QB Ryan Fitzpatrick - Miami Dolphins
|6-2, 221||Born: 11-24-1982||College: Harvard||Drafted: Round 7, pick 2005|
2019 Week 1 vs BAL (14 / 29 / 185 / 1 / 1 pass, 1 / 8 / 0 rush)
It was not the start that Fitzpatrick envisioned when given the starting job in Miami to open the season. The score was 28-0 early in the second quarter and Fitzpatrick only had 14 plays on offense across 3 drives. His first drive ended in an interception when he tried to hit Kenyan Drake on a wheel route. There were 2 receivers in the area along with 5 Raven defenders. Neither player looked to make much of an effort to catch the pass and Fitzpatrick got off to a rocky start. It was not until the 2nd quarter that Fitzpatrick led the team on a scoring drive. A 49-yard catch and run deep down the middle from DeVante Parker put the ball on the Baltimore 49 before the offense proceeded to have plays of -1 yard, -3 yards, and a 5-yard penalty. Fitzpatrick missed on 3rd down and the Dolphins settled for a 54-yard field goal. On the Dolphins final drive of the 1st half, Fitzpatrick led them on a touchdown drive. With big plays to Parker, Allen Hurns, and an eventual 6-yard touchdown pass to Preston Williams, it was the first time the team showed life all game. Fitzpatrick found Williams across the middle in the back of the end zone for the score. He was wide open on the play because the Ravens defender fell in coverage. It was an all-around ugly day that included 2 sacks and a less than 50% completion rate for Fitzpatrick.
2019 Week 2 vs NE (11 / 21 / 89 / 0 / 3 pass, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)
The Fitz-Magic era in Miami is off to a very rocky start and the veteran QB has not been benched in favor of josh Rosen twice in as many games. He was sacked 4 times for a loss of 23 yards and left with a QB rating of 23.8. Fitzpatrick failed to surpass 100 yards through the air and completed just over 50% of his passes. The first drive was a 3 and out that went for -3 yards and then 4 more punts before half time. The first drive of the 2nd half saw some bad luck when a pass intended for DeVante Parker was tipped by Stephon Gilmore and pulled in by Devin McCourty. The next interception was returned 54 yards for a touchdown by Gilmore and then the 3rd by Jamie Collins and returned 69 yards for a touchdown. It was at this point that Rosen took over and the quarterback turmoil continues. There has been no indication as to who will be the starter next week against Dallas.
2019 Week 3 vs DAL (2 / 2 / 29 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
The Fitzmagic era is over in Miami as the team officially named Rosen the starter coming into week 3. He did get some playing time when Rosen went down with injury, but it was only a single drive with 2 pass attempts. Fitzpatrick had a big 25-yard completion to Preston Williams on 3rd and 3 that helped setup the second field goal of the game. The pocket collapsed and Fitzpatrick escaped to his right, he threw up what looked like a prayer down field, and Williams was able to go up and over his defender to make the catch. Rosen came back into the game after this drive and that was the end for Fitzpatrick. Miami has shown they have a quick hook at quarterback, and this may not be the last we see of Fitzpatrick this year.
2019 Week 6 vs WAS (12 / 18 / 132 / 1 / 0 pass, 2 / 5 / 0 rush)
Just like we have seen so many times before, Fitzpatrick came in late in a game and made magic happen. Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins on 2 touchdown drives in the 4th quarter and had a chance to win the game on a 2-point conversion play. Unfortunately, the final pass fell incomplete and the Dolphins dropped to 0-5 on the season. The first touchdown drive was fueled by an 18-yard completion on an outlet pass to Mark Walton and was eventually punched in by Kalen Ballage from the 1-yard line. Fitzpatrick played a much bigger role in the final drive where he led the offense 75 yards down the field and into the end zone. Fitzpatrick took several shots down the field and connected on one with Mike Gesicki for 30 yards before dissecting the Redskins offense to give them a chance for a game tying score. Fitzpatrick found DeVante Parker across the middle for an 11-yard touchdown with :06 left in the game. It was a ball thrown into tight coverage, but it was low enough that only Parker could make a play on the ball. The coaching staff has already stated they are going to go back to Rosen next week, but we could see a lot more of Fitzpatrick this season as they have shown they are not afraid to ride the hot hand each week and bench anyone who is not playing well.
2019 Week 8 vs PIT (21 / 34 / 190 / 2 / 2 pass, 5 / 17 / 0 rush)
Everything was looking great in the first half for Miami and Fitzpatrick. He was completing short throws and moving the ball down the field at will and turned two separate drives into touchdowns for a 14-0 lead. The first throw came after a Pittsburgh interception and went for 5 yards to Albert Wilson. It was a short throw with Fitzpatrick rolling to his left and finding Wilson in the flat after motioning all the way across the formation. A wash of receivers worked to the inside and picked off Steelers defenders and made for an easy path to the end zone for Wilson. The second touchdown went to Allen Hurns from 12 yards out. Hurns caught the ball well short of the first down and a combination of poor tackling and defenders trying to strip the ball rather than take him to the ground allowed him to power into the end zone. The play should have ended well short of a touchdown, but the Steelers could not wrap him up. It was after this point that the wheels fell off for Fitzpatrick and the entire offense. The rushing attack stalled, and the Steelers were able to sit back and defend the pass. Fitzpatrick threw an interception just before half time as he was targeting Nick O'Leary. The pass was behind him and was tipped into the arms of former Dolphin Minkah Fitzpatrick. The ball looked to hit O'Leary in the chest and should have been caught, but instead it was intercepted, and the Steelers drove down for a touchdown and pulled the game to 14-10 before half time. The second interception came on a deep shot to Jakeem Grant where Fitzpatrick over threw his receiver. The ball was again intercepted by Minkah Fitzpatrick and the Steelers scored a touchdown on their ensuing drive. Fitzpatrick was intercepted by Fitzpatrick twice this week and it led to 14 points for Pittsburgh. The final nail in the coffin came in the 4th quarter when Fitzpatrick was sacked, stripped, and recovered by T.J Watt. It was a 10-point game at this point, but the Miami offense had done nothing to make it look like they would score again. The great start was wasted, and Fitzpatrick will have to try again against the Jets next week.
2019 Week 9 vs NYJ (24 / 36 / 288 / 3 / 0 pass, 5 / 2 / 0 rush)
It was a banner day for Fitzpatrick and the Miami offense. The passing game was the only thing that seemed to work for the Dolphins as the rushing attack averaged just over 2 yards per carry, but that did not matter with Fitzpatrick finding the end zone 3 times in the 2nd quarter. His first touchdown pass went to Preston Williams for 12 yards and was simply a blown coverage by the Jets. Williams ran a skinny post and both the corner and safety went to cover the running back leaking into the flat rather than Williams. It was an easy pitch and catch for the score from there and Fitzpatrick had a clean pocket and there was not a defender within 5 yards of Williams. The second touchdown capped off a 12 play 77-yard drive with a 17-yard pass to DeVante Parker. Fitzpatrick made a beautiful back shoulder throw to Parker right at the pylon for the score. It was a dangerous play as Fitzpatrick stared down his receiver and never looked in any other direction, but Parker used his body to box out the corner in coverage and make sure no one else could make a play on the ball. The third touchdown again went to Williams for a 5-yard score. It was a quick 1-step drop and throw to Williams running a slant. The ball found him between 2 defenders and was not contested. This drive was fueled by a 34-yard bomb to Mike Gesicki down deep down the right side line that could have gone for a touchdown had he not been tripped up by his man in coverage at the last second. Fitzpatrick had an ugly safety where he tried to get out of the end zone and ended up falling right on the goal line and was sacked 4 times for a loss of 22 yards. This performance should keep his job safe from Josh Rosen for a while longer, but with the Dolphins actively tanking this year there is no knowing what they will do.
2019 Week 10 vs IND (21 / 33 / 169 / 0 / 1 pass, 4 / 23 / 1 rush)
It was not pretty, but Fitzpatrick managed to get the job done this week against the Colts. Indianapolis has not been a friendly venue to the Dolphins as it. had been almost 6 years since they last won there. Fitzpatrick completed almost 64% of his passes but looked erratic almost the entire game. He missed on a few easy check down throws and was nowhere close on delivering the deep ball to Parker. He was sacked 3 times for a loss of 10 yards but was the most effective rushing option otherwise. He did not sniff the end zone through the air, but he did have a rushing touchdown. It proved to be the only touchdown of the game for the Dolphins and all they would need to secure the victory. The touchdown came shortly after a Colt's interception and was from 11 yards out. Fitzpatrick stepped up in a collapsing pocket and pump faked to Parker on a slant across the middle. Both linebackers continued with Parker in coverage while Fitzpatrick took the ball off the right end and into the end zone for a touchdown. It was the longest running play for the Dolphins this week and a big example of why the team is going with Fitzpatrick over Josh Rosen. It will be a much tougher test next week in Buffalo for Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins.
