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Bryce Will Battle, But Things Could Get Uglier for Jets

Bryce Will Battle, But Things Could Get Uglier for Jets USA Today Sports
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Rest in peace, New York Jets. Could things get worse? Maybe, but it’s hard to imagine how.

The Jets were dominated on Sunday by one of this year’s worst teams, the Denver Broncos. They were shut out for the first time since 2014, and lost their cherished veteran quarterback to injury. Now, with three games remaining, the Jets will roll with third year quarterback Bryce Petty, who has yet to make his mark in the NFL.

Uh Oh

Petty will be the next man up for the Jets, who fly down to New Orleans next week to take on the surging Saints. The pressure will be on for the young quarterback, who has been less than impressive in his short career.

Career wise, Petty has thrown three touchdowns and seven interceptions. He’s been criticized on his nervous action in the pocket and his inability to hit open targets. But now, he gets the chance to prove his worth.

In college, Petty was a different player. He saw the field in all four of his years at Baylor and topped his senior year off with an impressive 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

His transition to the NFL has not been smooth, however. The New York market is a tough one to play in, you can give him that, but he’s been too fragile so far. And while some of that falls on the Jets horrendous offensive line, they can’t take all the blame. Josh McCown was able to make things happen despite the poor protection, but things will likely continue to be different for Petty.

Don’t Be Petty, But Petty Ain’t Pretty

It’s hard to rag on this guy too much. He’s been thrust into the spotlight with minimal confidence, and hasn’t really seen the field all that much. But Petty hasn’t proven he’s worthy of that. His play-style makes him an easy out, and his development has been stagnant. While we haven’t seen too much of him yet this year, his recent play against Denver only furthers the notion that things could get ugly in New York.

Where do we begin? He looks unprepared, like he doesn’t know the offense. In the above video, he misses a wide open Jermaine Kearse…badly. On the day he finished 2-9 for 14 yards. He had ample opportunity to get the Jets back in the game, but couldn’t salvage anything.

Prior to that game, the last time Petty saw the field was in the preseason. Back then he played decent, and was making his case for the starting job among McCown and Christian Hackenberg. An injury put his hopes on hold however, and McCown took the reigns and ran with them.

Petty even had his chance before all of that, dating back to 2016 where he played in six total games for the Jets. He disappointed with the variety of weapons around him including Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.

What’s His Deal?

Well, when looking at the way Petty attacks the game, it’s quite obvious he isn’t entirely ready to be a starting quarterback. A negative trend in his play-style is his accuracy, as you may have seen above.

He tends to let the ball free-fall from his hands. He certainly has the arm strength to sling it, but he struggles to hit the mark, especially under pressure. This was something McCown excelled at despite a poor offensive line, and it will continue to be a hardship for Petty as he attempts to redeem himself.

A lot of that also stems from his footwork. It needs to be refined. A lot of Petty’s throws seem rushed, and therefore off target. He needs to limit his movement in the pocket and avoid dancing around. Doing so either results in a poor pass, or a big hit by the opposing defense.

Off of that note, Petty needs to take his time and scan the field. Just watch him when the ball is snapped. He peddles backwards and throws the ball almost immediately. In many occasions, there is a smarter option than where Petty decides to go with the ball. As bad as the offensive line has been, he needs to trust them and simmer his fears of being hit (yes, he’s taken plenty of big hits).

More likely than not, it’s a maturity issue. As said before, Petty is still in the development stage and could have plenty of untapped potential. That certainly resonates with the Jets, who have continued to give Petty a shot by leaving him on the roster. Come 2018, there’s a solid chance he’ll still be around. They believe his issues can be corrected.

As of now however, Petty returns to the field at a dark time. The Jets have certainly exceeded season expectations, but they are imploding when things matter most. It will be his job to lose going forward, and the upcoming Saints will be the ultimate challenge in his hopes to retain it.

– Kyle Hirshkind is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Jets and covers the New York Jets. Like and follow on

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