The New York Jets don’t have a Ryan Fitzpatrick problem. They have an everything problem, but all eyes will be on Todd Bowles to see how he handles his quarterback situation in the coming weeks. For now, he’s sticking with Fitzpatrick. The coach made that clear Monday night after an ugly 28-3 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
“Fitz will be back next week,” said Bowles, claiming his decision to insert Geno Smith in the fourth quarter was strictly a mop-up move.
Fitzpatrick doesn’t deserve another shot based on his recent performances, but it’s the right call. Give him one last chance. The season is over, so what difference does it make? It’s too soon to play the kids, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, so let Fitzpatrick start against the Baltimore Ravens on a short leash.
“It definitely wasn’t Fitz’s fault,” Bowles said.
The Jets, losers of four straight, have become a dumpster fire. They’ve been outscored 110-36 in the past four games, having managed only three touchdowns in that span — and one of them was a fluke fumble recovery. They were an absolute mess in this game, committing 10 penalties and managing only two of 13 third-down conversions.
Bold words, indeed.
Second, as I’ve written before, penalty frequency can vary widely among NFL officiating crews. As it turns out, the Jets and Cardinals drew the league’s most flag-happy crew Monday night. Referee Jerome Boger entered Monday night leading the NFL in penalties per game, at 20.2. Let’s just say he matched his profile.
As the ESPN Stats & Information chart shows, there is a 70 percent disparity between the most and least frequent flag-throwers in the NFL. Referee Walt Coleman’s crew currently calls the fewest, at 12.2 per game.
At the top, understand that Romo has never been a great quarterback. People throw around that word — great — way too easily now. He has been a good-to-very-good quarterback for a long time, this much is true.
But he has never carried his team to a Super Bowl, never mind to a Super Bowl victory, and he has won only two playoff games since taking the job a decade ago. Two. That number is great only in Romo’s second-favorite sport, golf, when trying to navigate a perilous par-3.
In other words, Romo hasn’t earned untouchable status. He doesn’t deserve to be treated as though he’s Tom Brady, whose 22 postseason victories and four rings rightfully indemnified him against the possibility that Jimmy Garoppolo might go on the kind of ungodly tear during Brady’s suspension that inspired fans and commentators to start asking questions.