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Ryan Fitzpatrick or Geno Smith: Which One Should Start?

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets are not playing well. They have lost four of their last five. In their last two games, both losses, Ryan Fitzpatrick has played poorly. This has intensified calls for a quarterback change and perhaps made it a viable option for the first time all season. Should Todd Bowles make a change?

I think it is about a week too early for this discussion. Fitzpatrick has played poorly in the last two games, but he was effective up to that point. The Jets have lost four out of five, but the first three include a loss at New England where he was effective, a loss to Oakland where he barely played, and a win against Jacksonville where he did a decent job. If we are talking about a rationale for a change, it is losing two straight rather than four out of five. In that case, I am not sure it is good business to bench a guy for two bad outings after a half season of effective play.

I think this also has to do with the alternatives. Bryce Petty is not an option. The only other option would be Geno Smith. Would he have had the pocket skills to stop JJ Watt from wrecking yesterday's game? I tend to doubt it. A lot of the things that were used as excuses for his poor play during his first two NFL seasons were on display with the Jets yesterday between poor offensive line play, poor receiver play, and suspect playcalling.

I get the feeling there is a group that wants Geno Smith to play no matter what and has been waiting for any opportunity to call for his insertion into the lineup. I mean there was a vocal minority complaining about Fitzpatrick when the team was 4-1, and he was playing reasonably well. I'm not sure that is the right move for the team at this point, though. The worst thing that could happen to this team might be to bench Fitzpatrick and then have Smith come in and play really poorly. Then it looks like the coach panicked, and it's tough to see where you go from there.

I don't think it's an open and shut case. I'll understand it if the coaching staff makes a change. I'm about another loss and bad Fitzpatrick outing away from thinking a change is the right move, though. At that point, you are really going to have to think about making a big move to change things up.