New York Jets stick with interception-prone Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB

By Jerry Beach, The Sports Xchange  |  Oct. 4, 2016 at 2:07 AM
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets are not waving the white flag. But it sure isn't a good sign that Brandon Marshall sounds as if he's recording his own interpretation of the song "White Flag."

"I am going down in the boat with Ryan Fitzpatrick," Marshall said Sunday, shortly after Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions -- all in the fourth quarter -- in a 27-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks that dropped the Jets to 1-3. "OK? You got it? So you can not ask me any more questions about that?

"I am going down in the boat with number 14."

Marshall's words, which he delivered with plenty of dramatic pauses, might have planted Dido's 2003 hit "White Flag" -- whose chorus begins "I will go down with this ship, and I won't put my hands up and surrender" -- into the heads of his listeners.

Head coach Todd Bowles, a Gladys Knight man, didn't offer up any musical interpretations Sunday, when he said his confidence in Fitzpatrick was the same as it was at the start of the season.

He was, ahem, singing a slightly different and perhaps more foreboding tune Monday, when Bowles offered a tepid endorsement of Fitzpatrick, who has thrown nine interceptions in the last two games and a whopping 11 fourth-quarter interceptions in his last five games dating to the 2015 season finale against the Buffalo Bills.

"We'll go game by game," Bowles said. "I don't foresee any change right now."

Bowles was then asked if Fitzpatrick would be on a shorter leash when the Jets visit the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday.

"Ryan's fine," Bowles said.

He's not, but the Jets have little choice but to sink or swim with Fitzpatrick. The club exhibited its faith -- or lack thereof -- in Geno Smith by handing Fitzpatrick his job back after Fitzpatrick's six-month contract standoff with upper management that finally ended on the night before training camp.

So it's Fitzpatrick or bust.

"Based on what he did last year, and the things that they accomplished last year, going into the season from a confidence standpoint, he's our best chance to win," Bowles said Monday.

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