The Jets and the QB position haven’t exactly been friends recently, but today I’m power ranking every QB to start a game for the Jets in the 2010s. Keep in mind I’m ranking the QBs solely on their Jets tenure, not on their total career performance.
10. Trevor Siemian (2019)
Trevor Siemian lands at #10 on this list virtually by default: He started one game for the Jets in 2019 vs the Browns, and didn’t even make it out of the first half, breaking his ankle midway through the second quarter. To make matters worse, his statline was less than impressive: 3/6 for three (3!) yards and 0 TDs through 1 ½ quarters of play. Although some other Jets QBs played worse, his lack of volume puts him at #10.
9. Luke Falk (2019)
Another 2019 roster member, Luke Falk entered the season as the #3 QB, and was pressed into action after Siemian broke his ankle in Week 3. The Washington State product had a respectable performance vs Clevleand: 20/25 for 198 yards and 0TDs/0INTs isn’t horrendous for a backup (although the Jets still lost the game 23-3). After Siemian was ruled out for the season, Falk started 2 more games, @New England and @Philladelphia. Not exactly the easiest of opponents, but there’s no excuse for this statline:
27/48 for 218 yards (109 passing yards per game)
0 TDs/3 INTs
13 offensive points
0-2 record 61-20 combined score
So while Falk was, in a word, absolute dogsh*t, he places above Siemian simply because of his increased workload.
8. Bryce Petty (2015-2017)
Bryce Petty was the Jets’ 4th round pick in 2015, and while he received ample opportunity to play, he never panned out. The Jets cut Petty after 3 seasons, where he played in 10 games (started 7) and posted some less-than-inspiring stats:
1-6 record as a starter
4 TDs/10 INTs
Petty didn’t play any better than the 2 QBs before him in this list, but he did stick around a bit longer than the others, and also was able to at least win 1 start, so he gets the edge.
7. Greg McElroy (2011-2013)
Coming off of an impressive collegiate career that included a national championship with the Alabama Crimson Tide, McElroy was selected in the 7th round by the Jets in 2011. After Mark Sanchez threw 3 INTs and failed to score a single point vs the Arizona Cardinals, Rex Ryan inserted the 2nd-year McElroy into the game in a desperate attempt to spark the offense. He subsequently led the Jets on a 4th quarter game-winning drive, even throwing a TD pass in the process. McElroy was named the starter for the next week, but was sacked 11 times and lost vs the Chargers. He never started another NFL game, and is now doing commentary for the XFL and the SEC Network. Although McElroy didn’t stick in the NFL, his comeback win is more than anything the other 3 have ever accomplished, so he comes in at #7.
6. Michael Vick (2014)
Remember when Michael Vick was a Jet? Yeah, me neither. Vick was brought in to be a veteran backup to Geno Smith in 2014, but ended up starting 3 games. His stats were fairly pedestrian: 64/121, 603 yards and 3 TDs/2 INTs along with 153 rushing yards. Vick wasn’t great by any means, but he was a solid backup and a veteran presence in the locker room, even leading the Jets to 1 of their 4 wins on the season. Not bad for a 33 year old wrapping up a HOF career.
5. Geno Smith (2013-2016)
Geno Smith is the first player on this list who saw extended playing time, but after being selected 39th overall in 2013, he didn’t come close to living up to his draft position. Geno only started for 2 full seasons, never passing for more than 3,100 yards in a season and accumulating a combined 25TDs to 34 INTs. He also never led the Jets to a winning season, or accomplished anything at the professional level (other than getting his jaw broken by teammate Ik Enemkpali over a $600 plane ticket). He hung around for 2 more seasons with the Jets as a backup before he was cut, and hasn’t competed for a starting job since. Geno was atrocious, but he started for 2 full seasons and was at least a stopgap QB for the Jets, so he lands at #5.
4. Josh McCown (2017)
A fan favorite, Josh McCown arrived in New York as a 38-year-old veteran QB, and left it a folk hero. Mccown only started for one season in 2017, but put up respectable stats in the process: 2,926 yards in 13 games and 18 TDs/9 INTs, despite his main targets being Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse. Mccown was known for his work ethic, toughness and football IQ. Many believe he will be a long-time coach after his playing career (The jets offered him their QB coach position which he declined to instead play QB for the Eagles at age 40(!), even playing in a playoff game for them last season and finishing the game after tearing his hamstring off the bone before halftime. Legend). Even though McCown never appeared in a playoff game, he was a reliable starter and great teammate in his short tenure in NY.
3. Sam Darnold (2018-present)
Although Darnold is only 22 years old at the time of writing, so far in his young career he has seen limited success. In 2 seasons (only playing 13 games in each), he’s thrown for 5889 yards, with a 36:28 TD:INT ratio. Although his record as a starter is only 11-15, it doesn’t do him justice; he’s been playing with a bottom 3 o-line and virtually no weapons for his entire career. Darnold went 7-6 as a starter in 2019, which is a testament to his ability to succeed with almost no talent at WR, and the worst protection in football last season. It is undeniable that Sam’s best football is ahead of him, but for now, he comes in at #3.
2. Ryan Fitzpatrick (2015-2016)
Fitzmagic was short, but boy was it fun while it lasted. After coming into training camp in 2016 as the #2 QB behind Geno Smith, Geno’s broken jaw allowed Fitzpatrick to step into the starting job, and he never looked back. Fitzpatrick posted the best QB season a Jet has had in recent memory: 3,905 yards, 31 TDs/15 INTs and a 64% comp%, and leading the Jets to a 10-6 record. While 10 wins is usually enough to make the playoffs, the Jets lost a tiebreaker with the Steelers for the final playoff spot, and narrowly missed the postseason. After the best season of his career, Fitzpatrick came back in 2016 and fell down back to earth: 2,710 yards and 12 TDs/17 INTs and a disappointing 3-8 record as a starter. Fitzpatrick didn’t resign after 2016, but his 2015 brilliance will go down in history as one of the most random breakouts in NFL history, and land him at #2.
1. Mark Sanchez (2009-2014)
Although Mark Sanchez wasn’t statistically the best QB on this list, he led the Jets to a narrow loss in the AFC Championship in 2010 (Sanchez also made the AFC Championship in 2009, but this list only counts the 2010s so it doesn’t count for this list). The Sanchize started for the Jets from 2009-2013, and led the team to a winning record in the 2010s (25-22). Although he wasn’t worth the 5th overall pick, he managed to bring winning football to the Jets, and granted us the most iconic moment in Jets franchise history: the Buttfumble. It hurts to type that, but let’s be honest, it’s true. Sanchez was the only QB here able to make the playoffs, and had a few deep playoff runs as well, so he gets the #1 spot.
Thank you for reading! Agree with me? Disagree? Argue with me on twitter @BOROUGHDISPATCH, and follow the account while you’re at it!