Back to the Drawing Board for the New York Jets

The Jets do not need Ryan Fitzpatrick to be pass-happy to succeed. They can rely on a solid run game with Matt Forte and Bilal Powell.

Florham Park, N.J. - For every time New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick dropped back in the pocket against the Chiefs, Jets fans took a deeper breath. The Jets did something for the first time on Sunday they had not done since Week 16 of the 2015 regular season against the New England Patriots - throw over 40 times. When an offensive gameplan is that lopsided - typically - the results will not add up in your favor. The game was not pretty but it was also not the correct plan that should have been installed facing very good Kansas City cornerbacks. Whether you are a fan of an air attack or ground attack, the overall consensus should be - do not let Ryan Fitzpatrick become pass-happy and force the football into places it should not be going. 

Six interceptions. The reason why Ryan Fitzpatrick is a journeyman quarterback by definition is because he has not been able to sustain success and develop consistency in his play. That was the case in Kansas City. He is one of the stronger leaders in the locker room but if you cannot control certain aspects of the game, you will not be in a location very long. This does not mean Fitzpatrick cannot be successful; he just needs help. 

The help comes in the form of a fresh gameplan that can bring the Jets back to what has worked through the first three games. Aside from Week Two against the Buffalo Bills, the air attack has been widely inconsistent. The one thing that has been reliable is the strong play of Matt Forte with a touch of Bilal Powell. Remember the days of ground-and-pound? If the Jets want to rediscover consistency and give their quarterback a safety net, Chan Gailey must design a plan that will incorporate Forte and Powell more while allowing Fitzpatrick to stretch the field on certain occasions. 

It is a passing league nowadays around the NFL with quarterbacks slinging the ball across the field but since when have the Jets been conformists? The organization has always had a tendency to do things out of the ordinary and it should not change here. The Jets should have no business in throwing over 40 times in a game, especially when there are two capable running backs that have shown major signs of success this season. 

The temptation is there. New York has arguably one of the best receiving corps in the league with Brandon MarshallEric Decker and the dynamic Quincy Enunwa. Fitzpatrick should spread the field. Spread the wealth - if you will - among the receivers. But, throw with caution against the best secondaries in the game like the Chiefs and Seahawks. 

Last season - excluding the Oakland Raiders loss that Fitzpatrick left early due to injury - in games the signal caller threw under 35 times, the Jets were 5-1 with six interceptions thrown. When Fitzpatrick was forced to make over 35 pass attempts, nine interceptions were thrown, as New York was 5-4. The math is simple. When Fitzpatrick is forced to make extra passes, the odds of a turnover go up. 

Instead of relying so heavily on Fitzpatrick to make an extra play, the Jets must consider giving Forte and Powell a heavier workload. Despite Forte's age, the veteran has compiled 261 yards and three touchdowns. On top of that, the play of New York's offensive line is more evidence to why the Jets should run the ball more. With Breno Giacomini sidelined due to injury, Brent Qvale and Ben Ijalana has done an admirable job combined with Ryan CladyJames Carpenter and Nick Mangold

It will be a challenge for Todd Bowles to find the middle ground between pass and run with a quarterback who likes to chuck the ball around the field. But in 2015 - with a just as effective rushing attack - the Jets had 1,338 rushing yards with 10 touchdowns in wins and 530 yards with one touchdown in losses. 

To help Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Jets need a fresh gameplan and clean slate. That gameplan incorporates Matt Forte and Bilal Powell more.


Joe Barone is a staff writer at He can be reached on Twitter (@28JoeBarone), or via email (

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