After an offseason of haggling for more money Ryan Fitzpatrick will earn his paycheck, for this week at least, from the bench as Geno Smith will get the start against the Ravens according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
After the loss to the Cardinals Todd Bowles initially declared Fitzpatrick will remain the starter but on a conference call with reporters yesterday Bowles left the door open for a possible quarterback change, saying he will always say things will remain "status quo" to the media until he's had a chance to discuss everything with his coaching staff and Mike Maccagnan. Last night they had that meeting and the door is not only open, but Smith has been welcomed through said door with Fitzpatrick being ushered out.
After six games Fitzpatrick played one great game and five bad-to-horrific games and the coaching staff and GM (with or without influence from the owner) collectively decided that simply saying Fitzpatrick gives them "the best chance to win" won't be enough because this year's Fitzpatrick has been the biggest reason why they are 1-5.
Of course, because we are talking about Jets fans there is an immediate reaction of "no Geno, why not Bryce Petty?" But Petty only just returned to practice last week and he's only getting scout team reps, not only would Petty very obviously not give the Jets the best chance to win right now but it wouldn't be fair to Petty to throw him in right now. He's simply not ready. If Smith struggles over these next few weeks then you can expect to see Petty, but Bowles and the Jets players don't want to hear about seeing what they have in Petty, or even Christian Hackenberg, they need to start winning games now.
Fans have the luxury of not having their jobs on the line, Bowles and many players do not have that luxury. Unless the Jets win the rest of their games, or lose at most one, the playoffs are out of reach but Bowles can't afford to continue losing games at this pace otherwise his historically impatient owner will shove him through an open door out of the Jets facilities like Uncle Phil used to do to DJ Jazzy Jeff.
For now fans should be happy simply because they get to see something different. They get to see a quarterback with a strong arm that is capable of stretching the field and making all of the throws. Robby Anderson should certainly be thrilled as it's much more likely he can be productive with Smith throwing deep balls to him and Brandon Marshall can just as easily turn would be interceptions into miraculous catches with Smith throwing to him as he did with Fitzpatrick.
Smith will make his share of mistakes, there's no doubt about that, but the potential for him to do enough good things, that Fitzpatrick was simply not capable of doing, to balance out those mistakes is there. The argument for Smith has never been that he is some sort of 'savior' it was always simply, he's young with a bunch of talent, never had adequate weapons around him or an offensive coordinator who would design a game plan to his strengths. Now he does. Now if Smith fails miserably we will actually know what he is, but after 12 seasons of Fitzpatrick finally it appears everyone finally saw what he really is.
If Smith fails then fans will eventually get to see about Petty, but for now the Jets needed a change. They needed to make a switch and that switch needed to be made to the quarterback most ready to play now.
For this week at least it appears Geno Smith really does give the Jets 'the best chance to win.'
Chris Nimbley is the editor-in-chief of of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)null