New York Jets

Time is now for Jets to figure out what they have in QB Bryce Petty

01 September 2016: New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) shouts commands from the line of scrimmage during the Preseason National Football League game between the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)
Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire

The New York Jets are 1-5, have lost four straight games and were just held to three points offensively by the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football. Things got so ugly that head coach Todd Bowles decided to bench starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for backup Geno Smith, and in a completely shocking result (sarcasm), Smith almost immediately threw an interception. To say that the offense of the Jets is in shambles right now would be a major understatement, which is why they need to give Bryce Petty his opportunity.

Yes, Bryce Petty.

The Jets’ Week 6 loss to the Cardinals was complete with Fitzpatrick completing 16-of-31 passes for 174 yards and an interception. His quarterback rating wound up at just 55, while Smith was unable to do much better. He completed 4-of-6 passes for 31 yards, one interception, and a fumble, which the Jets fortunately recovered. Neither player looked even remotely productive on Monday, as the Jets totaled just 230 yards offensively in the brutal loss.

With the team now facing a dreaded hole and one that it seems unlikely they’re able to climb out of, the attention has shifted to what Bowles is going to do moving forward at quarterback. While he gave us the answer for Week 7 already, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it’s probably not what fans were hoping for.

Technically, there’s no way to say what fans of the Jets are actually “hoping for,” because the whole situation is one big mess. Fitzpatrick has been sporadic at best and leads the league with 11 interceptions. On the other hand, Smith has a career completion percentage of just 57.9, while throwing 27 touchdowns against 36 interceptions with eight fumbles in 32 games. The numbers are brutal, and there’s not much that makes anyone believe that Smith has just all the sudden turned a corner.

This is why Petty deserves his chance. The second-year, former fourth-round draft pick by the Jets hasn’t played a single regular-season snap, but if the season continues to go the way it has for New York, then he may be seeing his opportunity sooner than later. Because, honestly, why wouldn’t he?

Petty was a star in his final two years with the high-flying Baylor Bears offense. He threw for 4,200 yards in 2013 and 3,855 in 2014. Between the two seasons, he tossed 61 touchdowns against just 10 interceptions and his quarterback rating never dipped below 157.8. While he obviously won’t produce like that at the NFL level, it’s hard to envision him not at least being able to do as well as Fitzpatrick and Smith have.

Petty has a full regular season and two offseasons now under his belt, and should at least be awarded the opportunity to show that he’s taken in some level of knowledge, at least to where he can prove he has an NFL future at this point. Bowles may seem set on rolling with Fitzpatrick currently, but with a few very losable games on the horizon, the Jets could be looking at something like a 2-9 or 3-8 record in a few weeks. If that winds up being the case, then the call for Petty should be all-in from the fans.

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