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Pre-Game Recon: Ryan Fitzpatrick Is The Weak Link In Jets Offense

Scott Salmon of our sister site, Gang Green Nation, takes some time out of his day to let us pick his brain on the surprisingly dangerous New York Jets.

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1) Ryan Fitzpatrick became somewhat of a cult hero among Texans fans in the one short year he spent with the team. Sure, he wasn't the best quarterback in the world, but man did he have heart. How are Jets fans receiving him so far?

Pretty much exactly as you’ve described. He hasn’t been particularly good, but he’s been efficient enough to win games. I think fans are starting to get a little frustrated as the team has struggled the past few weeks, but most still like him more than Geno Smith or Bryce Petty, especially on a personal level, that they want him to start. We see "Fear the Beard" shirts weekly.

2) The Jets are 5-4 and right in the thick of the wild card hunt. What odds do you give them at making the post season, and if they get there will they make it past the first round?

Two weeks ago, I would have said they should be the favorites for the first wild card spot. However, with how much the offense has struggled the past two weeks, it’s not as clear. The Buffalo Bills are pushing hard for the wild card as well, and there are a number of teams also nipping at their heels. So let me put it this way… the Jets go as far as Ryan Fitzpatrick can take them. If he continues his second half of the season slide, like he has many years before, they won’t make the playoffs and if they do, they probably won’t make it past the first round.

3) What is your assessment of Todd Bowles so far in his rookie season as a head coach?

It’s like the grown-ups are finally at the table. He’s been very good so far, and he actually seems like a head coach instead of just a glorified defensive coordinator. That said, there have been some issues with time management, but that’s to be expected at this point. Right now, there’s a lot of reason to be hopeful about Bowles.

4) What or who is Gang Green's biggest weakness on defense, if they even have one? What about the weak link on offense?

Antonio Cromartie has struggled this season, and he’s slated to start again as he returns from an injury. Demario Davis has also struggled at various points. In fact, the entire linebacking corps other than David Harris is probably the weak link on defense. Lorenzo Mauldin has been a nice surprise, but that’s about it.

As for the offense, the weak link is Fitzpatrick. Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker have been very good. Chris Ivory, when healthy, is a monster. Fitzpatrick can be efficient, but his limitations and inability to stretch the field deep make him the weak link on offense.

5) What is your prediction for this Sunday's game and why?

I think the Jets are going to come out something fierce on defense. They’re pissed off about last week’s loss to the Buffalo Bills, so I’d guess they try and make a statement with a whole lot of blitzing. Calvin Pryor is back, Antonio Cromartie is back, and the gang is nearly back at full strength. On offense, I think they’re going to continue to struggle. Fitzpatrick is supposedly back from his hand surgery, but I think they’re going to struggle to move the ball. I’ll go with 17-10, Jets.

A big thank you to Scott for stopping by. You can check out his work on all things Jets over at Gang Green Nation.

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