Why Ryan Fitzpatrick remains Jets' better option over Geno Smith
In Sunday’s game in Oakland, we had the chance to see why many believed Ryan Fitzpatrick was actually a better option at quarterback for the Jets than Geno.
We also got to see why the Jets remain one of the most dysfunctional franchises in the game. Fitzpatrick got his chance because Geno Smith had his jaw broken in a locker room fight with a depth linebacker over $600. That’s not new news, or anything, but it’s worth digesting on its own for how ludicrous a scenario it remains.
This week, Geno Smith got a chance to take his job back when Ryan Fitzpatrick damaged ligaments in the thumb of his non-throwing hand and had to head to the bench.
I don’t mean to make light of that injury, but on the non-throwing hand, it seemed curious that it would be enough to put him out of the game for good. We all know Brett Favre would have taped it up, poured resin on it, and got right back out there. That was highlighted when Fitzpatrick did in fact return to the game after Geno Smith was knocked down late in the game.
Fitzpatrick went back out there for two snaps, delivered a nice strike to keep the offense moving, and then was called back ashore when Geno was ready to go again.
It would be a mistake to put this loss on Geno Smith. The Raiders’ offense was just too fast and too good for the Jets’ defense, and the team was in a hole early; but what we did see from Geno, as the team tried to rally, were some of the holes in his game that make it so hard to back him as the starter.
In those final minutes, he was charged with two of the dumbest sacks you’ll ever see a quarterback take. Twice, with time on the clock being the most valuable commodity the Jets had, Geno Smith dawdled with the ball in hand, and took a bad sack rather than throwing it away, stopping the clock, and avoiding the loss of yards on the play. This isn’t high level stuff we’re talking about; this is basic football IQ that’s failing him.
Smith actually made some good plays in this game, too, posting a passer rating of 104 when pressured and completing 64.3 percent of his passes overall. He hit a couple of strikes deep, but the majority of his success came on underneath passes that allowed his receivers to work after the catch.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has not been playing well overall this season, but the Jets find a way to win with him at quarterback. Some of that is down to the way in which he gives his receivers a chance to make a play (along with opposing defensive backs), but some of it is his basic understanding of what he can and can’t do in a given situation. Geno Smith might have more arm talent—and be able to make throws that Fitzpatrick can’t—but he is also still making decisions that would get a high school quarterback benched at times.
This loss isn’t totally on him, but he still took the opportunity to reinforce the idea that Ryan Fitzpatrick is a better option for the team at quarterback than he is right now.