This isn’t just about Ryan Fitzpatrick, someone who must think those 11 interceptions that he threw to get benched threw themselves. This is about the Jets, who find themselves in the same situation in which they have found themselves for nearly half a century, which means they’re moving up on having people chant “1969” at them the way people used to chant “1940” at the New York Rangers:
They’re still looking for a quarterback who can win it all for them the way Joe Namath did.
Geno Smith didn’t just end his — brief —season last Sunday, he effectively ended his Jets career, as if he still had one. Now Todd Bowles is stuck with Fitzpatrick, who played way above his head last season and who was brought back this season almost as a last resort. The Jets clearly thought, after a lot of deliberation — like, an awful lot of deliberation — that Fitzpatrick was their best option to be a playoff team if they could somehow get past the first six games of the season with their helmets still on. Only they got them knocked off. Now the only good news for the Jets is that Sunday’s opponent, the Browns, are in far worse shape than they are, and have had problems of their own at the quarterback position that are almost Biblical.
And if you don’t think Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg is their quarterback of the future, then what kind of immediate future are we talking about for the New York Jets? For now, the Jets prospects at the most important position in their sport and maybe all sports are as bleak as anybody’s in the NFL, as we do move up on 50 seasons since they won their one and only Super Bowl.
It is why they have nothing to lose by throwing Petty out there the first chance they get and giving him some room to provide some hope. And if Petty looks lost, then throw Hackenberg out there.
Jets fans, especially Jets fans of a certain age, know how little hope they have gotten out of the quarterback position since Namath. Richard Todd briefly supplied some, and Ken O’Brien, and Chad Pennington, even Mark Sanchez, who took them as far, twice, as Todd did, which means to the AFC Championship Game. But when you look honestly and objectively at everything that has happened since Super Bowl III, you know that the best quarterback they have had since Namath is Vinny Testaverde, who threw 29 touchdown passes for Bill Parcells and just seven interceptions, and had the Jets in the lead at halftime at an AFC Championship Game in Denver.
“Then guys who usually don’t fumble started fumbling,” Parcells told me the other day, talking about what he still says was the most painful defeat of his career.
Now the Jets are where they are, at an extremely painful 2-5. They had one of those Jets losses on the last Sunday of the 2015 regular season against the Bills, and cost themselves the playoffs. There was the protracted negotiation with Fitzpatrick, who overplayed his hand the way he so often does throwing into coverage. He ended up coming back. Threw all those picks. Got benched. Geno got hurt. Fitzpatrick got another chance. Somehow he won a game and lost whatever capital he had built up with Jets fans last season by actually speaking the truth about how the people in charge had lost faith in him. Yup. They did. You would have, too.
But even if Fitzpatrick, who will be playing for his seventh NFL team next year, gets hot and the Jets get hot and he starts to win some games, it means nothing in the whole grand scheme of things, for a very basic reason: They don’t have a quarterback in a quarterback league. I thought they might have enough defense to carry them, and carry Fitzpatrick, who was never going to duplicate the numbers he had last season. Only they don’t have enough defense. The Patriots will run away from them again. Right now they are a much better bet to finish in last place in the AFC East than they are to make the playoffs.
So find out about Petty, unless they honestly believe they will get to 5-5 against the Browns, Dolphins, Rams, and start to make a playoff run. And if Petty doesn’t look like an NFL quarterback, by all means find out about Christian Hackenberg. We all know by now, even with those two AFC title games under Rex Ryan, how far they were set back by being wrong about Sanchez. How far do they ultimately get set back if they turn out to be wrong about both Geno and Petty and Hackenberg? They chose not to go for Paxton Lynch, the 6-7 kid from Memphis whom John Elway, who knows a fair amount about quarterbacking, selected in the first round of the draft. It would be perfect if Lynch turns out to be a star in Denver, because it would mean that now the Jets aren’t just wrong about their own quarterbacks, they’re wrong about other teams’ quarterbacks, too.
And of course they liked Hackenberg better than Dak Prescott.
The Jets never have gotten themselves in position to make the move that Ernie Accorsi made for Eli Manning, only the most important move in the history of the New York Giants. When they did move up, they moved up for Sanchez, because Woody and Rex and Mike Tannenbaum had developed man crushes on him. They looked like geniuses on that one until they didn’t. As much as former GM Terry Bradway — still a member of the front office when Russell Wilson was drafted in 2012 — the Jets watched Seattle take Wilson with the 75th pick.
