Mar­shall says Jets stick­ing by Fitz­patrick

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Den­nis Waszak Jr. The As­so­ci­ated Press

Bran­don Mar­shall was down­right frus­trated — by another tough loss and in­creas­ing ques­tions about his strug­gling quar­ter­back.

Ryan Fitz­patrick threw three more in­ter­cep­tions, giv­ing him nine in the last two games, and the New York Jets couldn’t get much go­ing on of­fense in a 27-17 loss to the Seat­tle Sea­hawks on Sun­day.

“I am shocked,” a de­jected Mar­shall said. “I ex­pect more out of our of­fense. Ev­ery year is dif­fer­ent. It’s a lit­tle de­flat­ing, man. You think you’re re­ally close and right when you think it’s go­ing to be easy, whether in sport or life, you get slapped in the face and hum­bled. It’s dis­ap­point­ing, but that’s just the story of life. It’s never easy.

“This is hard, foot­ball is hard. It’s not for the weary.”

With all the turnovers the past few weeks, it’s easy to point fin­gers at the quar­ter­back first.

Mar­shall, how­ever, in­sisted that his con­fi­dence in Fitz­patrick has not wa­vered, even with the Jets 1-3 and star­ing at the sea­son pos­si­bly spi­ral­ing with road games up next against Pitts­burgh and Ari­zona.

“I’m stand­ing in the ship with him,” Mar­shall said of Fitz­patrick. “Ob­vi­ously, right now, we’re all look­ing each other in the eyes and hold­ing each other ac­count­able and push­ing each other. At the end of the day, I’m go­ing down with the ship with him. I don’t like how any of us are play­ing. Him, my­self, all the starters.

yards and his first touch­down of the sea­son , bris­tled when he was asked if the Jets need to as­sess the quar­ter­back spot. New York also has former starter Geno Smith on the ros­ter, along with 2015 fourth-rounder Bryce Petty, who’s re­cov­er­ing from a shoul­der in­jury, and Chris­tian Hack­en­berg, the Jets’ sec­ond-rounder this year.

“I am. Go­ing down. In a boat. With Ryan Fitz­patrick. OK? You got it?” said Mar­shall, mea­sur­ing his words. “So can you not ask me any more ques­tions about that? I am. Go­ing down. In a boat. With No. 14.”

Fitz­patrick was re­signed just be­fore train­ing camp opened in July to a one-year, $12 mil­lion deal af­ter a con­tract stale­mate be­tween the quar­ter­back and the team dragged for months.

While he threw 31 touch­down passes to set a fran­chise record last sea­son, crit­ics of Fitz­patrick also pointed to his up-and-down ten­den­cies — and the fact he has never made it to the post­sea­son in his 11-plus NFL sea­sons.

He and the Jets’ of­fense will need to get bet­ter in a hurry if they have any plans on play­ing in the play­offs this sea­son.

“I’m still con­fi­dent in our guys, and I’m still con­fi­dent in our of­fense and the things that we can do,” Fitz­patrick said. “We just didn’t put it to­gether in the sec­ond half, and that was un­for­tu­nate be­cause we did have a lit­tle bit of mo­men­tum in the first half.”

The Jets trailed 14-10 af­ter two quar­ters, helped by Fitz­patrick’s 17-yard TD toss to Mar­shall with 13 sec­onds left. They had 229 yards of to­tal of­fense at half­time, but gained just 76 the rest of the game.

“I think we’re out of sync right now,” said Matt Forte, who was held to just 27 yards on 14 car­ries. “We’re not re­ally hit­ting on all cylin­ders, so to speak.”

Fitz­patrick threw three fourth-quar­ter in­ter­cep­tions against the Sea­hawks. The sec­ond came on a throw in­tended for Robby An­der­son that was picked off by Earl Thomas and led to a 53-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka that put Seat­tle up 27-10.

On the next drive, Fitz­patrick was sacked by Cliff Avril and fum­bled, but rookie wide re­ceiver Charone Peake picked up the ball and ran it in for a 42-yard touch­down on a fluke play that cut the Jets’ deficit to 27-17.

New York got the ball back with 1:41 and had a chance to get closer, but the come­back at­tempt was short-cir­cuited when Fitz­patrick’s deep pass in­tended for Mar­shall was in­ter­cepted by Richard Sher­man, who had two on the day.

“I don’t worry about ques­tions about his play,” Bowles said of Fitz­patrick. “I just worry about turnovers. He knows he can’t have turnovers. Some of them are un­for­tu­nate and not the quar­ter­back’s fault, but nev­er­the­less, the quar­ter­back runs the of­fense, so he can’t turn the ball over.”

Then, Bowles was asked about his con­fi­dence level in Fitz­patrick.

“No dif­fer­ent,” the coach said, “than when the sea­son started.”

PHOTOS BY BILL KOSTROUN — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Seat­tle Sea­hawks de­fen­sive end Cas­sius Marsh (91) hits New York Jets’ Ryan Fitz­patrick (14) dur­ing the first half of an NFL foot­ball game Sun­day in East Ruther­ford, N.J.

New York Jets quar­ter­back Ryan Fitz­patrick (14) is tack­led by Seat­tle Sea­hawks’ K.J. Wright (50) dur­ing the first half of an NFL foot­ball game Sun­day in East Ruther­ford, N.J.

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