A 24-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs seems to have everyone around the New York Jets looking for the panic button.
A bad day at the office doesn’t begin to describe how poor Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets performed in Kansas City, the loss dropped their record to a shaky 1-2 on the season.
What word best comes to mind when describing Fitzpatrick’s day against the Chiefs. First, let me go back and look at any of the six interceptions he threw in this game.
Okay. Putrid. Yes, let’s go with putrid. Fitzpatrick was putrid.
As if that’s not enough stating the obvious, here’s one more. If the Jets are going to turn things around and get back on the winning course, it’s Fitzpatrick they’ll need to guide them through.
Head coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Chan Gailey had the best seats in the house for all six of Fitzpatrick’s interceptions.
Bowles and Gailey had to see more than enough to think about benching their starting quarterback for backup Geno Smith, they instead chose to stick with their $12 million man for every stomach-turning bad throw.
Don’t think for one second that contract, Fitzpatrick and the Jets spent all of this past offseason trying to compromise on, doesn’t play a factor in any of this.
The Jets committed to Fitzpatrick being their guy in 2016, through good and bad, when they opened their checkbook for him on the eve of training camp.
This means there’s no Plan B for the Jets when it comes to Fitzpatrick this year, Bowles and Gailey showed us as much when they left Smith on the sidelines with the clipboard in hand.
“I just think it was a bad day at the office,” said Bowles. “It was a bad day, not a bad year. It was a bad day for all of us involved. We have to get better.”
Everyone has a bad day at the office, professional athletes are not exempt to this.
Fitzpatrick, now in his 12th NFL season, has been around long enough to know the importance of having a short-term memory when it comes to the week after an awful showing.
A short-term memory is what he’ll need the most while the Jets prepare for their next opponent, the Seattle Seahawks.
Seattle, with their top-five ranked defense, features a hard-hitting and ball hawking secondary. If the Chiefs kept Fitzpatrick up on the flight home, he might have insomnia by now from thinking about Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and Earl Thomas roaming the field this Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
Two weeks ago, Fitzpatrick lit the Buffalo Bills up on national television. Then the Chiefs came along and literally picked off every good feeling which came with that performance.
Fitzpatrick’s ability to block out the critics and rise above adversity has been a key component to his longevity in the NFL. The Jets need to see Fitzpatrick show that mental toughness starting this Sunday against a Seattle team which will most likely look to rattle him early.
The fast start in the division some thought the Jets might get this season, while New England waits on Tom Brady, didn’t go as planned either. The Patriots are sitting at 3-0, they’re a week away from the suspended Brady’s return.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Jets, they’re in the midst of a brutal first part of their schedule.
Bowles acknowledged he had to have a “come-to Jesus” meeting with his team after the Chiefs’ loss. Hopefully Fitzpatrick was sitting near the front of the room for that meeting, it’s on him to get the Jets out of their early-season turbulence before it’s too late.