2019 Week 11 vs BUF (32 / 45 / 323 / 0 / 0 pass, 1 / 0 / 0 rush)
For a brief moment we all thought that Fitz-Magic was back, and the Dolphins were going to make a late charge. He threw for more than 300 yards this week, completed passes to 7 different receivers, and showed a clear connection with DeVante Parker. The duo connected on a 50-yard pass to help setup the first touchdown of the game. Parker ran a deep crossing route and had the corner coming over in coverage fall down after he tried to make a play on the ball. It was a beautifully thrown ball by Fitzpatrick that hit Parker in stride and let him run after the catch. Fitzpatrick looked good this week outside of the offensive line not being able to protect him at all. The offensive line allowed 7 sacks for a loss of 43 yards and he was hit a total of 14 times. Fitzpatrick looked to be harassed on almost every single one of his drop backs and rarely had a clean pocket to make a play. The Dolphins have been playing to draft their next quarterback all season, but they may want to think about putting a line in front of someone first or they will never find any success. Fitzpatrick should get the nod again next week against the Browns and have a bit easier of a matchup.
2019 Week 12 vs CLE (21 / 39 / 214 / 2 / 2 pass, 5 / 45 / 1 rush)
It was not a happy Birthday for Fitzpatrick this week. Even without their top pass rushing option, the Browns still got to Fitzpatrick 4 times for a loss of 22 yards and hit him a total of 6 times. There was almost no time to throw the ball and that led to mistake. Fitzpatrick threw 2 interceptions, and both were to Joe Schobert. The first interception came on a promising drive on the Cleveland side of the field. It was an unlucky bounce off the hands and chest of Albert Wilson that fell into the arms of Schobert. The second interception came in the 4th quarter on a drive that was not going anywhere. After a big sack, Fitzpatrick was flushed on the next play and he floated a dangerous ball down the field that again went to Schobert in coverage. There was some good this week for Fitzpatrick in the second half. After a short catch and run to Parker went for 21 yards, Fitzpatrick connected with Mike Gesicki on the next play for an 11-yard score. It was a perfectly threaded needle across the middle to Gesicki who made a leaping catch in the end zone. It was one of the best thrown balls all day by Fitzpatrick and his young tight end was able to go up and get it. His second touchdown came after the Browns missed a field goal and was a methodical drive down the field with Fitzpatrick punching it in on his own from 8 yards out. The pocket collapsed and he was able to escape up the middle and dive into the end zone. Just for good measure, Fitzpatrick tacked on a touchdown at the end of the game to Allen Hurns. The pass rush got to him again and he had to get creative to avoid it. This allowed Hurns to keep working down the field and find himself wide open in the corner of the end zone after his defender fell down after making contact with his own player. It was a busted play and a garbage time touchdown, but it made it look like the Dolphins put up a little more fight than they did. The mistakes were costly this week and the mounting injuries to receivers is going to make things tough on Fitzpatrick for the rest of the season.
2019 Week 13 vs PHI (27 / 39 / 365 / 3 / 1 pass, 3 / 2 / 0 rush)
The Eagles secondary struggled to cover anyone this week and saw the field goal holder throw a touchdown to the kicker. With that fact in mind, the season high 365 yards and 3 touchdowns from Fitzpatrick make a lot more sense. The opening drive looked like the early part of the season for the Dolphins with Fitzpatrick throwing an interception on the very first play. He was looking for Parker across the middle and threw it just behind his receiver. Ronald Darby came down with the interception and Philadelphia went down and drove for the game's first touchdown. Things went much better from there with Fitzpatrick connecting with Parker for 2 touchdowns. The first came on a 43-yard bomb deep down the left side. It was a 4th and 4 play where Fitzpatrick laid the ball up to Parker down the sideline. He went up and over Darby who fell on the play and Parker was able to tip toe down the side line and in for the score. The second touchdown was of the 17-yard variety and came on the heels of a 21-yard pass to Mike Gesicki. Fitzpatrick again laid the ball up to Parker, this time down the right-side line and in the end zone. Parker went up between 2 defenders and made the catch in the back of the end zone. There was some griping about offensive pass interference, but it was a clean play for the touchdown. The third touchdown was a 14-yard strike to Gesicki. Fitzpatrick was flushed out of the pocket and rolled to the right where he was able to find his big tight end in the corner of the end zone after running a wheel route. The broken play made the defender come up to play the run and gave Gesicki just enough room in the back of the end zone to make the catch. This game was vintage Fitzpatrick. He threw the ball deep down the field, took chances, and played with a sort of swagger we have not seen in Miami this season. He has 3 very winnable games in the next 3 weeks before a season ending show down against the Patriots.
2019 Week 14 vs NYJ (21 / 37 / 245 / 0 / 1 pass, 7 / 65 / 0 rush)
It was not the most productive game of the season for Fitzpatrick, but he did the best with the weapons he had. He has lost every single one of his top rushers or receivers to either trade or injury this season and he continues to find a way to keep them in games. His biggest mistake this week came on their second drive of the game when he tried to take a shot over the middle to Allen Hurns. Nate Hariston jumped the route and was able to get his hands on the ball as both he and Hurns went to the ground. Hariston wrestled the ball away and was credited with the interception. The most positive thing Fitzpatrick did this week was run the ball. He led the team in rushing with 65 yards and had a long 20-yard gain after scrambling in the pocket. He did put the ball on the ground twice but both times were recovered by the offense. He looks to have found a new target in Isaiah Ford and showed some chemistry with Allen Hurns this week after DeVante Parker left due to a concussion. The touchdowns were just not there this week and the Dolphins still had a chance to win. Fitzpatrick has great matchups against the Giants and Bengals in the next 2 weeks.
2019 Week 15 vs NYG (23 / 41 / 279 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / 33 / 0 rush)
The only thing Fitzpatrick did not do this week was come away with the win and that is best case for this team right now. They were coming dangerously close to dropping in the draft order and ruining everything they have been trying to setup this season. Fitzpatrick has looked good enough to get another shot and help mentor whatever young quarterback they take in the draft and he has built rapport with the likes of Parker and Gesicki in this offense. Fitzpatrick kicked off the scoring in the second quarter with a touchdown to Parker. It capped a 9 play 94-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown. Parker ran a simple go route up the seam and Fitzpatrick threaded the needle between 2 defenders for the score. That drive also featured a 21-yard catch and run dump off to Albert Wilson to set the Dolphins up in great position for the score. His second touchdown also went to Parker. But the game was already out of hand at this point. A 20-yard pass to Gesicki helped jump start the drive and it was capped off with a 29-yard strike to Parker. This time it was a deep shot down the left sideline with Parker fighting for position on his corner. Parker made the leaping grab in the front corner of the end zone and continued his breakout season. Fitzpatrick played clean football for the most part outside of a fumble in the 3rd quarter. He had scrambled for 5 yards before a hard hit to the back popped the ball loose. The Miami defense created a turnover of their own 3 plays later and the Dolphins were able to pull the score to 13-14. This was the closest they would get with Saquon Barkley taking over and the offense failing to move the ball until their final drive. Fitzpatrick gets a great matchup next week against the Bengals before being sacrificed to the Patriots defense in week 17.
