Listen to your gut and spare yourself the pain. That’s the lesson I learned from the New York Jets 3-24 garbage loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The first interception thrown by Ryan Fitzpatrick was an omen of things to come. Something told me to look away because the Jets were headed toward catastrophe, and boy was I right.
i don’t think i can do it today. i don’t have it in me. my pressure and sugar rises, and my life matter. the #Jets won’t be the death of me
— AllSportsEverything (@ItsShanaRenee) September 25, 2016
I don’t know how I knew it, but I knew it. Perhaps it was because I enjoyed Eli Manning’s two interception fourth quarter meltdown against the Washington Redskins a little too much. Or maybe it was because the struggling Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins both won their first games of the season. Instead of just trying to keep pace with a Tom Brady-less 3-0 New England Patriots team, now the Jets would also have to worry about their two inferior AFC East foes sneaking up from behind to even things up. I knew Jets vs Chiefs would play out in a drama-filled manner, but I would’ve never predicted six interceptions by our $12 million quarterback. Never. Even for Fitz, that many interceptions is unfathomable. Shoot, for anyone! According to Bleacher Report, it’s the first time any QB has thrown six interceptions in a game since a 31-year-old Peyton Manning did it in 2007. But the fourth time in Jets franchise history. Hall of Famer Joe Namath did it three times. However, please spare me the “at least he’s in good company” line. Thank you.
It’s the circle of life with Fitzpatrick. He plays well, gets paid, and then shits the bed.
Last week when Fitz was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week, I had a feeling that things would not end well for the Jets this week. Whether it was an injury or worse — six interceptions — I was certain there was no way Fitzpatrick would deliver back-to-back outstanding performances. Why? Because that’s not the kind of consistent, reliable quarterback that he is. Everything he’s ever received has come by virtue of luck. He’s totally benefited from being in the right place at the right time. The number one guy gets injured, Fitz fills the spot and plays just well enough to earn your trust before eventually reminding you why he wasn’t the starter to begin with. It happened in Buffalo when Trent Edwards went down. Again in Tennessee when Jake Locker got injured, and Houston when he lost his starting job to Ryan Mallett but “won” it back when Mallet tore his pectoral muscle, and of course in New York when Geno Smith got punched in the jaw. Bottom line, Fitz doesn’t deserve high praise and positions of power because he can’t handle it. Big wins. Huge paydays, Player awards. The big piece of chicken. None of it. If you reward him for his efforts, I guarantee you’ll be paying it for later, in more ways than one.
So, six interceptions is what filled up Sunday’s box score. Zero touchdowns, under 200 passing yards, and SIX interceptions. I tapped out of the game after Fitzpatrick’s second interception was thrown in the third quarter. By that point, I was beyond any semblance of hope. Jalin Marshall and Bilal Powell fumbles had me on life support and Fitz turning it over in the red zone flatlined me. With plenty of time remaining in the game, I knew the Jets didn’t have what it would take to stage an epic comeback. And I was right. But still stunned as hell to read that “Fitzmagic” miraculously turned two interceptions into a total of six in less than the span of a quarter and a half; including one pick six and three red zone picks.
Bill Parcells once famously said, “There is winning and there is misery.” Well, I’d like to amend it to say: There is winning, there is misery, and there is Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Yeezus, what a nightmare?!
photo via Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire