It’s Geno Smith time in New York. The Jets are planning to start Smith and bench Ryan Fitzpatrick, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
Jets head coach Todd Bowles pulled Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter of the team’s 28-3 loss to the Cardinals on Monday, but he gave the veteran quarterback a vote of confidence after the game. However, he was far less definitive when discussing the QB situation yesterday. Last night, Jets coaches huddled up and decided that Smith is the better choice for their team at this time.
Smith, a 2013 second-round pick, has been largely ineffective throughout his NFL career. Last season, Smith was hoping to prove his doubters wrong but never got the opportunity after he had his jaw broken in a now infamous locker room skirmish. Smith’s mid-season promotion will likely be his last chance to take the reins in New York.
On Monday, Smith was brought off the bench late in the game and completed 4 of 6 passes for 31 yards and an interception. In 32 games (29 starts), the West Virginia product has tossed 36 picks against 27 touchdowns. Needless to say, he’ll have to do much better than that to keep the starting job.
Fitzpatrick was embroiled in a high-profile contract standoff with the Jets this offseason. Initially, the Harvard product demanded to be paid in line with his 2015 performance on a multi-year deal. Skeptical of whether the career journeyman could deliver again, the Jets insisted on a mid-range deal that would allow them to bail after just one season. The two sides eventually landed closer to Fitzpatrick’s side, but the Jets must be grateful that they did not give into his demands or public pressure.
Through six games, Fitzpatrick is pretty much at the bottom of the NFL in most notable passing categories, including last-place rankings in interceptions (11) and QB rating (63.4).
After getting smashed 28-3 by Arizona, Smith will now look to lead Gang Green to victory at home against the Ravens on Sunday.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.