2019 Week 16 vs CIN (31 / 52 / 419 / 4 / 1 pass, 5 / 9 / 0 rush)
It was a quick and efficient 3 quarters for Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins this week. The first drive went for 12 plays, 85 yards, and a big man touchdown. The drive was aided by a 27-yard deep pass down the sideline to Allen Hurns. The touchdown went to Christian Wilkins from 1-yard out. Wilkins is normally a defensive tackle that reported as eligible for this play. It was a 1-yard throw into the flat with Wilkins making the catch, fumbling, and then recovering in the end zone for the score. The second drive had everything to do with his connection with Parker. The duo connected on a 51-yard deep pass across the middle and then capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown. Parker got inside leverage on his man with a short slant pattern on 3rd and goal. He used his body to box out the defender and make the catch in the end zone for the score. The 3rd touchdown of the half for Fitzpatrick came on a blown coverage by the defense. Gesicki found himself wide open deep down the field and was able to back pedal into the end zone without being touched. Fitzpatrick scrambled and left the pocket causing the defense to push up and try to stop a quarterback run. This left Gesicki all alone on about the 5-yard line before Fitzpatrick delivered a strike for another easy score. The game was getting out of hand at this point with the Dolphins then scoring again on their opening drive of the second half. Fitzpatrick found Gesicki for a 13-yard score in the corner of the end zone. His initial read was across the middle on a crossing pattern, but he pulled it back down and found Gesicki in the corner of the end zone with just his man to beat. The big bodied tight end was able to go up and make the play over his much smaller defender and give the Dolphins a 28-6 lead. This is where the wheels fell off a bit for Fitzpatrick. He threw an interception on the very next drive and then the Dolphins missed a field goal to increase their lead. A blown 4th quarter lead gave Fitzpatrick a chance in over time, but both teams played it safe and traded punts for the first 4 drives. He finally completed a big play to Isaiah Ford for 28 yards and took a series of knees before Jason Sanders kicked a game winning 37-yard field goal. Fitzpatrick has shown he can still play in this league and will have one more audition against the Patriots to close out the season next week.
2019 Week 17 vs NE (28 / 41 / 320 / 1 / 0 pass, 5 / 15 / 1 rush)
It has been a long season in Miami for anyone under center. After flipping back and forth between Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen they finally settled in with Fitzpatrick and let him do his thing. It paid off as Miami finished the season on a 2-game win streak and took down their division rival in the Patriots. Fitzpatrick was not afraid to take shots down the field and everything seemed to turn around when he started targeting DeVante Parker. Fitzpatrick played mistake free football this week against a Patriots defense that embarrassed the team earlier in the year. HE connected on a game-winning touchdown to Mike Gesicki with less than 30 seconds to go and ran in a 2-yard score to take a lead in the second half. The touchdown was a perfectly thrown strike to Gesicki in the middle of the end zone. The rookie tight end ran a late breaking route that created just enough separation for Fitzpatrick to squeeze the ball in. His touchdown run came on a scramble play after a big catch by Albert Wilson and then a trick play double pass by Wilson. Fitzpatrick was sacked twice and put the ball on the ground once, but the Patriots were unable to recover. This was a very fitting end to the season for Fitzpatrick and there is no word on what Miami is going to do next season. They are in line to try and draft the quarterback of their future and that may afford Fitzpatrick another season at the helm.
2018 Week 1 vs NO (21 / 28 / 417 / 4 / 0 pass, 12 / 36 / 1 rush)
Fitzpatrick lit the Saints defense up on their own turf, out dueling Drew Brees as the Tampa Bay receiving game showed off its many weapons. Fitzpatrick was extremely efficient with his top receivers, as Evans(7 of 7) and Jackson(5 of 5) both converted all of their targets into catches, including several long touchdowns. Fitzpatrick's deep ball was incredibly accurate throughout the contest, and he did a great job of moving around with his feet to buy time in the pocket and even scramble for positive yardage on several occasions. He scored on his second pass attempt of the game, finding Desean Jackson down the right side of the field from a shotgun formation. On Tampa Bay's next drive, Fitzpatrick set the offense up in the New Orleans red zone with dime passes to Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. After driving down inside the five yard line, Fitzy faked a handoff from a goal line set and rolled right, lowering his shoulder and powering through a tackle attempt for a touchdown. Fitzpatrick found Chris Godwin while scrambling right late in the second quarter for his third touchdown of the day. The receiver fought through press coverage and secured a perfect back shoulder pass from Fitzpatrick. The fireworks continued later in the third quarter, as Fitzpatrick found Evans deep down the right side of the field, burning his only defender for an easy 50 yard score. Fitzpatrick hooked up with Desean Jackson again for a 36 yard touchdown early on in the 4th, laying up a beautiful ball on a deep post. The Tampa Bay offense looks to be in capable hands until Winston's return from suspension.
2018 Week 2 vs PHI (27 / 33 / 402 / 4 / 1 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
The Fitzmagic continues as Tampa Bay's offense dialed up huge chunk plays on the Eagles defense. Fitzpatrick opened the game up with a 75 yard bomb to Desean Jackson. The offense came out in what looked like a run formation with one WR to either side of the formation, and Fitzpatrick faked a handoff before launching the ball to Jackson for the touchdown. Fitzpatrick's second touchdown was an amazing effort by tight end OJ Howard, who caught a crossing pattern and juked a defender out of his cleats before turning up the left sideline for a 75 yard touchdown. Fitzpatrick orchestrated the two minute offense beautifully at the end of the first half, peppering Mike Evans and Chris Godwin with targets as Godwin sealed the drive with a touchdown. On the score, Fitzpatrick had great protection and stood in the pocket as Godwin worked his way open in the back corner of the end zone. Evans was the recipient of Fitzpatrick's final touchdown pass of the day in the 3rd quarter. With the offense deep in the Philadelphia red zone, Evans split out wide right of the formation and beat his man with a slant route. Fitzpatrick threw the pass high enough that only Evans would have a chance at it. Fitzpatrick's only threw 6 incompletions, and the interception was no fault of his, as he hit a wide open OJ Howard with a perfect pass that the tight end bobbled near the end of the 1st quarter. Mike Evans also had a bad drop on what would have a been a big gain in the second quarter.
2018 Week 3 vs PIT (30 / 50 / 411 / 3 / 3 pass, 5 / 27 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick loaded up a whopping 50 pass attempts after the Bucs fell behind early in the game. He took a physical beating throughout the contest, drawing several legitimate roughing the passer penalties. After an offensive false start in the 3rd, an unblocked defender plowed through the line and drove him to the ground. Fitzpatrick found Brate in the 1st quarter for his first touchdown. After Peyton Barber ran the ball down inside the Steelers 5, Fitzy faked a handoff to Barber in a goal line set and found Brate wide open in the back of the end zone for an easy touchdown. Fitzpatrick's first interception wasn't his fault. Tampa Bay had driven deep into Pittsburgh territory and Fitzy was looking for another score when a free rushing linebacker tipped the ball at the line of scrimmage, deflecting it to another defender. Fitzpatrick's second interception(on the very next drive) was definitely on him, as he overthrew Mike Evans badly on a corner route, putting the ball right into a defender's numbers. Fitzpatrick's woes continued, as he threw a pick-six over the head of Jacquizz Rodgers on the next drive, making it 3 interceptions in the 2nd quarter. Working mainly from the shotgun, Fitzpatrick and the offense battled back in the 2nd half, settling for a couple of field goals before scoring two touchdowns in the 4th quarter. After driving deep into Pittsburgh territory, Fitzpatrick lobbed a jump ball up for Godwin in the back left corner of the end zone, and the second year receiver made a nice leaping catch for the score. Later in the 4th quarter, Fitzpatrick found Evans in the back corner of the end zone after the receiver used a nice double move to separate himself from his defender. The Bucs unfortunately could not close the gap and watched Pittsburgh run the clock out with a 3 point lead. Fitzpatrick was also the Bucs' second leading rusher, piling up 27 yards on the ground and extending several more plays with his feet. Fitz's longest run was a nice 17 yard scamper to extend a 4th quarter drive.
2018 Week 4 vs CHI (9 / 18 / 126 / 0 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick was reportedly nearly benched in week 3 after his 3 interceptions on 3 consecutive pass attempts, and Coach Koetter had enough by halftime of week 4, yanking Fitzy for Jameis Winston. Fitzpatrick struggled to get the ball out as Kalil Mack and the Chicago front 7 applied constant pressure. Fitzpatricks' biggest play was a 48 yard gain in the 1st quarter on a deep crossing route to Desean Jackson. Fitzpatrick found Brate for a touchdown late in the 2nd quarter, but the tight end was flagged for pushing off on his defender on the play. Fitzpatrick tossed an interception on the very next play, telegraphing a curl route to Mike Evans that was undercut by a defender. Winston managed a touchdown and two interceptions after relieving Fitzpatrick. The Bucs have since announced that Winston will start in week 6 after the week 5 bye.
