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Jets benching QB Ryan Fitzpatrick for Geno Smith

October 2, 2016: New York Jets Quarterback Geno Smith (7) warms up before game between the New York Jets versus the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. (Photo by Dennis Schneidler/Icon Sportswire)
Dennis Schneidler/Icon Sportswire

The New York Jets pulled QB Ryan Fitzpatrick out of their latest loss and played Geno Smith in his place. After the game, head coach Todd Bowles said that Fitzpatrick would still be the starter. He later backed off on that, saying they would have some meetings and decide for sure. Today, reports are coming out that they’re going to bench Fitzpatrick and play Smith.

Things aren’t good in New York. Fitzpatrick had a career year last season, held out for most of the offseason trying to see if anyone would pay him $18M per year, and finally took a smaller one-year deal with the Jets. He’s been fairly terrible. He threw six interceptions in one game and has a 63.4 QB rating on the year. He’s thrown almost twice as many picks as TDs – 11 to 5.

However, here’s Geno Smith coming in to replace him:

Smith has just 31 yards on the year, he’s thrown that one pick, and he doesn’t have a single TD. Yes, it’s an incredibly small sample size, but his QB rating on the year is 39.6.

The Jets do have two more options if this fails: Second-year QB Bryce Petty, out of Baylor, and rookie Christian Hackenberg, out of Penn State. Neither have significant playing time, of course, but it does seem that the Jets, with very long odds to even make the postseason, would at least be interested in finding out if either one is the future. When asked if they’d play, Bowles said:

It’s possible. I mean, we still got some stages to go before we get to that point. But it’s definitely possible. [Petty’s] still got some ways to go from his injury. Hackenberg’s been throwing the ball with a lot more confidence on the scout team, and he’s been getting some valuable experience.”

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