Bryce Petty had his second chance to prove he belongs as part of the Jets’ quarterback rotation in 2018 and . . . well, things didn’t go as well as he would have liked.
With Josh McCown out for the season with a fractured left hand, Petty followed up a serviceable outing against the Saints with a mostly miserable one against the Chargers on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. He completed 15 of 28 passes for 119 yards, no touchdowns and an interception and was sacked three times in a 14-7 loss that dropped the Jets to 5-10.
The Jets’ only touchdown came on Bilal Powell’s 57-yard run, part of a 19-carry, 145-yard performance from the running back.
“It’s frustrating, it’s really frustrating,” said Petty, who is in his third year with the Jets. “I think that mentally, I know exactly where I want to go with the ball, and it’s just my feet are not as relaxed as my mind, if that makes sense. I know exactly where I want to go with the ball, I’m seeing things, and my feet are just a little bit rushed, so it’s causing me to be a step too much or a step too late, whatever the case.”
Petty’s bottom line: “This team deserves better, this offense deserves better, and I know I can make those plays.”
He is expected to get one more chance — perhaps a final chance — to state his case for the future when the Jets conclude their season next Sunday against the Patriots in Foxborough.
“It’s so much fun, and I think that’s the hardest part right now, just because I want to be successful and productive for this team and for these guys,” Petty said. “I love these guys to death, and they work their butt off and have ever since the offseason. We’re going to get there. I promise you one thing — I’m going to work my butt off to put this offense in the best chance to be successful.”
Despite his missteps through most of the game, Petty had a chance to bring the Jets back in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. He drove the Jets from their 30 to a first down at the Chargers’ 20, but they picked up only three yards on the next four plays. He threw incomplete to tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins on third down and misfired on a pass in the end zone to Robby Anderson on fourth down.
“We had practiced that play, and I knew exactly where I wanted to go with the ball,” Petty said of his pass to Anderson. “Again, my feet got sped up, and I left the ball inside, and that was the one thing that coaches told me was to not leave it inside. I saw the look exactly what I wanted to see, and I have to execute that throw — no ifs, ands or buts about it. Robby ran a great route. The offensive line did a great job protecting. I just have to hit the throw.”
Coach Todd Bowles said he anticipates that Petty — and not 2016 second-round pick Christian Hackenberg — will start against the Patriots.
“It’s their call, so I’m excited to have the opportunity to learn, and it means a lot,” Petty said. “It’s about getting back in there and showing those guys — head up, chest up — we’re going to come back and go fight for you.”