Ryan Fitzpatrick’s small legacy with the Jets

Via the Associated Press

What a difference a year makes for the Jets. At this time last year, many fans just wanted them to resign Ryan Fitzpatrick, who surprisingly led the Jets just 1 win shy of a playoff berth, leading the team to a 10-6 record. The team was full of older players including Brandon Marshall and Darrelle Revis, and the feeling was to resign Fitzpatrick with the hopes of making a deep playoff run in 2016.

During the 2015 season, Ryan Fitzpatrick set the Jets single season record for touchdown passes in a season (31), so it seemed critical for the team to resign him. The Jets realistically have not had a consistent franchise quarterback since Joe Namath. The hope with Ryan Fitzpatrick was that he would win games with dangerous weapons around him and a tough defense. Well, 2016 was nothing but a disaster for the team, and to conclude, Ryan Fitzpatrick is now a backup quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers here in 2017.

But, 2015 was just another tease for Jets fans. A year where there was little expectations, but the results were off the charts to the passionate fan. Geno Smith was supposed to be the 2015 starting quarterback, but that fell apart when IK Enemkpali, a teammate to Smith, punched him in the face and broke his jaw. In comes a career journeymen who has always been that bridge quarterback. Never the guy that a team felt would be their longterm answer, but a guy who could win a game if needed. So, Jets fans had low hopes.

Move forward to December 27th, 2016. The Jets were taking on the Patriots, who always seem to be in the way. At the time, the Jets were 9-5, and in contention for a Wild Card spot, surprisingly to many Jets fans. A battle back and forth, the game went to overtime with the score tied 20-20. After the Patriots decided to defer and let the Jets receive for whatever reason, the Jets would get the ball first. That’s all Ryan Fitzpatrick needed. The drive got going when Fitzpatrick hit Quincy Enunwa for a 48 yard reception. After, a 20 yard reception by Brandon Marshall, Fitzpatrick hit Eric Decker in the endzone for the game winner. The Meadowlands (which I happened to be at that day), was rocking. As that happened, the Pittsburgh Steelers had lost to the Baltimore Ravens, which meant the Jets passed them for the final wild card spot. It was arguably Ryan Fitzpatrick’s best and most clutch game as a Jet, and maybe his career. He finished with 296 yards passing and 3 touchdown passes, a signature win what Jet fans would hope to be a memorable year.

The team then went into Buffalo to face the Bills led by former head coach Rex Ryan, in a win and they’re in game. The Jets were riding a 5 game win streak, but in typical Jets fashion, they laid an egg, and lost the game 22-17. The Steelers won their game, and passed the Jets for the final wild card spot. A frustrating end to what could have been one of the most surprising and exciting Jets seasons of all time.

Many Jets fans will remember 2016 for how poorly Ryan Fitzpatrick preformed. A disappointing season, the team is now in total rebuild mode, and is in contention to get the number 1 overall pick when all is said and done in 2017. People are writing the team off now, and the season hasn’t even started yet. But, the Ryan Fitzpatrick era shows why every season takes on a toll of it’s own. In 2015, the Jets were riding high. But, after a disastrous week 17 loss, the team has toppled down ever since. At the end of the day, Ryan Fitzpatrick is engraved in the Jets’ record books; with the most touchdown passes in a single season for the team. Two years later, and he is no longer a member of the Jets. Fingers have been pointed everywhere, but it’s just another chapter in the story of the New York Jets. What will the next chapter be?

All stats via NFL.com.

What the Jets are looking at for 2017

The 2016 season for the New York Jets was a complete failure. The team finished the season with a record of 5-11, and never got going after a 1-5 start. After falling just short of the playoffs in 2015 with a 10-6 record, the expectations appeared clear that this team was all in to make it to the playoffs and eventually make a run to the Super Bowl. The season was a train wreck. It all started when the team resigned Ryan Fitzpatrick to a 1 year deal, after setting Jets quarterback records in 2015. After a solid 2015 season, the team wanted to have a similar look for 2016. Fitzpatrick played in 14 games, throwing 12 touchdown passes for 2,710 yards, with 17 interceptions. The team gave Geno Smith a shot, however he tore his ACL, which was likely his last game as a Jet. They then gave 2nd year quarterback Bryce Petty a shot. He showed sparks, but the team was no help by the later point in the season.

