The Bryce Is Right.
Or even more appropriate, Fitz Is The Pitz.
In the final Daily News exit poll — I stopped counting after my own vote — it was unanimous: Bryce Petty should start Sunday against the Rams.
The Jets still have seven games remaining to torture Jets Nation, and with a dreadful 3-6 record they’ve already entered the playing-for-pride-and-draft-position portion of their season. The Patriots’ magic number to eliminate them from the AFC East is down to four. Better news: At the moment, the Jets own the fifth pick.
The Jets have their bye after playing the Rams, but instead of using the extra time to get Petty ready to face the mighty Patriots, Todd Bowles needs to bench Ryan Fitzpatrick now — even if his knee sprain checks out okay — and give Petty a fair chance before any of the Jets who haven’t already mentally checked out give up and start making their offseason golfing plans.
Even with two games remaining with the Patriots and likely having to run the table to make the playoffs, Bowles said he’s not ready to start rebuilding.
“We’re 3-6. We’re down, not out,” Bowles said Monday. “Right now I’m not worried about turning the page. I’m worried about who gives us the best chance to win. Right now, Fitz gives us the best chance to win if he’s healthy. If not, then Bryce will get his shot to play.”
The Jets need a spark, an infusion of energy, a reason to have even the slightest hope. If Petty can do some damage against the Rams, then maybe the Jets can make things respectable down the stretch. If Fitz starts and loses another dreary game, can Bowles even be sure his players will return from the bye?
Bryce Petty can give the Jets the shot of energy they’ve been looking for under center.
(Brad Mills/USA Today Sports)
Fitz had a great run last year and set a franchise record with 31 TDs, but unfortunately didn’t come back the same player after a bitter contract negotiations and then settling on a one-year, $12 million deal when the Jets wouldn’t commit starter’s money to him past 2016. Fitzpatrick’s game also fell apart in 2011 after he got paid in Buffalo.
Bowles said if Fitz is moving around alright, he’s still the guy against the Rams. He also said Fitz was still his guy the day before he benched Fitzpatrick last month. Now Bowles can use Fitz’s knee as the reason to switch to Petty, not that he needed an excuse. Fitzpatrick leads the NFL with 13 INTs.
The pressure is starting to build for Bowles to win. Petty has a chance to buy him some time.
If the Jets are ever going to be great again — okay, it’s happened only once and that was 48 years ago — they must find a franchise quarterback. It’s not too much to ask the football gods to bless the Jets every 50 years, is it?
If the Jets are really cursed and it takes the same 108 years between championships as it did for the Cubs, at least it gives the next few generations of Jets fans something to anticipate down the road. The Jets will be hoisting their second Lombardi Trophy in 2076.
Nobody knows if Petty will be any good, and there is even more doubt about Christian Hackenberg, but we’ve seen enough of Fitz to know it’s pointless to see anymore.
The Cowboys found a gem with Dak Prescott in the fourth round this year. Why can’t something like that ever happen for the Jets? They took Petty in the fourth round last year. Prescott is 7-1, tying the Pats for the best record, but Hackenberg, taken two rounds earlier this year, may not be ready to compete for the starting job until 2018.
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Petty has got a big arm, a big personality and a lot of gunslinger in him. It’s time to find out if he’s a keeper. Here’s another way of looking at it: Can he be any worse than the slop Fitzpatrick has been serving up every week? Fitz is the lowest rated passer in all of Roger Goodell’s kingdom, behind Case Keenum, Brock Osweiler and Blaine Gabbert, who are not exactly Elway, Marino and Kelly. It may just be our imagination, but it seems all of Fitz’s INTs come in the red zone or end zone.
One day the Jets are going to hit on a quarterback. Maybe it will be Petty. Maybe it will be Hackenberg. It wasn’t Mark Sanchez. For sure it’s not Fitzpatrick or Geno Smith — neither will be back in 2017 — so it’s in the Jets’ best interests find out if one of the kids can play.
The Jets have sent out signals by their actions that they are not sold on Petty, who took the first four snaps of his career in Miami after Fitz hurt his knee. If Mike Maccagnan, who drafted Petty in 2015, thought he was the long-term answer, he never would have drafted Hackenberg this year. If Bowles was sold on Petty he would have jumped him over Smith coming out of training camp this summer and the Jets would have cut Smith.
Instead, when Bowles benched Fitzpatrick after the Arizona disaster, he went to Smith, who lasted less than one half before tearing his ACL. Fitzpatrick then helped beat the Ravens and Browns but was back to throwing bad INTs in Miami that just about ended the season.
Tom Coughlin benched Kurt Warner when he was 5-4 in 2004. He put in rookie Eli Manning, who lost his first six games, and looked awful doing it, before beating Dallas in the final game. Manning has started every game since then. Maybe benching a veteran after nine games is the answer.
Petty is not Manning, but what’s the point of a 3-6 team sticking with a 33-year old journeyman who has played for six teams in 12 years? If Petty stinks, then give Hackenberg a shot. If he stinks, too, then Maccagnan gets one more chance to use a high draft pick to find a quarterback.
Bryce may or not be right, but with Fitz being the The Pitz, it’s time to find out.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News