2018 Week 8 vs CIN (11 / 15 / 194 / 2 / 0 pass, 1 / 18 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick didn't enter the game until Winston's 4th interception around the 2 minute mark in the 3rd quarter. He immediately led a scoring drive that ended in a field goal on his first outing. The next time out, Fitzpatrick took a shotgun snap and found Evans streaking down the seam wide open, connecting with the big receiver for a 72 yard touchdown. Fitzpatrick found OJ Howard for another touchdown on 4th and 3 from the Bengals 18 yard line at the end of the quarter. The big tight end was matched up with a linebacker in coverage, who didn't have a chance as Howard took off on a skinny post and left him in the dust. Fitzpatrick picked up the two point conversion on the next play with a laser pass to Godwin in the end zone, tying the ballgame up at 34-34 with less than a minute remaining. Unfortunately, Tampa Bay's defense couldn't stop the Bengals from driving down to kick a game-winning 44 yard field goal. Fitzpatrick took off on a long scramble shortly after entering the game, picking up 15 yards on a play that was called back for holding. Two plays later, he took off again, following a nice downfield block from Rodgers to pick up 18 yards on the ground. Tampa Bay has named Fitzpatrick it's starter for week 9.
2018 Week 9 vs CAR (24 / 40 / 243 / 4 / 2 pass, 5 / 23 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick came out slinging the ball in Mike Evans' direction, but couldn't get anything going with the big receiver. After missing Evans twice on the opening drive, Fitzpatrick sailed the ball over his head and into the arms of a safety on Tampa's second offensive possession. The interception was returned down inside the Tampa Bay red zone. Fitzpatrick found OJ Howard for his first touchdown of the day early in the 2nd quarter. After a couple of completions to Humphries and a couple of rushes put the Bucs on the Carolina 4 yard line, Fitzpatrick faked a handoff to Barber off left tackle, then rolled out right where he found a wide open OJ Howard leaking out into the flat for an easy score. FItzpatrick and the offense drove down again at the end of the 1st half, and Fitzpatrick capped the drive with another short touchdown pass to Howard, who outran his linebackers on a shallow out route from the 3 yard line. Fitzpatrick hooked up with slot receiver Humphries for two touchdowns in the 2nd half. The first touchdown in the 3rd quarter was a short slant route from the Carolina 5 yard line. Humphries hit his defender with a quick double move, faking outside then spinning around to slant inside where he was wide open over the goal line. Fitzpatrick found Humphries again for a 30 yard touchdown in the 4th quarter. Humphries split out wide left with Mike Evans in the slot, and Fitzpatrick hit him with a perfectly timed slant route, giving Humphries room to tear across the secondary. The receiver made an outstanding effort to dodge a couple of tacklers and carry Luke Kuechly into the end zone with him. Fitzpatrick lost a fumble on a sack late in the 3rd quarter, but an offensive lineman was able to recover the ball. Fitzpatrick was intercepted a second time at the end of the 4th quarter while hurling a deep jump ball for Desean Jackson, who couldn't wrestle it from his defender. Fitzpatrick picked up a 1st down with a 10 yard scramble late in the 1st quarter.
2018 Week 10 vs WAS (29 / 41 / 406 / 0 / 2 pass, 8 / 35 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick looked good at the start of the game, marching the offense down the field on their first drive with completions to Evans, Howard, and Godwin. Unfortunately, he overthrew Shaun Wilson just a bit in the Washington red zone, and CB Josh Norman made an outstanding diving interception in the end zone. This trend continued all game as the Bucs moved the ball easily down the field, but kept shooting themselves in the foot in the red zone. The Washington defensive front brought heavy pressure and Fitzpatrick was in full "gunslinger" mode in week 10. On 3rd and 19 in the 2nd quarter, he broke no less than 4 tackles in the backfield and scampered upfield, throwing the ball backwards(he thought) a good 20 yards across the field to Adam Humphries, who caught it and turned it up the sideline for a 1st down. Washington challenged the play and it was reversed, as replay showed Fitzpatrick had thrown the ball slightly forward instead of laterally. Later in the quarter, he flipped the ball to Rodgers out of the backfield as he was scrambling away from pressure, then ran downfield to launch himself into two defenders attempting to tackle Rodgers. The block sprung Rodgers for a big gain and converted 3rd and 8. Fitzpatrick had to fall on a bad snap for a big loss in the 3rd quarter. Fitzpatrick was looking for OJ Howard up the right seam in the 4th quarter when he was intercepted a second time by a DB who undercut the route. Fitzpatrick and the offense drove to the 2 yard line and he nearly found Mike Evans for a touchdown late in the 4th quarter, but he threw the ball low and the receiver couldn't hang on while trying to scoop it up in the end zone. Fitzpatrick fumbled on the next play while taking a sack. Fitzpatrick did have several nice scrambles, piling up 35 yards on 8 official carries.
2018 Week 11 vs NYG (13 / 21 / 167 / 0 / 3 pass, 4 / 14 / 1 rush)
Fitzpatrick couldn't get anything going in the 1st half and then began to turn the ball over at the half. He was intercepted at the end of the 2nd quarter while looking for OJ Howard in traffic. It was a poor decision as Howard was bracketed in coverage, and Fitzpatrick hit the defender right in the numbers. Fitzpatrick's second interception was a combination of bad luck and poor decision making. With a defender running freely at him, Fitzpatrick attempted a sidearmed pass to Desean Jackson on a quick slant route. Jackson missed the ball, which deflected off of his defender and then into the arms of another diving defender, who ran it in untouched for a touchdown. Tampa Bay's coaching staff made the decision to bench Fitzpatrick after his 3rd interception in the 3rd quarter. Fitzpatrick was looking for Desean Jackson in the end zone, but he short armed the pass and the receiver was blanketed in triple coverage. Fitzpatrick rushed around right end for an improvised touchdown in the 2nd quarter, totaling 14 yards rushing on the day.
2017 Week 6 vs ARI (22 / 32 / 290 / 3 / 2 pass, 3 / 10 / 0 rush)
"Fitzmagic" was pressed into the starting role after Winston went down with a shoulder injury in the 1st quarter. Winston could be seen describing Fitzpatrick as a bit of a gunslinger in one of this preseason's "Hard Knocks" episodes, and the former Harvard QB certainly lived up to it. Scrambling on 3rd and goal at the end of the 1st half, Fitzpatrick shoved/pitched a ball in an almost underhanded motion towards OJ Howard in the back of the end zone. Howard couldn't get to the wildly thrown pass, so the offense went for it on 4th and goal. Fitzpatrick hit Mike Evans in the hands on a slant route in the end zone, but CB Patrick Peterson made a fantastic play to knock the pass loose and the Bucs left points on the field. Fitzpatrick threw an interception to start the 2nd half while looking for Desean Jackson down the left sideline. Fitzpatrick had a clean pocket and time, he just underthrew the ball and the deep safety undercut the pass. The Ivy League-gunslinger, undeterred, chunked a play action pass to Jackson on the next offensive drive for a big catch-and-run down the middle of the field. He had Evans deep on the next play, but didn't have the arm to get the ball downfield to him. Fitzpatrick found Desean Jackson for Tampa Bay's first score midway through the 3rd quarter, prompting a bit of a comeback from a 31-0 deficit. With the ball inside the 10, Tampa went 3 wide on the right side of the formation with Fitzpatrick in the shotgun. Humphries slanted out from the slot while Desean Jackson slanted in from the wide right position. Fitzpatrick threw the ball a bit behind Jackson, but the receiver was able to make a play on the ball. Fitzpatrick completely missed the snap on the ensuing 2 point attempt, leaving Charles Sims to recover and take a tackle for a loss. Fitzpatrick found Cameron Brate in the back of the end zone for another touchdown early in the 4th quarter. Tampa Bay lined up in a 4 receiver set on the Arizona 10, with Brate working up the left seam like he does so often with Jamies Winston. Fitzpatrick took the snap from the shotgun and made a beautiful pass through a couple of defenders to find Brate in the back of the end zone. Fitpatrick nearly threw another pick six from his own end zone in the 4th. After the Cardinals downed a punt inside the 1 yard line, Fitzpatrick tossed a quick pass to Mike Evans that was ripped from his hands by a closing defender. Evans managed to down the defender at the 1 yard line. Fitzpatrick found Evans for one final score late in the 4th quarter, dropping a bomb into the back right corner of the end zone for a 37 yard score. It was a mixed day for Fitzy, who missed some throws because he just didn't quite have the arm of a guy like Winston. However, he played through his mistakes and kept the offense moving, spreading the ball around to all the usual suspects in the Tampa Bay offense.
