After he led the Jets offense to just six points in his first NFL start against the Rams, Bryce Petty was again stuck on six in the fourth quarter, on the road, and his team was down 11. But that's when Petty met adversity and answered the bell as the Green & White scored 17 straight points and captured a 23-17 OT contest in San Francisco.
"I was happy to see the intangibles. It think the intangibles are things that — as a staff — they're hard to evaluate and not only evaluate but teach and coach. You can't teach those intangibles," said former Jets QB Chad Pennington this week on the EA Podcast. "You can coach fundamentals, you can coach scheme and X's and O's. You can't coach intangibles, so I was really proud to see how Bryce Petty fought through the adversity and fought through the ugly start."
There was the got to have it TD drive in the final stanza when Petty got the three yards he needed to WR Robby Anderson on a third-and-3. Then four plays later, Petty didn't buckle with defenders circling and he found WR Charone Peake for 10 yards on fourth-and-2. RB Bilal Powell closed the gap with a 5-yard TD and Petty followed with a two-point conversion himself on the ground.
"That's the grit, that's the determination," Pennington said. "That's the fire in your belly so to speak that you have to have, and he showed that and that was nice to see."
In overtime, Petty side-stepped traffic and got the Jets into scoring territory with a 26-yard completion to Anderson. Offensive coordination Chan Gailey admitted thinking, "No, no, no," as No. 9 rolled left, but the gunslinger mentality turned out to be the right choice.
"I think if that's a veteran making that play, everyone feels a little bit more comfortable. When it's a younger player making that play, they get nervous." Pennington said. "It was not technically a complete across the body, across the field throw. Bryce Petty's on the left sideline. The throw's completed around the left numbers. That's only about 12 yards from sideline to numbers, so that's not that big of a deal. I was impressed that he extended the play and then going to his left, got his shoulders back around, set his feet and made an accurate throw to obviously a receiver that he trusts."
Petty, who was sacked six times against the 49ers, completed 66% of his passes for 257 yards with the one interception. Todd Bowles would like to see more of Petty's moxie moving forward.
"No one — including myself — is ready to crown him next year's starter or (is) saying he can play another 10 years in this league," Pennington said. "But at the same time you were excited about what you did see, the little bit at the end of the game."
Petty will make his third NFL start Saturday night at MetLife Stadium against the Dolphins.
"I want to see Bryce and the offense get off to a better start because that will tell me he is getting more comfortable and that he is making progress and improvement on making those reads and being in sync with the things he is being asked to do," Pennington said. "If that happens earlier, now you can really see the progress being made. Secondly, I want to see him make more passes and not throws… a throw is somebody's wide open, they've already broken, they're sitting down in a hole — even I can still get it there. But a pass is one that is thrown on time with accuracy, it may have to be over a defender, early and the receiver comes into the hole, the anticipation of it all."