With the New York Jets trailing 28-3 against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night, head coach Todd Bowles elected to replace Ryan Fitzpatrick with Geno Smith for the remainder of the game.
Despite the move Monday night, Bowles was quick to state afterward that Fitzpatrick is still the team’s starting quarterback.
“Fitz will be back next week,” Bowles said, equating the move to Smith as that of a relief pitcher replacing a starter.
“The game was 28-3. There was eight minutes left in the game. We weren’t doing anything else. I just wanted to get (Smith) some reps.”
Monday night’s game was another mediocre showing for Fitzpatrick. He passed for just 174 yards and was intercepted by D.J. Swearinger in the end zone on a pass intended for Brandon Marshall. The interception was Fitzpatrick’s 11th of the season. He had just 15 all of last year.
“It definitely wasn’t Fitz’s fault. He barely had time to throw,” Bowles said. “Anybody we would have put back there would have had a problem.”
The Jets problems extend far beyond the quarterback position. New York rushed for just 33 yards against Arizona. A defense that was viewed as a strength of the roster entering the season is allowing over 27 points per game, which ranks 25th in the league. However, it will be almost impossible for the Jets to win games with the type of poor play Fitzpatrick has provided under center this season.