2017 Week 9 vs NO (8 / 15 / 68 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / 30 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick was pressed into service after Jameis Winston exited the game at halftime. The two quarterbacks posted incredibly similar(and disappointing) stat lines. Fitzpatrick managed the longest completion of the day, a 15 yard corner route to Bernard Reedy in the 4th quarter. He missed a couple of deep connections to Desean Jackson and nearly connected with Mike Evans in the endzone early in the 4th quarter, but a defender batted the ball away as Evans fell to the goal line. Fitzpatrick helped his rating with a late touchdown pass to 3rd string TE/fullback Luke Stocker. Tampa Bay's offense likely would never have found the end zone had a New Orleans fumble not set them up inside the Saints' red zone before the touchdown. Fitzpatrick and the offense ran a play action pass inside the 10 yard line, with Stocker drifting out into the flat after blocking from the fullback position. The Saints blitzed several defenders, leaving Stocker wide open for an easy score. The highlight of Fitzpatrick's performance was a couple of nifty scrambles that saw the 35 year-old eluding several tacklers to pick up 1st downs. Fitzpatrick will start the next few weeks as the Bucs have announced that Winston will miss time with his shoulder injury. The Tampa Bay offense will also be without top WR Evans next week, which should force Fitzpatrick to focus on Jackson and Brate in the passing game.
2017 Week 10 vs NYJ (17 / 34 / 187 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 9 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick got the start while Jameis Winston rests his injured shoulder for "at least a couple of weeks". He had to work without Bucs top receiver Mike Evans, who served a one game suspension for a sideline brawl last week. In Evans' absence, Fitzy concentrated his throws on Desean Jackson and rookie Chris Godwin, who were both targeted 10 times. Tight ends Brate and Howard weren't a big part of the game plan, as Brate was targeted three times and Howard none. Fitzpatrick and the offense led a long, methodical drive that ate up much of the 1st quarter, converting 3rd downs with passes to Jackson, Brate, and Godwin before eventually having to settle for a field goal. Fitzpatrick unfortunately gave the football right back to the Jets after Tampa Bay's Brent Grimes intercepted Josh McCown in the 2nd quarter. Chris Godwin ran a deep crossing route on the next play, and Fitzpatrick threw the ball behind him, giving the trailing defender a play on the ball. Fitzpatrick found Charles Sims for a short touchdown reception late in the 4th quarter to put the game on ice. The score capped off another lengthy offensive drive. Sims lined up to the left of Fitzy in the shotgun, then took off right on a shallow crossing route. Fitzpatrick led him perfectly, allowing Sims to catch it in stride and beat pursuing linebacker Demario Davis to the right pylon for the score. Fitzpatrick was forced to scramble on the ensuing 2 point attempt, and gave a valiant effort before being taken down hard inside the 1 yard line.
2017 Week 11 vs MIA (22 / 37 / 275 / 2 / 0 pass, 3 / 9 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick minimized mistakes and the offense capitalized on several Miami turnovers in the 1st half, scoring two touchdowns and kicking two field goals. The offense was particularly effective with play action, as both of Fitzy's touchdown passes were to wide-open receivers freed up by an effective play fake. Fitzpatrick found rookie TE Howard for his first touchdown of the day, a couple of plays after Kwon Alexander returned an interception to the Miami red zone. Fitzpatrick took the snap and faked a handoff, rolling right while Howard leaked across the formation in a shallow crossing pattern from the left tight end position. Fitzy bought time with his feet until Howard separated from the trailing linebacker, hitting him near the back right corner of the end zone. The offense capitalized on another Jay Cutler interception just before halftime. Fitzpatrick hit Mike Evans for a big gain down the left seam to set the Bucs up inside the Miami red zone with a minute left in the 1st half. Two plays later, Fitzpatrick faked another handoff to Martin and found Jackson running an out route completely uncovered. Fitzpatrick and the offense were lucky to avoid a safety in the 4th quarter, as Fitzpatrick was sacked very close to the goal line in the end zone, but deemed down at the half yard line after an official challenge from Miami. The offense marched down the field and kicked a go-ahead field goal at the end of the 4th quarter, forcing Miami to try a desperate lateral-filled effort to score as time ran out.
2017 Week 12 vs ATL (27 / 44 / 283 / 0 / 0 pass, 2 / 20 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick had a solid but unspectacular outing as he did not score and did not turn the ball over while completing 27 of 44 passes. Tampa Bay's offensive line was solid, with Fitzy taking just one sack. He did set up two short Peyton Barber touchdown runs with passes inside the red zone and led two other scoring drives that ended in field goals. Fitzpatrick showed off the wheels again on a 9 yard scramble from a 5WR set in the 1st that ended with him sandwiched between three defenders, and another 11 yard charge right up the middle of the defense at the end of the 3rd quarter. Fitzy threw a dime pass to Mike Evans in the end zone at the end of the drive, bouncing off the receivers hands amid tight coverage from CB Trufant. Fitzpatrick nearly connected with Evans again in the end zone on the Bucs' next possession, but a diving effort by a defender knocked the ball loose on a slant route by Evans. Fitzpatrick hit Charles Sims with a wheel route out of the backfield that the running back took down to the 2 yard line at the beginning of the 4th quarter. Fitzy's longest completion of the day was a deep seam route to rookie tight end OJ Howard for a 29 yard gain. Fitzpatrick nearly led a game tying drive late in the 4th with Tampa Bay down 27-20, taking the Bucs down inside Atlanta's red zone, but his 4th and 1 pass attempt to Cameron Brate fell to the turf. Fitzpatrick directed the majority of his passes at Evans(12) and Jackson(11).
2016 Week 1 vs CIN (19 / 35 / 189 / 2 / 1 pass, 4 / 15 / 0 rush)
After a solid first half, Fitzpatrick failed to create plays in the second half. In the first half, Fitzpatrick connected on touchdown strikes to Quincy Enunwa (3-yard TD) and Eric Decker (15-yard TD). In the first quarter, Fitzpatrick found Enunwa on a short out route to give New York a 7-0 lead. Enunwa used his big body to create space and complete the each pitch and catch. In the second quarter, Fitzpatrick hit Decker with a back shoulder to complete the scoring play. Decker boxed out corner, Josh Shaw to complete the scoring play. Credit both Enunwa and Decker for being physical at the catch point to come down with the touchdowns. While Fitzpatrick hit Enunwa and Decker for scoring plays, he had trouble getting on the same page with Brandon Marshall. In the first half, Fitzpatrick overthrew Marshall on a post route that would resulted in his third touchdown pass. Fitzpatrick targeted Marshall on New York's final drive, but a drop killed the drive's momentum and Fitzpatrick was intercepted a few plays later by Shaw to end the game. This loss does not fall on Fitzpatrick's shoulders, but if he's able to make a few additional plays, the outcome of this game would have been different.
2016 Week 2 vs BUF (24 / 34 / 374 / 1 / 0 pass, 5 / 21 / 0 rush)
After a lackluster performance against Cincinnati, Fitzpatrick bounced back in a big way. Fitzpatrick showed poise and confidence by pushing the ball downfield to his three big receivers. After failing to push the ball downfield against Cincinnati, Fitzpatrick went 6-for-6 on first half throws of 15+ yards downfield, which boosted his confidence against a Ryan-led defense that he has historically struggled against. The play calling was not overly diverse--Gailey primarily called back shoulder throws and slant routes over the middle of the field, but Fitzpatrick displayed pocket awareness by stepping up in the pocket to drive the ball to receivers over the middle of the field. Buffalo tried to press the receivers at the line of scrimmage, but credit the receivers for aggressively beating press and giving Fitzpatrick windows to complete passes. Fitzpatrick's lone touchdown strike went to Decker in the second quarter. Decker easily ripped through Ronald Darby's press coverage, ran open into the end zone, and hauled in a 5-yard touchdown reception. Fitzpatrick also showed a lot of trust in Enunwa--and he delivered. Enunwa caught all six of his targets, was moved around the formation, and won his one-on-one match-ups against Darby and Stephon Gilmore. While it doesn't show up in Fitzpatrick's final stat line, the mere presence of Matt Forte has completed changed the offense. Forte's ability to gain three-to-four yards on seemingly any play call creates more favorable situations on 2nd and 3rd down.† While Fitzpatrick delivered an overall solid performance, he had a few issues with ball security on New York's first drive. Fitzpatrick was loose with the ball and committed one fumble, but luckily, Kellen Davis recovered the fumble. A second opening drive fumble was luckily negated and was ruled a forward, incomplete pass. If the fumble bounces the other way or if the incomplete pass call is ruled differently, the complexion of this game may look completely different.
