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New York Jets stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB for another week

By Jerry Beach, The Sports Xchange
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New York Jets stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB for another week
New York Jets' Ryan Fitzpatrick runs with the football in the half against the New England Patriots in week 12 of the NFL at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on November 27, 2016. The Patriots defeated the Jets 22-17. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The Ryan Fitzpatrick Show got yet another short-term renewal on Monday afternoon.

New York Jets coach Todd Bowles offered the unsurprising news that is nonetheless guaranteed to annoy a frustrated fan base by announcing that Fitzpatrick will remain the starter for next Monday's game against the Indianapolis Colts.

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Fitzpatrick nearly led the Jets to an upset of the New England Patriots on Sunday, when he threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns in a 22-17 loss.

Even accounting for his fumble with 1:51 left in the fourth quarter -- he lost the ball during a strip sack -- it was Fitzpatrick's best game of the season and more than enough to keep him behind center even for a team going nowhere fast.

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The Jets (3-8) are assured of their fifth non-winning season in the last six years and could be officially eliminated from playoff contention as soon as this weekend.

But Bowles said he gave no consideration to benching Fitzpatrick, a 34-year-old impending free agent, for second-year quarterback Bryce Petty in order to see what the Jets might have for the future.

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"We're all trying to win every game, whether we're trying to get to 8-8 or whether we're trying to be 16-0," Bowles said. "It's not about Bryce and it's not about Fitz. It's about our team trying to win ballgames. Right now, Fitz is our starter."

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For better or worse, Bowles has been unflinching in that stance. Bowles, of course, kept Fitzpatrick's job open for him throughout the quarterback's six-month contract standoff with upper management.

Bowles finally turned to Geno Smith after Fitzpatrick threw 11 interceptions during the Jets' 1-5 start, but Fitzpatrick almost immediately got his job back when Smith suffered a season-ending knee injury in the second quarter of his first start on Oct. 23.

Bowles had another chance to move on from Fitzpatrick after he missed the game against the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 13 with a knee injury, but he turned back to Fitzpatrick after Petty directed just one touchdown drive in a 9-6 loss.

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Now, Petty must wait at least one more week to get a second chance.

"As a coach, you weigh trying to win ballgames first and there's a time and place that those guys will get a chance to play," Bowles said. "It just won't be next week."

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