Pick­ing up pieces af­ter loss

Jets, quar­ter­back Fitz­patrick look to quickly turn the page af­ter their ugly per­for­mance in 24-3 de­feat to Kansas City

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Den­nis Waszak Jr.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. » Ryan Fitz­patrick tried to quickly move on from one of the ugli­est per­for­mances of his ca­reer.

Throw­ing six in­ter­cep­tions cer­tainly stings. It still did a day af­ter a 24-3 loss at Kansas City.

“It’s a hard day for me to come in to­day af­ter, pretty much, we lost that game be­cause of my per­for­mance,” Fitz­patrick said. “We don’t re­ally need to pin it or try to put it on any­thing else. I think that was pretty ev­i­dent.

“To walk in to­day and have to face the guys, it’s not an easy thing to do, but at the same time, I’ve got to be the same guy every day as a leader, as a player, and just come in.”

The vet­eran quar­ter­back was one of a very few play­ers in the locker room dur­ing me­dia avail­abil­ity. He shoul­dered the blame for the de­feat, as he did af­ter the game, but also in­sisted he wasn’t go­ing to dwell on it any­more.

Not when the Jets have a matchup at home with Seat­tle to pre­pare for.

“I think they’re all easy to get over when you have a game the next week com­ing up,” he said. “But it was so bad, and there were so many poor things on my part that hap­pened in that game that you want to put it be­hind you as fast as you can.”

Fitz­patrick fin­ished 20 of 44 for 188 yards and tied a fran­chise record — shared by Joe Na­math, who did it three times — with his six­pack of in­ter­cep­tions.

One of the picks was re­turned for a touch­down, and he had three red­zone throws in­ter­cepted in a span

of five passes.

“I had the two forced balls in the red area, and that can’t hap­pen,” Fitz­patrick said. “But we did some good things up front that maybe were over­shad­owed by all the turnovers.

“But ob­vi­ously the les­son from that game is you can’t turn the ball over, es­pe­cially that many times, and ex­pect to win games in the NFL.”

Fitz­patrick and the Jets (1-2) know they’ve got to turn things around quickly with the Sea­hawks com­ing to town, even with Rus­sell Wil­son’s avail­abil­ity un­cer­tain with a sprained me­dial col­lat­eral lig­a­ment in his left knee.

The com­bined record of New York’s next four op­po­nents is 8-4 — Seat­tle (21), Pitts­burgh (2-1), Ari­zona (1-2), Bal­ti­more (3-0) — so things could spi­ral quickly, long be­fore the Jets even get to their bye in Week 11.

“I think we KNOW who we are,” coach Todd Bowles said. “We just have to BE who we are.”

Things were look­ing way up for the Jets last week af­ter a 37-31 win at Buf­falo in which Fitz­patrick threw for 374 yards and was se­lected the AFC’s of­fen­sive player of the week.

That seemed so long ago af­ter the clunker in Kansas City, with some fans and me­dia won­der­ing if the Jets’ con­fi­dence in Fitz­patrick was shaken.

“It’s the NFL and I’m a pro, and I’ve played with some good quar­ter­backs and some not-so-good quar­ter­backs, and you’ve just got to move on,” said left tackle Ryan Clady, in his first sea­son with New York af­ter eight in Den­ver. “You’ve just got to move on and try to get bet­ter the next week.

“I’ve got his back, so I’ll still be out there block­ing and try­ing to make sure no­body hits him.”

Fitz­patrick didn’t ad­dress the team as a whole, but said there were “plenty of side dis­cus­sions” with dif­fer­ent play­ers try­ing to work through the loss.

“Any time you lose like that,” Bowles said, “you have to have a ‘Come-toJe­sus’ meet­ing.”

Bowles made his dis­plea­sure clear af­ter the game when he re­peat­edly used a vul­gar word to de­scribe the team’s per­for­mance. When asked what his mes­sage was to the team when it met, Bowles laughed be­fore say­ing he men­tioned ac­count­abil­ity and where the Jets need to be, and what to do to get bet­ter.

When asked what made him chuckle, Bowles gave a sly grin and said: “You don’t want to know.”

What­ever Bowles said to his play­ers made an im­pact. So much so, that Fitz­patrick thinks it’s some­thing the Jets could build on mov­ing for­ward.

“I thought the way that he de­liv­ered the mes­sage to­day was great,” the quar­ter­back said. “I thought it was some­thing that was nec­es­sary, and po­ten­tially a turn­ing point in the sea­son in terms of the fo­cus that hope­fully we come with af­ter this game.”

Clady said Bowles wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily fiery, but “very di­rect,” adding that the coach isn’t re­ally “a yeller.

“The big­gest thing with him, I think, in the locker room is he’s re­ally re­spected and his mes­sage re­ally rings true with the vet­eran guys,” Fitz­patrick said. “He’s a guy that’s played the game, that’s been through a lot of ad­verse sit­u­a­tions, as a player and coach.

“So for him be­ing able to speak from ex­pe­ri­ence on both sides of it, I think is re­ally help­ful for the play­ers to re­spect him and to lis­ten to it.”


Jets quar­ter­back Ryan Fitz­patrick, left, and Chiefs quar­ter­back Alex Smith talk af­ter New York’s loss on Sun­day.

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