The New York Jets can’t continue playing games at quarterback. Should Ryan Fitzpatrick flop yet again on Sunday, head coach Todd Bowles must play Bryce Petty.
As the New York Jets get ready to face off against the 3-5 Los Angeles Rams, Head coach Todd Bowles needs to be prepared to put starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on the shelf. This needs to happen in favor of backup Bryce Petty if the same Ryan Fitztragic from last week’s loss against the Miami Dolphins decides to make another appearance.
With the Jets’ season currently on life support, Bowles needs to make a decision for the future of this team. Unless the Jets happen to pull a rabbit out of the hat and replicate the successful run to the post-season that the Kansas City Chiefs had last year, Fitzpatrick should not be starting for the remainder of the season in games that will become meaningless.
Let’s not beat around the bush here, Fitzpatrick is a goner. You could make the argument that he’s already left. The player that is currently starting for the Jets does not resemble the Fitzmagic that led the Jets one game short of the playoffs last year. It’s puzzling to watch a team with a roster with so much talent collapse each week against teams that aren’t the Buffalo Bills in Week 2 or the Cleveland Browns. And the Jets almost lost that one too. When Fitzpatrick walks out that door at the end of the season, he’s not coming back. Why should he? Why would the Jets want him back? Fitzpatrick got what he wanted. He got paid. And unfortunately for the Jets, reverted back to his old ways. That is why he’s never been able to stick in one place for too long. The Jets took a gamble on Fitzpatrick this season hoping he would have another big year and they lost. Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan need to assess what they currently have on the roster and if that’s good enough to go with next season.
Geno Smith will join Fitzpatrick out that door. That ship has sailed. The only two remaining quarterbacks on the roster will be second-year man Petty and the quarterback currently frozen in carbonite, rookie Christian Hackenberg.
Whether either of those is the quarterbacks of the future, we don’t know. However, the Jets need to find out soon and not waste any more time with Fitzpatrick at the helm.
Fitzpatrick, a game-time decision for Sunday’s matchup with the Rams, will start if healthy. If he self-destructs early and is in a position to throw the game away for his team, Bowles needs to put his foot down and make a change. Enough is enough. The Jets have nothing to gain by playing Fitzpatrick if it looks as though he’ll be leading the Jets to another loss.
Bowles has repeated several times throughout the season that he believes Fitzpatrick gives him and the team the best chance to win. If he was able to bench Fitzpatrick in favor of Smith the week of their win against the Baltimore Ravens, he needs to have to show the fans he has the courage to do it again and make it permanent this time.
Petty is the current backup and will be ready to go if Fitzpatrick can’t. He should also be given the chance to show the franchise that he can help them in the long run. If the Jets do fall out of contention, it’s possible we may even see Hackenberg at some point in a quarterback rotation. However, right now, the Jets should be Petty’s team.
He has shown potential during his preseason appearances and completed two passes last week against the Dolphins. He did miss valuable practice reps with a shoulder injury that occurred during the preseason, although he’s fully healthy now and there shouldn’t be any more excuses to sit him.
The 3-6 Jets could quickly turn into a dumpster fire and it’s up to Bowles to prevent that from happening. If it does, then the playoffs will be out of reach and you can stick a fork in the 2016 Jets. If Bowles decides to stay with Fitzpatrick for the remainder of the season if healthy, we could see a major shakeup during the off-season. And by no means is any one safe. Bowles should do the right thing and see what he has in Petty. If that fails, you have another young quarterback to look at. The Jets shouldn’t ignore the chance to test the waters now with what will most likely be a turbulent 2017.