Todd Bowles commits to Ryan Fitzpatrick as the Jets' starter even after benching him
It will not be Geno Smith vs. the Ravens, even though Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched Monday night
Moments after the Jets dropped to 1-5 on the season with a 28-3 loss to the Cardinals -- a game in which Fitzpatrick got benched for Geno Smith midway through the fourth quarter -- Bowles committed himself to Fitzpatrick. According to Bowles, Smith was nothing more than a "relief pitcher."
Bowles: "Smith played [the role of] a relief pitcher. Fitz will be back next week."— New York Jets (@nyjets) October 18, 2016
Bowles' reasoning for sticking with Fitzpatrick? The Jets' awful outing apparently wasn't Fitzpatrick's fault.
Bowles: "It definitely wasn't Fitz's fault. He barely had any time to throw."— New York Jets (@nyjets) October 18, 2016
The Jets' loss certainly wasn't entirely on Fitzpatrick -- he didn't let David Johnson score three touchdowns -- but he definitely didn't do anything to help his team. He went 16 of 31 for 174 yards, no touchdowns, and a pick for a 55.0 passer rating.
Smith, who took over for Fitzpatrick after that interception, didn't fare any better, but he wasn't given much of a chance. On his lone drive, he completed four of his six pass attempts for 31 yards. Of course, that drive also ended with a Fitzpatrick-esque interception.
So, Bowles only has bad options, but Smith is at least younger and he's in the final year of his contract. A summer ago, the Jets were willing to start Smith until he got punched in the locker room. Now, they're not even willing to see what he can do before his contract expires. That doesn't make any sense.
The Jets' season is over. So is Fitzpatrick's time as a viable starting quarterback. He leads the league in interceptions with 11. He'll turn 34 in November. Smith likely isn't the long-term answer in New York either, but the Jets should make absolutely sure that's the case before the end of the season. At the very least, start Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg. Do something different!
At this point, the Jets can only blame themselves for their awful season. They keep losing for the same reasons and they're unwilling to make a change. That's not bad luck -- that's the sign of a truly bad team.
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