Before we turn our attention to the upcoming matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, we take one last look at the Jets and their week 4 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Everyone always likes Leftovers, right? Let’s dive right in…
I can continue to talk about Ryan Fitzpatrick and, if you follow me on Twitter, you know I’ve made my feelings clear. He isn’t a good QB, he isn’t even an average QB. He is a below average QB that was playing in a system that works towards the few things he does well and he was playing with the best receiving duo in the league. He was also playing with an opportunistic defense that forced turnovers at a historic rate during the early part of the season.
This year, he is sputtering behind arguably more talent up front, behind, and around him. The WR depth on this team is staggering, the emergence of Quincy Enunwa at TE/WR was borderline unpredictable, and Ryan Clady has been a huge upgrade over D’Brickashaw Ferguson. I know you have followed Joe’s points about how the issue with Fitzpatrick is the points he is leaving on the board more so than the interceptions. I’m here to tell you that my issue with Fitzpatrick is the interceptions. Precisely the 6 against Kansas City, the 3 against Seattle, and the one against the Bengals.
Turnovers led to the defense having to defend the short field and, for a defense that is so susceptible this year to the big play, this just leads to a Bombs Over Baghdad type of scenario where teams are taking advantage of constant miscommunication. For some context, here are last year’s first quarter defensive stats versus his year’s:
18/32, 231, 1 TD, 1 INT, 3 sacks (3:20)
21/37, 244 YDs, 1 TD, 3 INT, 0 sacks, -3:30
14/28, 118 YDs, 1 TD, 0 INT, 1 sack, -3:37
19/44, 198 YDs, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 3 sacks -15:00
72/141 (51%), 791, 10.98 YPC, 5 TDs, 6 INTs, 7 sacks, on field 22 less minutes
23/30, 366, 1 TD, 1 INT, 7 sacks, -8:46
18/30, 297, 3 TD, 1 INT, 0 sacks, -19:38
25/33, 237, 1 TD, 0 INT, 2 sacks, 4:10
23/32, 309, 3 TD, 0 INT, 2 sacks, 1:35
89/125 (71%), 1209, 13.58/completion, 8 TDs, 2 INTs, 11 sacks, on field 22 less minutes
At first glance, you’re going to think that the time of possession doesn’t matter until you realize that the Jets were in position to win the Cincinnati game and that’s a game they dominated time of possession wise. The games they have been blown out in, the defense has been on the field for too many drives because the QB hasn’t executed properly. Ironically enough, his best game started out terribly as he fumbled 4 times on the first drive and was fortunate to recover all of them. I get it’s easy to blame the defense, and they are not blameless, but the defense has kept the Jets in each game. The offense just continues to struggle, and it has to do with the QB.
Also, and it’s kind of insane that I need to say this but just because I’m clearly not confused over who Fitzpatrick is and has always been and because I want to see how Geno Smith looked with the talent that was acquired to play with him and elevate him does not mean I am anti-Fitz or Pro-Geno. I don’t blindly support everything this team does, and I can call out a player for stinking it up like Fitz, Revis, Pryor, Gilchrist, and Harris have so far. It’s okay to do that even if they’re your favorite team because I also have a responsibility to you, the people who read what we write, to be objective. With that said, I didn’t like Fitzpatrick when he was anywhere else and I’m not going to suddenly like him because he plays for my favorite team.
The aforementioned Enunwa continues to flash, and it’s been great to see. Ditto for Clady and Brian Winters, and Leonard Williams may now be the best defensive lineman on the Jets 4 games into his second year. The money players on this team need to step up, and Todd Bowles needs to figure out what kind of coach he wants to be and fast because the season teeters on the brink and we’re not even to Halloween yet. Bowles has done some really good things, and he’s shown an ability to develop young players into contributors faster than expected. He is also been able to handle crises in an appropriate manner, and he’s turned the Jets into a disciplined team that doesn’t normally hurt themselves with penalties. He has to get better at clock management and game management though, because mistakes you make that still allow you to beat the Browns won’t get you victories against the Steelers. I have hope that he’ll turn it around, and I think it starts this Sunday.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com