The New York Jets ended their four game losing streak with a 23-17 overtime victory against the 1-12 San Francisco 49ers in quarterback Bryce Petty’s second career start. How did the second year player perform? Where does he need to improve and what can he build on? Let’s look at the #TAPE…
The Overview: Petty finished 23/35, 237 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT with 7.3 yards per attempt. He had 19 rushing yards, a converted two point conversion on a run and was sacked 6 times for a loss of 41 yards. This was Petty’s second start, although the first week he had a full week of preparation as the starter. San Francisco has the league’s worst defense (32nd overall). They have allowed more than 40 points three times this year, more than 30 points three times and since week 1, the Jets and Cardinals are the only team to score less than 24 points against them.
Petty targeted rookie receiver and clear cut favorite target Robby Anderson 11 times, Quincy Enunwa 7 times, Brandon Marshall and Bilal Powell 5 times, Austin Seferian-Jenkins 3 times, Brandon Bostick and Charone Peake twice each.
The Problems: Petty is still showing himself to be a one read quarterback, who does not regularly work through his progressions. Too many of his throws and targets are pre-determined before the snap. On his first pass attempt of the game, it is clear the 49ers quarterback watched Petty against the Miami Dolphins throw nearly this exact same interception. He watches his eyes and easily jumps under this hitch route. Petty should have thrown the hitch to Seferian-Jenkins, who is wide open.
Later in the game, Petty should be intercepted for the second time in the first half as he fails to recognize the safety on the right side of the field. He is bailed out by an insane full extension, one handed catch by Quincy Enunwa, otherwise this is likely a pick six.
Compounded with staring down his targets, Petty still has flashes of erratic inaccuracy. Below he stares down Robby Anderson the entire way and throws high into a very tight window against a cover two shell. Nobody else who is running a route is given a chance on this play, while Bilal Powell is open for a big gain on the checkdown.
Later on a critical 3rd and 12, he locks on to Anderson again and is wildly off target on a deep route, despite having a better look to both Enunwa on a crossing route and Charone Peake up the seam.
Despite having solid arm strength, Petty is short on this deep nine route, where Enunwa has a step on the defender. This is also another pre-determined throw, where he doesn’t scan the field at all.
Despite being sacked six times, this was not a bad game for a patchwork Jets offensive line. Petty frequently held the ball for too long, choosing not to throw the ball away and utilize his checkdowns. Petty would frequently look to his first read and if not open, would pull the ball down and/or put his head down. You simply cannot hold the ball this long in the NFL.
The Positives: Petty had about as ugly as start to this game as you could imagine. However, he didn’t fully go in the tank and his play improved in the second half compared to the first half. He flashed his arm talent on a handful of routes, including this deep comeback to Anderson. The timing is perfect here on the release.
Later in the game, Petty showed nice touch dropping this pass in the bucket to Brandon Marshall against press coverage. It is encouraging to see this instead of a forced back shoulder throw, which Ryan Fitzpatrick specialized in. The GIF above and the GIF below were his two best throws of the day.
Petty was able to improvise productively outside of the pocket by giving his receivers a chance to make a play. On this 4th down, he starts out like a trainwreck, staring down his target and then foolishly looking to run, before composing himself and finding Charone Peake for the first down.
On this 3rd and long, he hangs the ball a little bit but keeps it in play where Anderson can attack it at its highest point. When you have receivers with size, you can get away with a few of these here and there. His overtime throw was substantially more risky and an equally impressive play by Anderson. Again, you can pick your spots with these plays but over time they can lead to an increased turnover rate.
Overall: Petty’s game was somewhat similar to a decent Ryan Fitzpatrick game from 2015, except for a stronger arm and Robby Anderson playing the part of Brandon Marshall. This is still a quarterback who looks more like a solid long term backup than a starter, due to his to struggles reading a defense and periodic bouts of erratic inaccuracy. However, Petty showed some playmaking ability and was able to pick himself up off the mat in the first quarter. This was a potentially very ugly start that was salvaged into a decent one.
Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com