The schedule looked to be a daunting challenge at the start of the year. It was.
The defense, the so-called “strength of the team” was supposed to dominate, instead it has featured a group of underachievers that haven’t rushed the passer and have been destroyed down the field.
Oh, and the offense that was setting franchise records in the passing game all over the place in 2015 has regressed in so many ways.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, the same quarterback who was the feel-good Cinderella story of the NFL last year turned into a pumpkin and was benched for Geno Smith last Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.
Fitzpatrick’s play was unacceptable and clearly wasn’t up to par, but his benching was clearly the case of ownership and the coaching staff looking to find a scapegoat for the team’s poor start.
Yes, Fitzpatrick had not been at his very best, but the team’s problems in the early part of the season certainly go well beyond the quarterback.
It appeared that the Jets had turned the page on Fitzpatrick. It was going to be Geno Smith’s team and his days in a Jet uniform would be numbered.
Fitzpatrick’s benching did not have my endorsement. Why? Despite everything, he’s still the Jets best quarterback on the roster.
It’s amazing how the NFL season can create some strange bedfellows.
In the first half of Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens, Geno Smith tore his ACL. It’s an unfortunate break for a quarterback who was potentially given one last chance to salvage his Jets career, but one man’s misfortune is another man’s fortune.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was called off the bench, came to the rescue, and helped lead the Jets to a come-from-behind victory for their second win of the season.
After the game, Fitzpatrick was anything but jubilant in his session with reporters, expressing that Jets ownership, management and the head coach had lost faith in him.
It’s very rare that you see a player throw his entire support staff under the bus in a press conference, but I can understand the frustration for Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Yes, he’s played poorly, but he’s right. The Jets decided to make Ryan Fitzpatrick the scapegoat for all of their problems.
Fitzpatrick mentioned this idea of being “pissed off” throughout the game, and will continue to be “pissed off” the rest of the season.
Jets fans can only hope that angry, feisty, competitive side of Ryan Fitzpatrick brings out the very best in him.
The Jets and Fitzpatrick have nothing left to lose. It’s a one-year contract, let’s see if that anger in Fitzpatrick brings out better play at the position.
The Jets may reach a point later in the season where they want to take a look at recent draft picks Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg at quarterback.
There’s nothing wrong with that mindset once you are eliminated from the postseason, however as long as the team has a slight pulse, you play the guy who gives you the best chance to win.
The quarterback who gives the Jets the best chance to win is the same guy it was at the start of the season, it’s Ryan Fitzpatrick.
One last chance, one last stand.
You can listen to me Sunday from 2 to 6 a.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 660 & 101.9 FM.
NFL Unlocks of the Week (16-9)
• Atlanta -3
• Philadelphia +4.5
• San Diego +6
• NY Jets -3
• Carolina -3