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No Point For Bowles, Jets to Start Ryan Fitzpatrick at Quarterback

Ryan Fitzpatrick (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Ryan Fitzpatrick (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)


MetLife Stadium was a ghost town Sunday afternoon in a game the New York Jets and New England Patriots were playing.

The fans in attendance did not seem to care. Jets owner Woody Johnson was looking at his smart phone during the game. There were also many empty seats at the game.

The only noise came from Patriots fans that had tickets by buying them from Jets fans. This is what happens when the Jets are playing out the season. This is what happens when Jets head coach Todd Bowles inexplicably started Ryan Fitzpatrick Sunday in the Jets’ 22-17 loss to the Patriots.

It was pointless to start Fitzpatrick against the Patriots or any game this season. He is not coming back next season. The Jets need to see what Bryce Petty can do the rest of the season, so they can determine if he is a fit as their starting quarterback entering the offseason.

Fitzpatrick’s starts mean nothing now. It does not serve the Jets good for him to start. What does winning seven or eight games do for the Jets? Other than pride, nothing.

It would be more meaningful if the Jets let Petty develop and improve each week. That’s what we call believing in the process. The process is more important than winning games this season. If Petty improves, the Jets and their fans can say there’s hope. That’s what the Jets should be searching right now.

This should not have been Bowles’ decision to start Fitzpatrick. This should have been an organization’s directive to start Petty.

Bowles started Fitzpatrick for two reasons. One, he does not think Petty is an NFL caliber quarterback. Two, he is trying to save his own job, so he feels Fitzpatrick will help him win games.

Watching Fitzpatrick’s start Sunday and Petty’s start a couple of weeks ago, there was no difference between the two. It’s more of the same. Both do well in spurts, and that’s it.

The Jets know what they have in Fitzpatrick. They don’t know what they have in Petty considering he made the first NFL start of his career two weeks ago. It makes sense to go with an unproven rather than a proven.

Fitzpatrick did a good job keeping the Jets in the game yesterday. He did not make mistakes. But he also did not do a good job engineering drives down the stretch. The Jets had no shot at beating the Patriots because he did not have it in him to come up with great drives.

This is why it was pointless to start the journeyman quarterback. If he was good enough to win games, it’s understandable why Bowles would start him. The problem is, he is not. He is playing like an average quarterback, which is a game-manager and nothing more.

Fitzpatrick is no better than Petty when anyone thinks about it. At least, Petty can grow into the job. Maybe he can pick it up. Maybe he can develop. He’s not going to learn watching Fitzpatrick play. There’s no point having him watch on the sidelines anymore. So what if Petty stinks? At least, he is getting experience.

It’s funny, Bowles says he does not want to give away jobs to anyone that does not deserve it, but he gives it to Fitzpatrick despite stinking it up this season. Fitzpatrick was great last year, but that was last year. It’s about who can win now.

In reality, the Jets don’t have any quarterback on the roster that can win now. That’s okay. This shouldn’t be about wins and losses anymore.

Having Petty start is the only reason fans would watch the Jets in what has been a season to forget. The team needs to have their fan base engaged, and he provides that. No one has any interest in watching Fitzpatrick play. It was evident in the stands in Sunday’s game against the Patriots.

The Jets have two more home games this season. They can’t have the stadium dead for those games. That’s another reason to start Petty now. He’s the people’s choice.

The Jets are on a road to nowhere right now. Winning games should not be a priority. Developing a quarterback should be.

That’s the reality of the Jets’ situation at this moment.

Next up is a Monday Night Football matchup with the Indianapolis Colts. Tickets start at $40 with MetLife Stadium parking available starting at $30. You can also find NYC parking near Penn Station for less than $20, if you’re looking to take the train out to MetLife from the city.

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