Following the New York Jets’ embarrassing 6-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, head coach Todd Bowles will have the bye week to decide whether it will be Ryan Fitzpatrick or Bryce Petty taking over the starting quarterback spot when Gang Green resumes play against the New England Patriots in Week 12.
Bryce Petty Struggles in First NFL Start
With Fitzpatrick nursing an injured knee, Bowles decided to sit the veteran out and give Petty the opportunity to make his first NFL start. Needless to say, the results made Jets fans miss the Harvard product, as the Jets couldn’t get anything going offensively in what became a punting contest.
“Fitz wasn’t completely healthy, even though he took reps in practice, Bryce took the majority of the important reps,” Bowles said. “It was good to see him out there and Fitz was just going to be used as an emergency.”
Petty completed 19-of-32 pass attempts for 163 yards and a touchdown, but his afternoon would come to a bitter end. With a golden opportunity to at least put himself in a position to tie the game, the Jets hopes of a comeback evaporated after Petty was picked off in the final moments by Rams middle linebacker Alec Ogletree.
“This one hurts; I kind of have to take this one in the chin,” Petty said in his post-game remarks. “For myself, I wanted a better outcome, but I love this game.”
Ryan Fitzpatrick Battles Bryce Petty During Jets Bye Week
With a bye week on the horizon, Bowles and his staff have some serious work to do as the starting spot will be up for grabs. After Sunday’s loss to the Rams, Bowles spoke to media members regarding Petty’s first NFL start and set the table for what should be an interesting two weeks.
“He made some good throws,” he said assessing his young signal caller’s performance. “He went through some growing pains. Just being out there for the first time, from a composure standpoint, he was fine. He just needs to clean up a few things.”
Interestingly enough, Fitzpatrick was also available after the game and, naturally, he was bombarded with questions regarding the QB situation. However, unlike in previous weeks — when he decided to vent about the organization losing faith in him — the 12th-year veteran decided to take the high road, at least publicly.
“That’s not why any of us are here in this locker room,” Fitzpatrick said when asked who should start after the Jets bye week. “We’re not thinking about anything other than winning football games. We’re here to win.”
Todd Bowles’ Tough Decision
The question now becomes: Should the Jets allow Petty to use the remaining games on the schedule to see if he can grow into the role of starter, or does Fitzpatrick still give them a better chance of winning?
For what it’s worth, Fitzpatrick went into last week’s game against the Rams not only leading the league in interceptions (13), but also with the lowest quarterback rating (67.6) and completion percentage (56.4) by any NFL starter. Is it time to give up on Fitz and start building towards the future with Petty at the forefront?
“We have a bye week, we’ll evaluate it, see how Fitz feels and I’ll watch the film on Bryce and we’ll make a determination middle of the next week,” Bowles added. “I’m trying to play the best player right now to win ballgames. If it’s Bryce, it’s Bryce, if it’s Fitz, it’s Fitz.”