Look at the bright side: Ryan Fitzpatrick cut his interceptions total in half in Sunday’s 27-17 loss to the Seahawks. Unfortunately, that still meant the Jets quarterback threw three picks a week after throwing a career-high six in a 24-3 loss to the Chiefs.
All three interceptions against the Seahawks came in the fourth quarter, increasing to eight the number of picks he has thrown in the final period.
Look no further than that stat to define the Jets’ 1-3 start.
“[The 1-3 start] is obviously not somewhere we want to be, not somewhere we thought we’d be,” said Fitzpatrick, who has an NFL-high 10 interceptions. “But nobody is going to feel sorry for us, so we can’t sit here and pout about it. We’ve got to get back to work and try to focus on the next game.”
Fitzpatrick played relatively well in the first half. He didn’t turn it over and got the Jets to within 14-10.
“We had a nice drive at the end of the half, had a little bit of momentum going into halftime with that touchdown,” Fitzpatrick said, referring to his 17-yard scoring pass to Brandon Marshall, who beat single coverage from cornerback Richard Sherman. “We knew it was going to be tough, just in terms of the defense they play. To get some drives together and get some points, we just weren’t able to do that effectively in the second half.”
Fitzpatrick’s first interception came early in the fourth quarter, when he tried to hit Marshall on a sideline pattern. Sherman anticipated the pass and cut in front of Marshall to make the interception.
“We had the same route on the play before, and Brandon caught the ball,” Fitzpatrick said. “They gave us one-on-one coverage again and we went back to it and I think that Sherman made a nice play on it.”
The Seahawks converted the turnover into a touchdown to make it 24-10, as Russell Wilson hit Christine Michael for a 6-yard touchdown to cap a 61-yard drive.
Fitzpatrick’s second interception wasn’t totally his fault. He hit rookie receiver Robby Anderson on a slant route, but the ball caromed off Anderson’s hands and was intercepted by safety Earl Thomas. The Seahawks went ahead 27-10 on their next drive, with Steve Hauschka kicking a 53-yard field goal.
Fitzpatrick’s final pick — again by Sherman — came on the Jets’ final drive. Sherman again anticipated a pass intended for Marshall.
Despite the uneven performance, coach Todd Bowles has no plans to bench Fitzpatrick and go with Geno Smith. He said he has as much confidence in Fitzpatrick as he had going into the season.
Fitzpatrick isn’t bothered by the scrutiny. “It’s not anything new for me,” he said. “That’s been my whole career.”
His teammates, especially Marshall, still believe in Fitzpatrick. “I’m standing [on] this ship with him,” Marshall said. “At the end of the day, I’m going down with the ship with him.”
Asked if the Jets need to reassess their quarterback position, Marshall said: “I’m going down in the boat with Ryan Fitzpatrick, OK? You got it? So can you not ask me any more questions about that? I am. Going down. In the boat. With No. 14.”