2016 Week 3 vs KC (20 / 44 / 188 / 0 / 6 pass, 3 / 22 / 0 rush)
A complete disaster would be the only way to summarize Fitzpatrick's performance. Fitzpatrick threw a career-high six interceptions, which marks just the 40th game in NFL history whereby a quarterback has thrown 6+ interceptions. Of the six interceptions, three were thrown in the endzone that repeatedly killed New York's momentum in the fourth quarter. New York's final five drives all ended in Fitzpatrick's interceptions, which shows that New York had opportunities to comeback, but bad decisions by Fitzpatrick ended those aspirations. While Kansas City's defense should be credited for making plays, Fitzpatrick was lazy with his decision making. Fitzpatrick did not quickly go through his progressions, overshot open receivers, and stared down open receivers. Needless to say, Fitzpatrick has had better days and will have better games ahead.
2016 Week 4 vs SEA (23 / 41 / 261 / 1 / 3 pass, 2 / 5 / 0 rush)
Another week, another dreadful second half performance by Ryan Fitzpatrick. Playing without Eric Decker, Fitzpatrick opted to force-feed Brandon Marshall. Given New York's lack of depth at wide receiver, Seattle chose to shadow Marshall with Richard Sherman. The Fitzpatrick-Marshall connection was strong in the first half, frustrating Sherman with precisely timed back shoulder throws. Of note, Fitzpatrick and Marshall hooked up for a 17-yard touchdown on a back shoulder throw right before halftime. Credit Marshall for creation separation against Sherman and credit Fitzpatrick for fitting the ball into a tight window. Sherman was defenseless on the play. Sherman would get the last laugh, though, as Fitzpatrick continued to throw his way. In the second half, Sherman intercepted Fitzpatrick twice as communication between Marshall and Fitzpatrick broke down. Earl Thomas also intercepted a pass on a poorly thrown post route. Three second half interceptions spelled doom for New York's offense. Outside of Marshall, New York's secondary options made a few plays, but were largely contained. Quincy Enunwa stepped up and made plays over the middle of the field, but not having Decker on the field drew extra attention his way. When Marshall and Enunwa weren't open, Fitzpatrick would check down to Bilal Powell. Powell found success catching short dump off passes against Seattle's zone coverage to move the chains. Given the lack of options, Fitzpatrick hung onto the ball for too long and took too many sacks. Fitzpatrick was sacked four times and was repeatedly pressured throughout the game. Some of blame lays at the feet of the offensive line, but when playing teams as talented as Seattle, the ball has to come out more quickly. With road games at Pittsburgh and at Arizona on tap, Fitzpatrick must play better before this season starts to spin out of control.
2016 Week 5 vs PIT (25 / 38 / 255 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / 9 / 0 rush)
After two weeks of bad showings against tough defenses, Ryan Fitzpatrick played a clean game, but failed to generate any big plays. In the first half, Fitzpatrick locked onto Brandon Marshall in one-on-one situations and let him beat Pittsburgh's smaller corners. Right before halftime, Fitzpatrick hooked up with Marshall for a 15-yard touchdown on a corner route. Marshall made an impressive leaping catch over a smaller corner to complete the scoring play. Outside of this scoring play, Fitzpatrick failed to generate any big plays. His longest completion was a 19-yard pass to Marshall, who was a non-factor after halftime. With Marshall facing double coverage, Fitzpatrick took short and underneath completions to secondary options. New York's secondary options were able to generate some yardage after the catch, but Pittsburgh sat in zone coverage and let them take short gains. Fitzpatrick played well enough to keep the starting spot, but his team, namely his defense, has to create more stops to put the offense in better situations.
2016 Week 7 vs BAL (9 / 14 / 120 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
Ryan Fitzpatrick came on in relief and helped orchestrate a comeback effort. Trailing 13-7 late in the second quarter, Fitzpatrick orchestrated a 7-play, 85-yard drive that culminated with a 13-yard touchdown to Matt Forte on a screen pass. Despite the benching, Fitzpatrick appeared composed and relaxed as he attacked Baltimore's deep zone coverage on this scoring drive. Outside of this 85-yard drive, a relatively conservative offensive game plan was called as Forte was fed during the second half. Forte chipped in a third quarter touchdown to win the game. Overall, Fitzpatrick did a decent job of managing the game and did not make any mistakes to cost his team a win.
2016 Week 8 vs CLE (16 / 34 / 228 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 13 / 0 rush)
A cat has nine lives---and some may agree that Ryan Fitzpatrick also has nine lives. After a listless first half effort (3-of-14, 40 yards), Todd Bowles opted to keep Fitzpatrick in the game---and he delivered. Facing a 20-7 second half deficit, Fitzpatrick reprised his 'Fitzmagic' from last season, completing 13-of-19 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown. New York's offense played with energy and urgency in the second half, pushing the tempo on offense and making big plays on third downs. Fitzpatrick delivered one touchdown pass, a 24-yard hook-up with Quincy Enunwa on a catch-and-run. Identifying Cleveland's two-deep safety look, Fitzpatrick hit Enunwa on a crossing route and Enunwa made the scoring play happen after the catch. Enunwa ran towards the left sideline, broke towards the end zone, ran through three arm tackles and dove into the end zone. At the line of scrimmage, Fitzpatrick made several great checks calling audibles out of passes plays and into run plays against Cleveland's two-deep safety look. New York scored three rushing touchdowns - and Fitzpatrick deserves some credit for audibling into those run plays. Of note, Bilal Powell delivered a 35-yard rushing touchdown against Cleveland's two deep safety after a Fitzpatrick audible. It cannot be understated how poorly Fitzpatrick played in the first half. Multiple pass attempts were batted down at the line of scrimmage by outcoming rushers, passes were off-target, and the offense looked uninterested in playing. If New York had a semi-decent back-up, Fitzpatrick would have pulled. One variable that may have caused Fitzpatrick's dismal first half effort was a big hit delivered early in the first quarter. On a 3rd-and-5 play, Fitzpatrick scrambled towards the right sideline and dove for the first down marker. An oncoming defender delivered a helmet-to-helmet blow and was knocked out of the game. Due to the violet nature of the hit, Fitzpatrick's helmet and chin strap came flying off of his head. Fitzpatrick missed one play and came back in, but many were surprised that he wasn't evaluated for a concussion.
2016 Week 9 vs MIA (17 / 28 / 193 / 1 / 2 pass, 3 / 26 / 0 rush)
'Vintage Fitzpatrick' would be the best way to describe his effort against Miami. Known for playing with toughness, grit, and guile, Fitzpatrick stood tall in the pocket and made some tough throws, but interceptions and poor red zone execution were culprits in the loss. The offense scored just one touchdown in four red zone trips, but that one touchdown gave New York a 23-20 lead with five minutes remaining in the game. After a muffed Miami punt, Fitzpatrick hooked up with Jalin Marshall for an 18-yard touchdown. Marshall beat Bobby McCain on a tight slant route and Fitzpatrick delivered a perfectly thrown ball to buoy the scoring play. Plays like these kept to make fans forget about 3+ quarters bad of football that they just watched, but give him credit, Fitzpatrick put his team in a place to win. Outside of his scoring strike to Marshall, Fitzpatrick played poorly, but gutted through the game. Fitzpatrick threw two bad interceptions, one to defensive tackle, John Phillips, who dropped into zone coverage and intercepted a short slant route and one errant pass that was thrown into the end zone and easily intercepted by a Miami defender. There was some clear miscommunication on the second interception between Fitzpatrick and his receivers. Credit New York's defense for bailing Fitzpatrick out by limiting Miami to a punt and a field goal on his interceptions. Early in the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick took a massive hit that awkwardly bent his knee backwards. After missing a series, Fitzpatrick returned to the game, wearing a knee brace. Fitzpatrick finished the game, but he'll be hard pressed to finish next week's game against Los Angeles' front seven if he keeps taking big hits.
