You want so badly to root for Bryce Petty.

He’s relentlessly upbeat, always has a smile on his face and is ready for a friendly conversation. He works hard. He’s waited his turn, three years now. He’s been a good teammate, never complained.

But you watch Petty play and you cannot help but wonder whether he’s good enough to be a starting NFL quarterback.

If you watched him play in Sunday’s 31-19 loss to the Saints at the Superdome, you could not help but wonder if he’s exactly the player most in the Jets hierarchy have viewed him as since he was drafted in the fourth round in 2015 — a reliable backup quarterback.

Nothing more. Nothing less.

It’s unfair to place the burden of blame all on Petty’s shoulders for this latest Jets loss — their seventh in the past nine games.

It’s unfair to make a far-reaching assessment of Petty’s potential future as a starting NFL quarterback based on his first start this season and only the fifth of his career.

It, too, is unfair to compare the Jets’ No. 9 (Petty) to the Saints’ No. 9 (Drew Brees), because the Saints’ No. 9 is headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame soon after he’s eligible.

The Jets, 16 ¹/₂-point underdogs, had no business winning this game, let alone trailing by only four points entering the fourth quarter, which happens to be the Jets’ unofficial dark period, or trailing by five points inside the two-minute warning.