He’s back! His hair is bushier. His beard is longer. He may have gained a few pounds but he’s ready to lead the Jets, where? Exactly where will he lead the Jets to? Right now there’s not a pundit in the NFL universe that thinks the Jets are Super Bowl bound and they’re not even sure if they can reach the playoffs. So did the Jets make the right move here?
Geno Smith is still around and now they’ve shaken his tree, again. If he’s going to prove to anybody that he’s better than Fitzpatrick then now’s the time. For now, Fitzpatrick is the #1 even though he’s an average NFL quarterback with a lot of guts.
I’ve been a Jets fan my entire life. I’ve lived through so many quarterbacks. After this year will Fitzpatrick be another bad memory? Last season ended in horrific fashion. The Bills beat them on the final game of the season, killed any hopes of a playoff appearance and 10-6 felt pretty hollow. Then the Jets and Fitzpatrick didn’t come to terms and that dragged on. It’s been a tough time for fans of Gang Green.
I’m not going to talk about the Tom Brady suspension or the Jets tough schedule through week six. What I’d like to know is how Fitzpatrick will improve upon last season, the best in his career, and yet three interceptions late in the final game has left a stain on his Jets resume so far.
At 33, Fitzpatrick is the oldest player on the team. That’s not a worry and it could be a nice change. He has a lot of targets and the defense is improved. The one thing he has to control that they couldn’t last year is they have to be better in their division. They were 3-3, the Bills were 4-2. That has to change. The Jets were 6-2 at home and 4-4 on the road. That road record has to be better.
The Jets are better with Fitzpatrick and in his second year with the team and 5th year under offensive coordinator’s offense, Chan Gailey’s offense, he should have another terrific season.
His teammates love him and the fans like him. He annoyed a lot of fans with his holdout, and that’s his right as a free agent, but now he has to win some of them back. In his first interview on the Jets website he talked about everybody but the fans. Fans tune into that especially in the New York Metropolitan area. If he loses a few games early he’s going to hear the boos. If he gets them off to a fast start all will be forgiven.
Let’s see how this goes. Considering the team won 10 games last year most are expecting 10 or 11 this year. Head coach Todd Bowles has a lot to work with and he’s going to do his best to motivate every single player. It would be nice to see the Jets in the playoffs again. Anything less than that is a disappointment. Considering the Jets aren’t a perennial playoff team that seams harsh but Fitzpatrick got a lot of money. Now he has to earn it.
photo by Lynda Wagner.