2016 Week 12 vs NE (22 / 32 / 269 / 2 / 0 pass, 2 / 1 / 0 rush)
'Gritty' would be the best word to describe Fitzpatrick's performance against New England. Fitzpatrick was sharp early on, finding Brandon Marshall early-and-often in the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, Fitzpatrick and Marshall hooked up for a 1-yard touchdown on a back shoulder throw. Marshall was matched up against Malcolm Butler, one-on-one, and Fitzpatrick threw the ball high, allowing the bigger Marshall to go get it. After his touchdown grab, Marshall only had one catch for the rest of the game, but the secondary options stepped up and made plays. Quincy Enunwa made several tough catches for Fitzpatrick, including a 22-yard touchdown grab in the fourth quarter. On the scoring play, Enunwa lined up against Butler, ran a deep corner route, and made a leaping grab to complete the scoring play. Initially, the referees ruled that Enunwa did not get both feet in, but the replay showed Enunwa's landed in bounds, on his rear. After Brady scored the go-ahead touchdown, Fitzpatrick got the ball back with 1:56 to go, but was strip sacked, effectively ending the game. Fans were hoping that Fitzpatrick could rally the team like he did last season against New England, but to no avail.
2016 Week 13 vs IND (5 / 12 / 81 / 0 / 1 pass, 2 / 3 / 0 rush)
he 'Fitzmagic' has run out for Ryan Fitzpatrick in New York. Fitzpatrick was benched after 2+ quarters of action, giving way to Bryce Petty. Fitzpatrick failed to generate a spark in the first half and capped off a dismal first half effort by lazily throwing an interception to Darius Butler; Fitzpatrick badly underthrew Brandon Marshall on a post route, allowing Butler to capture an easy interception. Thanks to some lackluster play by New York's defense, Indianapolis jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, forcing Fitzpatrick to attack through the air rather than calling run plays against Indianapolis' maligned run defense. Defensive coordiantor, Ted Monachino blitzed Fitzpatrick on half of his dropbacks--and Fitzpatrick failed to complete any passes when blitzed.†The pressure looks, mixed with a group of receivers that have trouble consistently winning against man-coverage, was a recipe for disaster. After the game, Todd Bowles named Bryce Petty the starting quarterback for the remainder of the season.
2016 Week 15 vs MIA (5 / 10 / 31 / 0 / 1 pass, 2 / 11 / 0 rush)
Ryan Fitzpatrick finished the game after Bryce Petty departed with a chest injury. Fitzpatrick led New York's offense into the red zone three times, but only came away with three points. Granted, the score was 34-10 when Fitzpatrick entered the game, but Fitzpatrick had some opportunities to make plays. Fitzpatrick failed to execute and was intercepted by Tony Lippett to end the game.
2016 Week 16 vs NE (8 / 21 / 136 / 0 / 2 pass, 1 / 3 / 0 rush)
For the second straight week, Ryan Fitzpatrick came on in relief of an injured Bryce Petty. Fitzpatrick, however, looked uninterested in playing. Fitzpatrick was incepted twice and only completed four passes prior to the fourth quarter. His decision making lazy and it's beyond obvious that his time as a Jet is nearing an end.
2016 Week 17 vs BUF (20 / 30 / 210 / 2 / 0 pass, 2 / 0 / 0 rush)
With Bryce Petty on injured reserve, Ryan Fitzpatrick started and played all four quarters. Fans were clamoring for Christian Hackenburg, but the team remained steadfast in treating this season as a 'red shirt' season for the young quarterback. Fitzpatrick was efficient in likely his final game as a Jet, completing 66 percent of his pass attempts and throwing two short touchdown passes. In the first quarter, Fitzpatrick hit Bilal Powell in the flat for a 2-yard touchdown. On a designed roll out, Fitzpatrick moved to his right and found Powell wide-open in the flat. Powell caught the pass and ran unimpeded into the end zone. In the third quarter, Fitzpatrick found Jalin Marshall on a drag route for a 6-yard touchdown. New York led from start to finish, so Fitzpatrick did a nice job of managing the game and making plays when his team needed it. Fitzpatrick enters the off-season as a free agent and has discussed retirement.
2015 Week 1 vs CLE (15 / 24 / 179 / 2 / 1 pass, 2 / -1 / 0 rush)
Ryan Fitzpatrick was very solid in his start as a member of the Jets. Fitzpatrick, who is known as a game manager, did an excellent job of keeping Cleveland's defense off-balance by intermixing quick completions with Chris Ivory's hard-nosed runs. Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes, one to Eric Decker on a corner route and one to Brandon Marshall on a fade. Fitzpatrick's touchdown pass to Marshall was completed relatively easy due to Marshall's pure stature against a smaller corner, Joe Haden. Marshall gives Fitzpatrick a physical, dominant red zone presence. Fitzpatrick did throw one interception, but was luckily bailed out by Marshall, who stripped the ball away from the defender. Fitzpatrick commanded Chan Gailey's offenses effectively and let Chris Ivory dominate in early down situations.
2015 Week 2 vs IND (22 / 34 / 244 / 2 / 1 pass, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)
With the Jets controlling field position, the star of Monday Night Football in Week 2 was the Jets defense as Ryan Fitzpatrick and Andrew Luck traded punts most of the night. Fitzpatrick got his first win at Lucas Oil Stadium and finished the game 23 of 34 for 244 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. He threw a touchdown to both Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall. On the first drive of the game it was clear that the Jets were going to take advantage of this zone defense scheme of the Colts as they went back to back plays to Eric Decker for 12 and 14 yards respectively on crossing routes. After an Andrew Luck interception Fitzpatrick wastes no time taking advantage hitting Eric Decker on a 6-yard touchdown pass in the slot. This gave the Jets an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Late in the first quarter Fitzpatrick got number one receiver Brandon Marshall involved as well as he throws a great pass on third down that Marshall turns into a 42-yard gain. Fitzpatrick recognized the zone coverage drop down into the flat and was able to connect with Marshall after he adjusted his route. In the second quarter Fitzpatrick is picked off when trying to pass downfield to Brandon Marshall. Colts cornerback Vontae Davis, who has been physically covering Marshall all night, tips the ball into pro-bowler Mike Adams hands in the end zone who makes a great play to get both feet in bounds. After yet another Andrew Luck turnover, Fitzpatrick picks up right where he left off in the first half, effortlessly hitting Eric Decker in zone coverage. The injuries to the Indianapolis corners doesn't allow them to play man coverage against the talented Jets receivers but Decker is literally getting open at will. Fitzpatrick does take another shot deep to Marshall in double coverage but the ball is knocked down and the drive ends in a field goal. After Eric Decker goes down with an apparent knee injury in the second half as well as top Colts Corner Vontae Davis out of the game, Fitzpatrick really got going with Brandon Marshall. He threw his second touchdown pass of the night on a back shoulder throw to Marshal battling through three defenders on his back to cross the goal line. This pushed the lead back to 10 points late in the 4th quarter where the Jets defense would come up with another turnover allowing Fitzpatrick to milk the clock.
2015 Week 3 vs PHI (35 / 58 / 283 / 2 / 3 pass, 4 / 13 / 0 rush)
Without two of his top playmakers, Fitzpatrick attempted to lead an offense that was clearly limited. After falling into an early double digit hole, New York's game plan revolved around force feeding Brandon Marshall, who was regularly double teamed. New York's offensive line was also dominated at the line of scrimmage and regularly lost their one-on-one assignments. These issues snowballed and ultimately resulted in turnovers. Fitzpatrick attempted a season-high 58 pass attempts and threw three interceptions. Fitzpatrick's third interception went through Marshall's hands and ultimately sealed the victory for Philadelphia. Fitzpatrick did throw two touchdown passes, one to Marshall and one late touchdown strike to Jeremy Kerley. Right before halftime, Fitzpatrick found Marshall on a deep post route for a relatively easy score. Late in the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick threw a dart to Kerley on a post route that was reminiscent of the strike that Fitzpatrick threw to Eric Decker in Week 2. Fitzpatrick was signed to manage games, but New York's porous effort on special teams, lackluster defensive play and overmatched offensive line put him in situations where he couldn't succeed.
