In one of the most bizarre thinkpieces of the nascent 2016 NFL Season, Connor Hughes asked the question of why the New York Jets continue to go back to Ryan Fitzpatrick, after throwing nine interceptions in two games. While Fitzpatrick has thrown ten total interceptions in 154 attempts, every rookie quarterback combined has thrown two interceptions in 394 attempts. Whereas 33-year old Fitzpatrick has thrown interceptions at a rate of 6.49% this season, 25-year old Geno Smith's career rate is 4.11%. So, why aren't the Jets trying something new? According to Hughes:
To find the answer, you need to read between the lines.
The Jets see Smith every single day in practice. They see him every single day in the meeting room. They see him every single day in the film room. It has been this way the last 16 months. The coaches know more about him than any fan, reporter or armchair quarterback. They know exactly what he can bring to the field.
Yet time and time again, they continue to turn to Fitzpatrick, knowing very well his limitations under center.
They went back to Fitzpatrick a week after he tore ligaments in his thumb last season. They went back to Fitzpatrick after the Jets lost four of five games in the middle of the season. They went back to Fitzpatrick after the quarterback held out of organized team activities and minicamp.
And they're going back to him now after nine interceptions in his last eight quarters of play.
As crazy as it may seem, Fitzpatrick is still the Jets' best option at quarterback. He gives the team the best chance to win. His teammates are behind him. They want him under center.
To me, this is both lazy "journalism" and an absurd cop-out that tells me we should not just shut down GangGreenNation, but also that Hughes should be fired. Not because the thinkpiece is that bad or he is in any way a bad writer, but because, what exactly is his job if this is the case?
I get that, as Hughes noted, the Jets have not lost faith in Fitzpatrick, for whatever reason or another. But it's frankly ridiculous to imply that we should just accept their decisions unquestioningly, or that they are preternaturally right, because they see more than we do, know "exactly" what Smith can do. I didn't realize the Jets are flawless and always make perfect decisions because they know the exact limitations of their players and are "football guys." That explains putting Calvin Pryor in coverage, when he's always been an in-the-box strong safety. That explains other insane decisions, like awfully timed timeouts and bad challenges. What then is Hughes' job, to simply re-print their press releases unquestioningly because they know more about the team than he does?
I suspect there are a lot of frustrated fans out there because they feel like they're shouting into the wind and nobody is listening. It's probably true and nobody is. But condescending pieces like this do nobody any good, except for Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan's job security, other than filling your article quota for the day, and reject the only satisfying feeling when your team is unquestioningly bad; telling them that they're wrong from the comfort of your own couch. Maybe instead of just accepting the team's bad decision's because they know football better than we do, the fans should do what fans do best, and boo.