Geno Smith didn’t just end his — brief —season last Sunday, he effectively ended his Jets career.
(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Now their options are Fitzpatrick, Petty, Hackenberg. Maybe one of the kids will surprise us. If they don’t, here is exactly where the Sons of Joe Willie are all this time after 1969: They are nowhere.
The World Series, the Patriots & the FBI
– The worst possible math for the Cubs coming out of Game 3 was that Indians pitchers had thrown five shutouts in this postseason, and the Cubbies had BEEN shut out four times in their last eight games.
I really do think Terry Francona might have waved Andrew Miller into the game as you’re reading this.
You know the wonderful thing about baseball?
That Coco Crisp went from hitting .234 with the Oakland A’s to getting the hit he got in Game 3 at Wrigley.
This is the way it has always worked, the World Series picking a guy like Coco out of the chorus and giving him a chance to make the biggest swing of his life.
– Nobody around here likes talking about it very much, but the Patriots of Belichick and Brady continue to be the most impressive dynasty in the history of pro football.
By midseason, do you think Klay Thompson is even going to remember what it was like to be a Splash Brother?
– It is too close a call between whether I like watching Lindor play baseball, or Javier Baez.
Progressive Field, once known as The Jake, doesn’t get nearly enough love when we start rating the modern ballparks in baseball.
Of all the novelties they’ve come up with to improve the fan experience at the new Yankee Stadium— do any of them involve filling those empty seats behind home plate?
SUPERDUPER! B’way Joe Jolts Colts By 16-7 Joe Namath. Super Bowl III. Baltimore Colts vs. N.Y. Jets. Football.
– Cespedes has a perfect right to leave for more years and more money, but he still might be walking away from what is clearly the most fun baseball job he’s ever had.
Memo to Commissioner Manfred: Next time you’re going to move up the first pitch of a World Series game because of weather concern, add an extra hour if the first pitcher in the game is named Trevor (Drone Boy) Bauer.
Sean Hannity has offered to buy President Obama a one-way ticket to Kenya, which is kind of interesting in a world where most reasonable people want to buy Hannity a ticket to Mars.
Comey’s announcement on Friday is going to turn out to be the most thrilling moment since Geraldo opened Al Capone’s vault.
You know the saddest news for Knicks fans, as they’re already looking around for their next savior? That Anthony Davis signed that longterm contract with the Pelicans last year.
When you look at the size of the Giants’ wide receivers, including Odell, it makes you think that nobody at MetLife remembers how much Eli liked throwing to Plax.
Bill Parcells on the looming Dak Prescott-Tony Romo controversy in Dallas: “If it ain’t broke….”
Just when you start to believe that Rex has really got things turned around upstate, his Bills lose the kind of game they lost last Sunday to the Dolphins.
Trump didn’t just say that the investigation of Hillary’s emails is bigger than Watergate, he actually seemed to believe it.
– John Mara made a mistake with Josh Brown, but that doesn’t mean that we now have to go back and take a second look at his honorable time running the New York Giants.
Or rethink everything we’ve ever thought about his judgment and his character, and the way he’s conducted himself as the caretaker of the family business.
The Jets are still looking for a quarterback who can win it all for them the way Joe Namath did.
Somebody explain to me again why Jared Goff can’t get on the field with the Los Angeles Rams?
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they’re not exactly being coached by the second coming of Lombardi.
– I love the idea that because Joel Embiid has now played one good game, that everything Sam Hinkie did was right with the 76ers.
Apparently Gregg Popovich didn’t decide to throw in the towel after the Warriors signed Durant.
Alan Bennett’s new collection of diaries and essays, “Keeping On Keeping On,” is already in the mail.
And “Rather Be the Devil” by Ian Rankin will just be a couple of weeks behind it.
– Well, at least we found out Friday that the cat no longer had Paul Ryan’s tongue.
We couldn’t even make it past the first week of the season without the first wave of Knicks stories about the triangle offense.
By the way?
If the Flat Earth Society has a basketball team, I’m almost positive they’re running the triangle.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News