Coach Todd Bowles is not ready to throw in the towel on the 2016 season following the New York Jets’ hard-fought Week 12 loss to the New England Patriots.
Bowles announced Monday that veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick will remain the starting quarterback for next Monday night’s game versus the Indianapolis Colts.
Fitzpatrick made a series of big throws to Quincy Enunwa and Brandon Marshall on Sunday, but fumbled on the Jets’ final offensive possession, short-circuiting a chance to lead the winning scoring drive. Ill-timed turnovers have haunted Fitzpatrick throughout the past two months.
“I’ll evaluate everything this week going forward,” Bowles said after the game. “I’m not going to make a decision today, or a rash decision one way or another.”
After watching the game film, Bowles was impressed enough with Fitzpatrick’s performance to tell reporters there was “no debate” about his Week 13 quarterback.
While a portion of the fan base has been clamoring for a chance to audition 2015 fourth-round pick Bryce Petty for next season, Bowles has been steadfast in his belief that Fitzpatrick gives his team the “best chance to win.”
It’s hard to argue with that stance. Bowles has to prevent a veteran locker room from checking out, a viable concern if the offense is turned over to a raw second-year signal-caller with a disturbing penchant for checking down and not progressing through his reads in his first career start versus the Los Angeles Rams.
Petty isn’t Jared Goff. The Jets didn’t surrender a treasure chest of draft picks to secure his services as the face of the franchise. The history of fourth-round quarterbacks suggests he’s a developmental project who might someday emerge as a capable backup.
If Bowles wants to experiment with the offense, he can audition Petty in late December — when the page is naturally turning to 2017.