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Via the New York Daily News

The Jets have a lot of holes on their team. The first position to address is quarterback, a position that seems like the Jets are looking for every season. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a free agent as is Geno Smith. Expect the 2 of them to go elsewhere because they simply are not the answer. The Jets will be left with Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Neither have been given a clean shot, however it’s hard to tell if either will be that franchise quarterback the Jets are looking for. With players that are up there in age like Darrelle Revis, Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, and Matt Forte, they may not approve of a total rebuild unless they are traded. I don’t think the Jets starting quarterback for 2017 is on the roster. One option the team can look at is Tyrod Taylor. His time with the Buffalo Bills could very well be over, and if that’s the case he could be a solid fit for the Jets. A quarterback with great speed, he’d have playmakers around him with the Jets, allowing him to be successful. He also does not turn the ball over a lot, throwing only 6 interceptions in 2016. The Jets might have to look for a trade to acquire him, but it could be worth it.

tyrod
Via the Associated Press

Another more risky route the team could go would be to make a trade for Tony Romo. If Dak Prescott has success for the Cowboys in the playoffs after a 13 win regular season, Romo may look to be a starting quarterback for another team. He’s under contract, so it’d have to be via a trade to acquire him. He’s risky, especially with injuries holding him back throughout his career. He is also up there in age, but the Jets still have a lot of veterans on the team. I’m sure guys like Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker would love to have Romo as their quarterback, but it will depend what the Cowboys are looking for in the offseason.

romo
Via Getty Images

Another quarterback the Jets should look into is Kirk Cousins. He is set to be a free agent, and has put up phenomenal numbers the past 2 seasons for the Washington Redskins. It seems logical for the Redskins to bring him back for 2017, but who knows if they will want to pay him the big bucks, especially after falling short of the playoffs in 2016. He’s still very young, with a lot of upside. If given the opportunity, the Jets should bring him in. In my opinion, he has the potential to be a top 5 quarterback in the league. Will the Jets take a chance on him? I don’t see it, but I’m sure fans would love to have him.

Kirk Cousins
Via the Associated Press

The team may also be able to find their starting quarterback for 2017 in the draft. The team has the 6th overall pick in the draft, and there are some options the team can look into. The options are not as good as past years, but maybe the team looks to draft a quarterback in 2017. In the first round, they could look at Clemson’s DeShaun Watson or North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky. Or maybe they look for Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly in the middle rounds of the draft. This being if they enter the draft, these are decent options for the Jets. However, the team may not have a win now mentality with these young quarterbacks, and that would be a sign of a complete rebuild, which can be frustrating for fans.

watson
Via Getty Images

What the Jets will do with the 6th overall pick in the draft is intriguing. The team has a lot of holes, and I expect them to go after a quarterback, offensive lineman, or a cornerback. It seems like the Jets draft a defensive player in the 1st round every year, but they are in need of some help in their secondary. The cornerback play in 2016 was atrocious, and it needs to be fixed. It seemed like they were starting different offensive lineman every week, so they may look at that position in the 1st round.

marshall-and-revis
Via the Associated Press

Rebuilding is never fun, but the Jets may look to do that in 2017. I think it all depends who their starting quarterback is. If it’s Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg, or a draft pick, the team will be in rebuild mode. If they bring in Tyrod Taylor, Tony Romo, or Kirk Cousins, the team will have playoff expectations. If they realistically think they are playoff contenders in 2017, they need to fill holes on that defense. If they move Darrelle Revis to safety, that opens up roster spots to bring in more cornerbacks. I expect more production from the defensive line in 2017. I think those 3 quarterbacks fit the team well with 2 solid running backs in Bilal Powell and Matt Forte, as well as a great receiving core in Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, and Quincy Enunwa. The team could go in 2 different directions in 2017, and personally I think neither are wrong. However, Jets fans want to win now. Super Bowl 3 was a very long time ago.

All stats via Pro-Football-Reference

Is Tony Romo a good fit for the Jets?

With the emergence of Dallas Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, some have questioned what the Cowboys will do with their original franchise quarterback, Tony Romo.

dak
Via USA Today Sports

With the best record in the NFC at 7-1, I don’t see anyway in which the Cowboys can call Tony Romo’s name at this point with the team finding such success under Prescott. The Cowboys have a lot of talent on their team, and weapons on offense such as rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot and Dez Bryant. In addition to arguably the best offensive line in football, Prescott has been a perfect fit for the Cowboys. Unless we see him start to struggle this season, I don’t see him losing the starting job any time soon.

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Via USA Today Sports

For Tony Romo, he may very well never take another snap in a Dallas Cowboys uniform. If it weren’t for injuries, Romo’s career would be looked at a lot differently. His latest injury was a compression fracture in his back that he suffered in the 2016 preseason. Since then, Dak Prescott has taken over Dallas by storm. Romo is under contract with Dallas until 2019, and his contract is not cheap. For a team like the Jets to go after him, he’d have to get his deal restructured. At age 36, it would not be worth the risk to bring him in with a heavy contract.

