Honestly, what did Ryan Fitzpatrick think was going to happen? After six games, the Jets were 1-5, losers of four straight, all by double digits and the offense, led by Fitzpatrick, failed to reach the end zone in two of those four games.
Even after Rams QB Case Keenum’s four interception performance on Sunday, Fitzpatrick is still the league leader with 11, has the lowest completion percentage among qualified quarterbacks and since the start of the 2015 season, leads all quarterbacks with 16 fourth quarter interceptions.
If Todd Bowles had decided to keep the status quo and start Fitzpatrick against the Ravens, that would have screamed insanity. The Jets’ season was spiraling out of control and something had to change, so Bowles handed over the reigns to Geno Smith, and rightly so based on how atrocious Fitzpatrick was playing.
An unforeseen situation arose with Smith injuring his knee after getting sacked late in the first half, and Fitzpatrick coming back out and leading the Jets to the team’s first win in 38 days. Then things got very interesting postgame, with Fitzpatrick making these comments.
“The biggest thing in this game, in order to last, is to have belief in yourself, because when the owner stops believing in you, the GM stops believing in you, and the coaches stop believing in you, sometimes all you have is yourself,” Fitzpatrick said. “When you get put on the bench, I think that’s the reason why. People giving up on you, and then having to see them every day, that stuff is not necessarily the easiest in the world, but it’s something that you try to deal with as mature as you can and move on. I probably play better as an underdog, pissed off, so going forward, yeah, I’ll be pissed off.”
Talk about blowing a situation way out of proportion, and that’s probably an understatement. Fitzpatrick was statistically the league’s worst quarterback after six games, and he has the audacity to come out and say ownership and management stopped believing in him??
Clearly, he’s unaware this is a results oriented business, and if you fail to perform, how can you reasonably expect for your coach to continuously trot you back out onto the field with everything smelling like roses? Furthermore, it’s not like Fitzpatrick has some amazing track record of leading teams to division titles and postseason success since he’s never even appeared in a playoff game before.
The most alarming thing Fitzpatrick said postgame was the comment he made about playing better when he’s “pissed off,” and after being benched he finally got angry.
It shouldn’t have taken hitting rock bottom for Fitzpatrick to be motivated to play well. It’s that mentality which separates the average and good players from the great ones. The great ones are able to find the self-motivation necessary to do well no matter how high or how low they get.
Fitzpatrick could not have asked for a better scenario to prop up against the Ravens and lashing out at everyone in the organization was probably not the wisest decision of the Harvard grad’s life. He should be thankful, not vengeful he got another opportunity and motivated to not blow it again.