New York quar­ter­back not go­ing to let de­but loss ‘de­fine my ca­reer’

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

Bryce Petty jogged onto the field to a stand­ing ova­tion from ex­cited New York Jets fans ea­ger to see him make his first NFL start.

When it was all over, they left the sta­dium dis­ap­pointed.

Petty was in­ter­cepted by Alec Ogle­tree with just un­der two min­utes left, lift­ing the Los An­ge­les Rams to a 9-6 vic­tory over the Jets.

“I’m not go­ing to let this de­fine my ca­reer,” Petty said. “I’m not go­ing to let this de­fine me.”

Petty started in place of an in­jured Ryan Fitz­patrick, a move many fans and me­dia had been clam­or­ing for for weeks. But af­ter a solid first few drives, Petty and the Jets couldn’t get much go­ing against the Rams’ de­fense.

“I re­ally can’t wait to go back and watch film,” Petty said, “learn from this and get bet­ter from it.”

The Jets dropped to 3-7 and their play­off hopes are just about over. Their quar­ter­back sit­u­a­tion re­mains un­cer­tain, with coach Todd Bowles un­will­ing to com­mit to ei­ther Petty or Fitz­patrick as the starter for New York’s next game against New Eng­land in two weeks fol­low­ing a bye-week break.

“We’ll eval­u­ate that next week,” Bowles said. “We’ve got

the bye week to eval­u­ate that and we’ll see how Fitz feels. We’ll watch the film on Bryce and we’ll make the de­ter­mi­na­tion next week.”

Fitz­patrick was listed as questionable with a sprained left knee , suf­fered last week­end at Mi­ami. Bowles said through­out the week Fitz­patrick would re­main the starter for Sun­day’s game — as long as he was healthy enough to play. The two split first-team snaps dur­ing prac­tice all week.

“Fitz wasn’t com­pletely healthy,” Bowles said. “Al­though he took reps in prac­tice, Bryce took the ‘im­por­tant’ reps.”

Fitz­patrick was ac­tive for the game and served as Petty’s backup, while rookie Chris­tian Hack­en­berg was in­ac­tive.

“I wanted to start,” Fitz­patrick said, “but there’s a lot of things that go into the de­ci­sion.”

Fitz­patrick tried to prove to the coaches and med­i­cal staff be­fore the game that he was ready to play, but they de­ter­mined he would sit out and would play only in an emer­gency.

That put Petty un­der cen­ter, the 29th quar­ter­back to start for the fran­chise since Joe Na­math’s fi­nal games with the Jets in 1976.

“He made some good throws,” Bowles said of Petty. “He’s got some grow­ing pains. He ran out there for the first time and from a com­po­sure stand­point, he was fine. He’s just got to clean up a few things.”

Af­ter get­ting the ball with 2:55 re­main­ing and down by three, Petty tried to lead the Jets down­field. But on se­cond-and-7 from the New York 42, Petty’s pass to Quincy Enunwa was picked off by Ogle­tree. Enunwa tried to wres­tle it away from the line­backer to no avail, and Case Keenum took three knees to end it.

“This one hurts,” Petty said. “Kind of took this one on the chin for my­self. I wanted a bet­ter out­come, but I love this game.”

Petty, a fourth-round draft pick out of Bay­lor last year, went 19 of 32 for 163 yards with a touch­down and the loss-seal­ing in­ter­cep­tion.

“This is hope­fully the be­gin­ning of a long ca­reer for me,” Petty said. “It’s at least what I an­tic­i­pate, what I want. There’s things you’ve got to learn.”

Greg Zuer­lein kicked three field goals, in­clud­ing a go-ahead 34-yarder with 6:52 left, help­ing the Rams (4-5) snap a fourgame los­ing streak and avoid their first five-game skid since weeks 9-13 last sea­son.

The game fea­tured 15 punts — eight by the Jets and seven by the Rams — as nei­ther of­fense were the mod­els of ef­fi­ciency or ex­cite­ment. New York fin­ished with 296 yards of to­tal of­fense, while the Rams had 280.

Petty drove the Jets 99 yards on the Jets’ se­cond pos­ses­sion, fin­ish­ing with his first NFL TD pass with a lit­tle raz­zle-daz­zle on a toss to Bran­don Marshall, who flipped it to Bi­lal Pow­ell for a 4-yard score.

“I think he was ef­fi­cient,” Marshall said. “He’ll get bet­ter, and we’ll con­tinue to make plays for him.”

But Petty mis­fired on a long pass on third-and-14 from the Rams 32 that could’ve been an easy touch­down in the clos­ing minute of the first half. He slightly over­threw Robby An­der­son, who was wide open but had to reach high as the ball tipped off his hand.

“I’ve got to hit that,” Petty said. “I’ve got to make that as easy as pos­si­ble. I wish I had that one back. Those are the plays in this kind of game that you’ve got to make. I missed that.”


Jets quar­ter­back Bryce Petty throws dur­ing loss to Rams. Petty was 19 of 32 for 163 yards with one touch­down and one in­ter­cep­tion.


Jets quar­ter­back Bryce Petty, right, talks with Rams coun­ter­part Case Keenum af­ter New York’s loss to Los An­ge­les.

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