I think it’s very telling for those big university quarterbacks of how they play in those big spots and Fields simply hasn’t been that impressive in those spots to this point.

Maybe he wins this year. If he does, what I said is moot. But if he doesn’t and he once again doesn’t show up in the playoff, there’s maybe a little something to worry about here.

More from The Jet Press

The NY Jets might have to choose between Sam Darnold and Justin Fields

Look, this is just my opinion. I’m not as high on Fields as many others are as you can tell. There’s obviously a lot more time between now and the draft and he has the advantage of being the most talented quarterback to come out of OSU in a hot minute.

All I’m saying is the Jets, now that they’ve seemingly blown their number one pick status pending the next two weeks, should think hard about who they want to move forward with as the quarterback of their franchise.

Maybe it is indeed a Justin Fields. Sam Darnold has not done himself any favors. It’s very likely the Jets dump him sometime soon and move on to a rookie quarterback.

On the other hand, now it’s not am Darnold vs. Trevor Lawrence. It’s Sam Darnold vs. Justin Fields. And that is a battle where Darnold has more of a chance than he does against Lawrence.

I mean, imagine what the Texans would do if they were in their shoes; that could have been their burden if they were just a little worse than they are now. Even Lawrence vs. Deshaun Watson is a tough decision and Deshaun is a top 3-4 quarterback.

Again, what’s the move here? Probably dump Darnold and take Fields second. Nobody would fault the Jets for doing that, but what if Darnold was indeed their guy and they jumped ship on him too quick?

All he needs is stability and coaching and now he could get that without the fear of missing out on a sure-fire slam dunk in Lawrence (in theory).

You guys know how highly I think of Darnold and how disappointed I am in how his tenure has wound up with the Jets to this point.

Maybe it’s more wishful thinking on my part, but if it’s between him and Justin Fields, I’d take into serious consideration if moving off of Darnold is indeed the right move.

If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. If Justin Fields is a stud, then he’s a stud. But right now the move is not as simple as dump Darnold and take Fields. Now a possible trade back is in the conversation.

I said a couple of weeks ago that the Jets have a bunch of problems other than the quarterback position. Not many young quarterbacks can mask all those problems by themselves.

In my opinion, out of the three QBs on the table, Lawrence has the best shot of overcoming a dysfunctional organization, then Darnold, then Fields.

Next. NY Jets settle for Justin Fields in 7-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft

So, what will it be then? Darnold or Fields? The popular pick is Fields. But what is the right pick?

Food for thought.