This could be looked at as another Brett Favre move by the Jets, but if the price is right I’d bring in Tony Romo. First, I’d like to see what Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg have, but if they do not succeed, I bring in Romo. With Ryan Fitzpatrick struggling, his Jet career is very much in jeopardy. The only way I see him in a Jet uniform in 2017 is if he goes on an improbable run to end the 2016 season, and play impeccable football. The reality is, that probably won’t happen. If the team loses this week to the Los Angeles Rams, I want to see what Bryce Petty has. That is if Fitzpatrick is healthy enough to go this Sunday.

The Jets have been searching for a franchise quarterback for years. I hope it’s Bryce Petty, but we won’t know until we see him play. If the price is right, Tony Romo should be traded for. The Jets have defensive players they are looking to trade, especially Sheldon Richardson. It all depends on how the season ends for both the Jets and Cowboys, but Tony Romo is a top 10 quarterback when healthy. He is not young, but neither are the Jets. They have some playmakers, so if we want to win now, bring in Tony Romo. If not, hopefully they finally find their franchise quarterback. Maybe, he’s on their roster, maybe he’s not.

Can Ryan Fitzpatrick be successful after his short stint on the bench?

After Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched for the Jets’ week 7 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, the Jets quickly had to call his name again after Geno Smith hurt his knee in the first half. When Fitzpatrick entered the game, the Jets were losing 13-7, but Geno Smith did not play bad at all. Fitzpatrick ended up leading the Jets to a 24-16 victory, throwing for 120 yards and a touchdown.

fitz-and-forte
Via the Associated Press

The team as a whole played a solid game against a banged up Ravens team. The defense forced turnovers, and Fitzpatrick did not turn the ball over, as a result the team was successful. They were able to establish the run with Matt Forte, and the team picked up a much needed victory.

forte2
Via USA Today Sports

After the game, there was still a question of who would start next week between Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Smith ended up tearing his ACL on that injury in the first half, ending his season and potentially his Jet career. We will never know who they would have named the starter for week 8 against the Cleveland Browns if Smith was healthy, but I think it would have been Geno Smith.

NFL: New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings
Via USA Today Sports

Well, we’re back with Ryan Fitzpatrick again. Whether you like him or not, it seems like the players like him, and he is a great leader in the locker room. He had a great 2015 season, so Jets fans have an expectation of him to at least put up similar numbers. I think he could find some success, especially with the Jets’ upcoming games against the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, and Los Angeles Rams. The team got back to the ground and pound, and that’s where Ryan Fitzpatrick will find success. I expect the same from them against the Browns. They should beat the 0-8 Browns, and get some confidence back with a 3-5 record. For now, the team has to take it 1 game at a time. On the other hand, if Fitzpatrick continues to struggle and the team lays an egg against Cleveland, look for the Jets to start Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg.

Ryan Fitzpatrick out, Geno Smith in

Tomorrow against the Baltimore Ravens, Geno Smith will start his first game with the Jets since the last game of the 2014 season. Fans are not happy with the Jets’ quarterback situation, and rightly so. Many question if the quarterback of the future is even on the roster. But I am one of the few believers that there is a slight chance that Geno Smith is that guy.

geno
Via the Associated Press

This is an audition for Geno Smith because he is in a contract year. Fans seem to think they have seen enough of him. While that is true, I would like to see him play with some of the new weapons the team has. The offense has been struggling greatly this season, but they definitely have better weapons than they did in 2014. Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, and Quincy Enunwa need to help Smith be successful. I also think the offensive line is better than 2014, which could help with Smith’s decision making.

geno-and-bmarsh
Via the Associated Press

I also see that Geno Smith has a lot of talent. He has shown to be clueless on the field many times, but hopefully he has matured. He still has a lot of upside, with a great arm and some speed on his feet. He needs to limit turnovers against the Ravens and complete balls early and often. Fans have not been kind to Smith, and will no doubt begin to boo if he throws an interception or 2 against the Ravens. The team is 1-5 right now, and Ryan Fitzpatrick has struggled. They needed to make this quarterback change whether you like it or not.

qbs
Via Getty Images

I was a big fan of Ryan Fitzpatrick, but he simply was not effective on the field. We may have seen the last of his time as the starting quarterback of the Jets. The players love him, but he did not give the team a chance to win, with expectations very high after 2015’s 10 win season. The schedule was very tough to start the season, but if you’re a good team, you have to some beat good teams.

rfitzpatrick
Via the Associated Press

As for the Jets, I’m being very positive here, but I don’t see why they can’t win their next 4 games. They play the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, and Los Angeles Rams. These games are much more winnable than the first 6. This is a stretch where the Jets will either make some noise or burry themselves. It’s a long shot for the team to make the playoffs, but for now they have to take it 1 game at a time. If Geno Smith struggles, I expect them to give Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg a shot at some point in this season. But for now, lets see what Geno Smith has before they let him walk as a free agent. They have nothing to lose.