In his second start of the 2017 season and his first at MetLife Stadium, quarterback Bryce Petty never found solid ground as the Jets fell to the Chargers 14-7.
"I'm seeing things and my feet are a little bit rushed and that's causing me to be a step too much or too late," Petty said. "It's frustrating. This team deserves better, this offense deserves better and I know I can make those plays. We have next week and I'm going to grow from this, learn from this just like I always do."
Petty completed 15 of his 28 pass attempts for 119 yards with one interception that came on a Hail Mary to end the first half. Despite struggling on offense most of the afternoon, the Jets had an early opportunity to jump out to a lead.
Following a clever onside kick, Petty cashed in with a 38-yard scoring pass to Robby Anderson. But Anderson was called for a push off on Pro Bowl CB Casey Hayward and points were taken off the board.
"It was just one of those plays," said Petty of the offensive pass interference. "It happens, but I don't think that had anything to do with the rhythm of the first half or anything like that."
The punch to the gut took away hopes for early momentum and Petty largely scuffled in the first half. He completed 9-of-20 for 81 yards and misfired on a few of those "gimmes" that plagued Petty last week in New Orleans. The Jets went converted on just 1-of-7 third downs in the first half and Petty was 0-of-6 passing.
"He missed some throws and we were off-key as an offense in the passing game," head coach Todd Bowles said. "We'll go back, look at the film and build from there. We didn't make enough plays."
With the defense holding the Chargers to just 14 points, Petty had an opportunity to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. Trailing by seven with 3:11 remaining, the Green & White elected to go for it on fourth down from the Chargers' 17-yard line. Petty tried to connect with receiver Robby Anderson, who finished the day with 51 yards on five receptions, but the ball fell incomplete and the Jets never got close again.
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"We had practiced that play and I knew exactly where I wanted to go with the ball," Petty said. "My feet got sped up and I left the ball inside. That was the one thing coaches told me and I told myself not to leave it inside. Not to say I got too excited, but I saw a look I wanted to see. I have to execute that throw. Robby ran a great route, the O-Line did a great job protecting and I just have to hit the throw."
Bowles said Petty will close out the season as the team's starting quarterback and the 6'3" 230-pounder needs to "work his way through things." Petty is excited at his final opportunity of the regular season next week in New England and is confident he'll have better results when the season comes to a close in Foxborough.
"It's going to happen," he said. "I know it is. I'm going to work my butt off to make sure it happens. This is a good experience for me. It's good learning. It's tough because these guys work their tails off. I have to play better."