New York Jets: Bryce Petty's development more important than the draft
December 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) celebrates after the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The Jets defeated the 49ers 23-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Petty and the New York Jets won an OT thriller over the San Francisco 49ers. Some fans aren’t happy, but they should be despite 4-9.

While I do claim to be the most optimistic New York Jets fan on planet Earth, there’s good reason for it, despite missing the playoffs for the sixth straight season.

At this point in the season, fans don’t care about wins. These thirsty fans just want the best draft pick possible. The worst thing that can happen is being .500. Actually, correction: the worst thing that can happen is going 10-6 and missing the playoffs.

I thought I was over it, but I digress.

Showcasing a .500 squad puts you out of good draft positioning, and more times than not keeps you out of the playoff picture. The Jets are middling right now and a lot of fans are mad that the Jets beat the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.


While I’m all for the Jets collecting better draft picks, I think the reward outweighs the potential gain in this particular scenario.

What do I mean? Well, let me explain.

Bryce Petty was handed a four-game invitation to audition to prove he’s worthy of being the Jets starting quarterback in 2017. In his second career start, he looked lost and out of place, throwing a bad interception on the Jets first drive.

The game started to look like the debacle on Monday night from the previous week. But with the way Petty was able to rally the troops and pull out the victory, it changed my tune. It’s very reminiscent of how the Jets finished up that 2014 season with Geno Smith at the helm.

Ending the year on a positive note will do a lot for Petty’s development and confidence heading into 2017. Head coach Todd Bowles spoke about some of the things he saw from last week’s game, via the New York Jets Media Relations Department:

Bowles talked about Petty’s moxie several times in the presser. He was asked about Petty’s development and what he’s seen:

“Yes, he started competing and he got a little more relaxed. His competitive nature started to come out. He forgot that he was a first-year starter and started playing more to himself, so that was encouraging.”

All that’s left for the Jets on the 2016 slate is a roundabout of divisional games. The Jets aren’t going to win-out which should keep them in top-five pick status.

Pair that along with Petty’s development and the Jets could be in a very good position entering this offseason.

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