Jets coach Todd Bowles said he plans to wait until Monday before announcing which quarterback will start Nov. 27 against the Patriots. With his team on a bye this week, he is in no hurry to make the call between the inexperienced Bryce Petty and the regressed Ryan Fitzpatrick.
With Fitzpatrick still hampered by a sprained left MCL, Petty made his first NFL start Sunday in a 9-6 loss to the Rams at MetLife Stadium. For weeks, the postseason seemed like a pipe dream for Bowles’ struggling team, and now, a 3-7 record all but eliminates it.
Bowles, however, isn’t looking toward 2017 just yet. Instead, he said he’ll base his quarterback decision on who he thinks gives the Jets the best chance to beat the Patriots (7-2).
“We’ve got a week to go,” he said Monday on a conference call. “We’re still evaluating everybody because we’ve got the bye week.”
Fitzpatrick has an NFL-leading 13 interceptions and the league’s worst quarterback rating (67.6). Petty flashed ability at times Sunday, but his interception with two minutes to go sealed the Rams’ win.
Bowles said choosing between the two will be his call — not general manager Mike Maccagnan’s or owner Woody Johnson’s.
“Once I know what I’m thinking, I’ll run it by Woody and Mike,” he said. “Not so much run it by them, but keep them abreast of everything. But we’ll make [the decision] downstairs [as a coaching staff] and I’ll talk to management and go from there.”
Bowles repeatedly has said this season that Fitzpatrick, 33, gives the Jets the best chance to win. But even though his knee is getting better, according to Bowles, it’s unclear whether he will be healthy enough to face the Patriots.
There’s also no guarantee that whomever Bowles chooses will remain the starter.
“Going forward, it all depends on the play, the health and everything else with everybody,” he said. “So it could change. But it could stay the same as well.”
Petty, 25, completed 19 of 32 passes for 163 yards and a rating of 70.2.
Asked for an assessment, Bowles said: “He was calm. He was poised. He threw a deep ball well. He understood his reads and went where he was supposed to go. He hurried up some things — that’s going to happen when a first-time starter comes out there. He missed a couple reads as well. But for the most part, he played OK.”
Bowles acknowledged “there comes a point . . . toward the end of the season” when a losing team must decide whether the focus should be on improving its record or developing young talent. “It’s always a tough decision one way or the other,” he said.
Although it seems like a foregone conclusion that Fitzpatrick won’t be back next season, Bowles didn’t rule out the possibility during his weekly appearance on “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN radio.
When Kay asked what the point would be in starting Fitzpatrick, who likely won’t be on the 2017 roster, Bowles replied: “Says you. We’ll discuss that in- house. And we’ll take care of that going forward.”