New York Jets: Is it time for Geno Smith to be the starting quarterback?


Buffalo Bills fans know the feeling all too well. Having seen Ryan Fitzpatrick play for them for years, they know what he can do, and what he can’t. He’s a semi-decent starting quarterback, but definitely not one who you should count on to get you to the Super Bowl or build a dynasty around.

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There’s a reason he has been shipped around from team to team (six to be exact).  He is only 35-56-1 as a starter, and has his limitations. Yet despite this, he was named the starting quarterback for the New York Jets to start the season when previous starting quarterback, Geno Smith, went down with a jaw injury in the preseason.

For the first two weeks of the season Fitzpatrick played great football and many were speculating whether or not Geno Smith would ever regain his starting spot on the team. Why break away from something that’s working so well? Head Coach Todd Bowles agreed and erased all doubts after Week Two’s 20-7 win against the Indianapolis Colts that the jobs was Ryan’s: at least for now.’s Dom Cosentino reported that Bowles stated in a conference call with reporters, the day after Monday Night’s win, that “Ryan’s our starting quarterback right now. We’re doing good. We have good chemistry going and everything else. Geno understands that. As we go, Ryan’s our quarterback, and we’ll go forward from there.”

Then of course Week Three came against the Philadelphia Eagles and Fitzpatrick struggled. He was 35-for-58 for 283 passing yards, 3INTS and 2TD’s. The running game for the Jets didn’t help him out much either as they were without top-option Chris Ivory who was active but didn’t play with a quadriceps injury.

“We’re doing good. We have good chemistry going and everything else. Geno understands that. As we go, Ryan’s our quarterback, and we’ll go forward from there.” – Coach Todd Bowles

As always, sports media blew things way out of proportion and vented their frustration and called for Fitzpatrick’s demotion, but deservedly so. For once, the media may have been right to call him out, because he really did not play well, and the defense did not help support him in any way until it was too late, leading to a 24-17 loss at home.

However, does this really mean it’s time for Geno Smith? I think that’s a bit too far to reach. It was only one game and probably was just a fluke or one of his off days. Every quarterback has them. Additionally, the Eagles played well for the first time all season. Now, I’m not making excuses for him, just pointing out that sometimes it’s not always the player’s fault for a bad performance. Sometimes one player can’t carry a team all by himself, and as we’ve seen in the past, that is clearly the case for Fitzpatrick.

We all know Ryan is limited, but how does his limitations on the field compare to Geno Smith statistically? Take a look at these statistics:

Just looking at those stats, it’s hard not to back Bowles’ decision to start Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick based on these statistics technically would have less turnovers long-term than Smith, as well as a higher completion percentage, and more touchdowns. Fitzpatrick may not be a great quarterback overall, and his track record shows that, but he doesn’t turn the ball over nearly as often as Smith, and throws a heck of a lot better and accurately based on these stats with the Jets.

In other words, expect the New York Jets to stick with Fitzpatrick for the foreseeable future. Yes, the Jets front office wants to Smith to start and succeed, but I think they’ll try and first get the best out of Fitzpatrick, for as long as they can before they go back to Smith. The only real chance I see of Geno starting again this year is if Fitzpatrick has a huge slump in production, becomes a turnover machine, or gets injured. He may not be all Jets fans want him to be, but he’ll do just fine and help the Jets do quite well this year.

If you found this article interesting also check out the Fansided’s Editorial at JetsPress by Todd Gerstenhaber for another take on Ryan Fitzpatrick with the Jets.

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