In the first two weeks of the season, the Jets looked dominant. The defense was playing at a high level, creating 10 takeaways through the first two games. The offense was clicking with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center. Against the Cleveland Browns and the Indianapolis Colts, the Jets combined for 51 points. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 423 yards, 4 TDs with 2 Interceptions. The run game was efficient and the Jets had a balanced attack.
This past Sunday, the struggling Eagles came into town and they got off to a quick start. The Jets had key injuries and it showed on the offensive side of the ball. Zac Stacey and Brian Powell couldn’t get it going on the ground and in the first half, it was getting ugly. All in all, the special teams gave up a punt return TD and the defense could not stop the run.
Brandon Marshall was the lone bright spot for the Jets, as he finished with 10 Rec, 109 yards and 1 TD. He had a great game, but no one was talking about that, mainly because of the bonehead attempt at a lateral that caused him to fumble the ball. Let’s just say that he wont be attempting laterals any time soon.
One thing that stuck out like a sore thumb was Ryan Fitzpatrick. The play calling wasn’t as aggressive like in the first two games and the Jets looked like they were playing it safe, especially in the first half. The defense buckled down in the second half and didn’t allow another score, making the game far more interesting. The Jets were an onside kick away from having a chance to tie the game, but they fell short. The Jets lost 24-17 to the 0-2 Eagles and probably jumpstarted their season.
After this performance, is Fitzpatrick really “the guy”?
Fitzpatrick took numerous chances down the field and it’s evident that deep throws is not his best attribute. With the plays that were being called, it seemed like the Jets were trying to avoid mistakes instead of attacking the Eagles. Fitzpatrick is a game manager that often tries to make nothing into something. In the second half, the Jets abandoned the run and threw the ball more as expected when you down big.
With all those injuries, was Gailey scaling back on the playbook?
Fitzpatrick has been successful with Chan Gailey in the past, and for the first two games this season, he looked sharp.
The real question is this; Would Geno Smith be better suited to run the offense?
Smith had an excellent camp and looked poised for a breakout season before the whole jaw incident. Everything was in his favor. Chan Gailey’s spread offense was similar to what he ran at West Virginia, the weapons on offense are more dynamic, especially at Wide Receiver, than they were his first two seasons. The Tight End position could be the exception, but I feel if given the opportunity, Jeff Cumberland can be serviceable.
Fitzpatrick is a veteran who has more game experience. Geno is in a do or die position as the third year Quarterback, he has a stronger arm and could excel in this offense. Fitzpatrick will start against the Miami Dolphins this Sunday, although his performance may determine if he remains the starter. If Fitz does struggle, I think Todd Bowles has no choice but to go with Geno. A good game in London will go a long way in keeping Fitzpatrick as the man in the huddle. I expect the Jets to get back on track against the Dolphins and improve to 3-1.
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