KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Just call him Ryan FitzPICKtrick.
After playing one of the best games of his life against Buffalo, Ryan Fitzpatrick reverted to old, ugly habits. His six — yes, six — interceptions, four in the fourth quarter, doomed any hope of a comeback as the Jets lost, 24-3, to the Chiefs on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
It was the type of flop that rendered most players speechless in the visitors’ locker room and caused their coach to curse in front of the cameras.
“We threw interceptions, we turned it over, the entire offense — it wasn’t just Ryan, it was a bunch of people,” Todd Bowles said in his trademark calm, matter-of-fact tone. “It starts with the coaches, too. [Expletive] game plan. [Expletive] execution. [Expletive] all around.”
It was the type of inexplicable collapse that forced Brandon Marshall to sit hunched over at his locker, wearing nothing but a towel around his waist, for what seemed like an eternity. And when the star receiver finally spoke, he still seemed in a daze.
“This one hurts. It’s embarrassing,” said Marshall, who had just three catches for 27 yards. “This should sit with us for a while. This is a character-building game and next week the real team should emerge. Whatever one it is.”
This was was the perfect litmus test for a team still seeking respect and a consistent identity. But instead, the Jets proved that the only thing they’re good at is being inconsistent.
They committed eight turnovers, second-most in team history. (They had 10 against the Patriots in 1976.) It was the first time the Jets failed to score a touchdown since 2014 (a 38-3 loss against the Bills in Detroit). According to CBS, the Jets entered the game 0-62 in road games when they trailed by 14 or more at halftime.
Make that 0-63.
Fitzpatrick — who finished with an 18.2 quarterback rating — completed 20 of 44 passes for 188 yards.
But in the aftermath of this latest inexplicable, mystifying debacle, the Jets expressed nothing but confidence in their quarterback.
“Trust is the same,” Bowles said, adding that he’s sticking with Fitzpatrick as his starter. “He had a bad day at the office. Last week he had a great day at the office.”
“We still believe in Fitzy,” cornerback Darrelle Revis said.
“This is one that’s on all of us,” added Eric Decker, who had just one catch for 31 yards.
A collection of calamities dug the Jets an early hole from which they never escaped. Three first-half turnovers — a Fitzpatrick interception and fumbles by Bilal Powell and rookie return man Jalin Marshall — resulted in 17 points for the Chiefs. All the Jets could muster were three points, on a 28-yard Nick Folk field goal. But Fitzpatrick was undoubtedly their biggest liability.
For much of the game, the Jets’ offense appeared as if it had been left behind in New Jersey. And even when they had chances to mount a comeback, they proved to be their own worst enemy.
A touchdown by Chiefs running back Spencer Ware — which came with the Jets down 17-3 with 7:01 to go in the third quarter — was overturned after a review. But Fitzpatrick found a way to bungle that opportunity, too.
On first-and-goal at the Kansas City 5, safety Eric Berry swatted away his end-zone pass to Decker. And on the next play, Berry made Fitzpatrick pay by picking off a pass intended for Powell.
Fitzpatrick extinguished any glimmer of hope with four fourth-quarter interceptions — the first of which was picked off by Marcus Peters (his second of the day) with the Jets on the Chiefs’ 6. Fitzpatrick also threw a pick-6 to linebacker Derrick Johnson with 3:41 left.
“I’ll put it on me,” said Fitzpatrick, who threw for 374 yards in the Jets’ impressive 37-31 road win against the Bills on Sept. 15. “I have to forget about this one, move on and show up next week. It’s hard. It hurts for me to play that poorly, but like I said — unfortunately and fortunately — I’ve played bad before and I know how to rebound from it.”