The New York Jets have done it again. After firing Rex Ryan and cleaning house from the bottom of the organization up practically, they have once again set the franchise back by going back to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Head coach Todd Bowles has decided to go back to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for their Week 12 matchup against the New England Patriots in a mind boggling move. The Jets were on track to evaluating talent at quarterback and moving forward in the direction of the team but have gone back now as a franchise.
This was about finding a legitimate quarterback, not getting to 4-7. One position the Jets have yet to figure out fully in its history, and once again they are meddling with development. The Jets have never developed a great talent at quarterback, Chad Pennington would be the closest and he was already an academic star at Marshall.
Pennington was a fan favorite and good talent but not a star as his lack of ability to throw the ball down the field hurt his play. Especially in big moments when the Jets might have needed a big throw to seal the game. Fast forward to now and the Jets aren’t moving on yet again, with Bowles proclaiming Fitzpatrick the starter, it raises two questions.
Was Bryce Petty really just a fill in for Fitzpatrick? Is Bowles coaching for his job?
The first question seems to be yes. The Jets were just starting Petty for an injured Fitzpatrick. They were not committed to letting Petty work out some of the mistakes that young quarterbacks make.
The second question on whether Bowles is coaching for his job can very well be a factor for starting Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick being a veteran and knowing the playbook gives the Jets a better chance to win, but only if they are protecting a lead.
If Fitzpatrick is forced to make big throws to help the Jets win, they are at a disadvantage. The way the secondary has played this season, that’s exactly what Fitzpatrick has had to do and clearly, the Jets are losing football games.
Bowles would rather go down with the veteran than the kid it seems. Petty looked good in the first half against the Los Angeles Rams as he made that great play down the field to wide receiver Robby Anderson. He got the ball out quick and accurately and could have only continued to get better over time.
In the second half, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey scaled back the creative plays and passing for Petty and the Jets were never the same. Bad schemes and blown opportunities are a signature to this franchise. Management and personnel handling in addition to losses were the reasons the Jets decided to start fresh.
A very promising start to the new Maccagnan/Bowles era has been tainted and the franchise is trending downward since the Week 17 loss to the Buffalo Bills last season. With the way the Jets are handling their young quarterbacks and wide receivers, don’t expect them to be flying high anytime soon.