2015 Week 4 vs MIA (16 / 29 / 218 / 1 / 1 pass, 9 / 34 / 0 rush)
Ryan Fitzpatrick had all of his main weapons at his disposal, but turned in a mediocre individual performance. Fitzpatrick benefitted from a dominant effort from his offensive line, which buoyed a 204-yard rushing attack. Fitzpatrick, however, forced some throws and could have picked off three or four times by Miami's defense. Fitzpatrick did manage a few strong throws, including a 57-yard strike to Brandon Marshall on New York's first play and a tight throw to Eric Decker on a post-route for a 10-yard touchdown. Fitzpatrick was also able to pick up first downs with his legs, picking up 34 yards when Miami opted to sit in deep zone coverage. Fitzpatrick made a few key throws, but did make some mistakes that will hopefully get ironed out during the bye week. Since New York enters its bye week with a 3-1 record, a quarterback change won't likely be made.
2015 Week 6 vs WAS (19 / 26 / 253 / 2 / 1 pass, 4 / 31 / 1 rush)
Coming off a bye week, Ryan Fitzpatrick played his best game of the season. While Fitzpatrick did throw his seventh interception of the season, he made the play of the game with his legs. Playing with a short field after an interception by Revis, Fitzpatrick scrambled and ran in a touchdown from 18 yards away. This scoring play gave New York a 20-13, third quarter lead; a lead New York wouldn't relinquish. No one will mistake Fitzpatrick for Russell Wilson or Cam Newton, but he's an underrated athlete that can make plays happen with his legs. Fitzpatrick also threw touchdown passes to Brandon Marshall (35 yards) and Eric Decker (2 yards), but credit both Marshall and Decker for extraordinary individual efforts to complete the scoring plays.
2015 Week 7 vs NE (22 / 39 / 295 / 2 / 0 pass, 5 / 29 / 0 rush)
Given the circumstances, Ryan Fitzpatrick played a solid game under tough conditions. Chris Ivory re-injured his balky hamstring on New York's first play, putting more pressure on Fitzpatrick to make plays. Feeling the effects of additional pressure, Fitzpatrick lost a fumble on New York's second play, which led to three points for New England. Fitzpatrick, however, was able to re-group and threw multiple touchdown passes for the fifth time in six starts. Early in the second quarter, Fitzpatrick hit Jeremy Kerley on a quick slant route for a 5-yard touchdown. Late in the third quarter, Fitzpatrick found Chris Ivory wide open on a wheel route for an easy 9-yard touchdown. The touchdown passes to these two unlikely recipients were a microcosm of New York's gameplan. New England rolled its coverage to Brandon Marshall, forcing Fitzpatrick to lean on his other targets. In addition to Kerley and Ivory, Eric Decker came up big, hauling in four, chain-moving opportunities on third down. Late in the fourth quarter, New York recovered an on-sides kick and had just ten seconds to score a touchdown to tie the game. New York, unfortunately, did not have any timeouts and Fitzpatrick made a mistake to throw the ball over the middle of thefield. Decker was able to haul in a reception for a 12-yard gain, but it was a poor decision when Fitzpatrick should have thrown a 'Hail Mary' into the end zone. Fitzpatrick was able to spike the ball with one second remaining, but a false start by Marshall ended the game.
2015 Week 8 vs OAK (4 / 5 / 46 / 0 / 0 pass, 1 / 12 / 0 rush)
Ryan Fitzpatrick injured his left thumb on the game's sixth play and gave way to Geno Smith. Fitzpatrick scrambled on a third down play and went head first instead of sliding. Fitzpatrick thumb got caught under the defender and he left the game until the final few plays of the game. Geno Smith came on in relief, but Fitzpatrick had to enter the game late in the fourth quarter after Smith took a big hit. Fitzpatrick was able to throw the ball downfield since the injury occurred to his non-throwing hand, but nonetheless, he entered the game in an emergency situation. The announcers indicated that Fitzpatrick may have suffered a ligament injury, but the severity isn't known.
2015 Week 9 vs JAX (21 / 34 / 272 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / 0 / 0 rush)
One week after tearing a ligament in his left thumb, Ryan Fitzpatrick returned to action and played well enough to win. Unlike prior weeks, Fitzpatrick took the majority of his snaps from the shotgun and only used his left hand as a guide. Fitzpatrick did not have any issue putting velocity on his throws, fitting two tight throws, one to Eric Decker and the other to Brandon Marshall, for game changing touchdowns. Early in the first quarter, Fitzpatrick found Decker in the middle of the end zone for an easy 7-yard pitch-and-catch. Fitzpatrick scrambled to prolong the play, but credit Decker for beating his defender and making a nice back shoulder catch. Late in the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick hooked up with Marshall for a game-sealing 20-yard touchdown. Marshall dogged corner, Davon House and made an acrobatic catch to finish the scoring play. Fitzpatrick's scoring strike to Marshall gave New York a 28-13 lead. While Fitzpatrick made some plays, he missed some easy throws and overshot Marshall in the second quarter, which would have resulted in an easy touchdown. Fitzpatrick will have to be sharper when the Buffalo Bills come to town.
2015 Week 10 vs BUF (15 / 34 / 193 / 2 / 2 pass, 3 / 30 / 0 rush)
Ryan Fitzpatrick made some costly physical and mental mistakes that halted New York's second half surge. Despite throwing two key second half touchdowns to Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, Fitzpatrick was unable to make game winning plays in the fourth quarter. Midway through the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick was engineering a strong drive and had Buffalo's defense on its heels. On a 3rd-and-3 play from Buffalo's 6-yard line, Fitzpatrick audibled out of a designed run for Chris Ivory and called a pick play for Eric Decker. Jeff Cumberland was the designated 'pick', but bumped into Decker at the line of the scrimmage and Decker was tackled for a 1-yard loss. New York opted to go for it on fourth down, but Fitzpatrick made a curious decision to target back-up tight end, Kellen Davis on a pick play. Davis ran a corner route, but did not pivot his head around quickly enough and the ball landed in the back corner of the end zone. Credit Buffalo's defense for disrupting Davis at the line of scrimmage, but question Fitzpatrick's decision making on that play. Buffalo opted to double team Brandon Marshall, but the decision to target Davis was baffling. Fitzpatrick was not limited by his thumb injury and took some shots down the field. His receivers, however, ran some sloppy routes. During a last ditch drive in the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick was intercepted on a deep crossing route. Kenbrell Thompkins, who started and primary played as the third wide receiver, strung out his route, giving the defender an easy opportunity to intercept the pass. Fitzpatrick opted to have surgery on his thumb on Friday afternoon and will likely play next week against Houston.
2015 Week 11 vs HOU (19 / 39 / 216 / 1 / 2 pass, 5 / 12 / 1 rush)
Just nine days removed form a thumb surgery, Fitzpatrick failed to develop a rhythm against a suddenly resurgent Houston defensive front. While Fitzpatrick did try to force some throws into tight windows, New York's offensive line was simply overmatched. JJ Watt's impact on the game's outcome cannot be unstated; Watt cycled across the defensive front and dominated right tackle, Breno Giacomini in one-on-one situations. Watt was constantly in Fitzpatrick's face, racking up five quarterback hits and two sacks. The coaching staff failed to supply a double team for Giacomini, so Fitzpatrick was under constant duress. Despite playing with an injured thumb, Fitzpatrick continued to scramble with reckless abandonment. During the second quarter, Fitzpatrick fumbled, but Bilal Powell luckily recovered. Late in the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick scrambled for six yards and dove into the end zone for New York's second touchdown. Fitzpatrick's scramble cut Houston's lead to 24-17, but Fitzpatrick took another big hit as he crossed the goal line. Doctors checked him for a concussion, but luckily, he stayed in the game. Fitzpatrick threw one touchdown to Brandon Marshall, a 21-yard strike out a corner route. Marshall was matched up against rookie, Kevin Johnson and delivered a perfect throw to Marshall. Outside of this scoring play, Fitzpatrick primarily settled for short completions on check downs to Bilal Powell and short crossing routes to Eric Decker. It's also worth noting that rookie Devin Smith dropped a sure-fire touchdown on a go-route, so his development is not progressing as most had hoped.
2015 Week 12 vs MIA (22 / 37 / 277 / 4 / 0 pass, 5 / 21 / 0 rush)
Amidst a 'quarterback controversy' after two poor performances, Ryan Fitzpatrick silenced any doubters by turning in a four-touchdown, turnover-free outing. Still playing with a brace on his left hand, Fitzpatrick's passes were much crisper than prior weeks. Fitzpatrick attacked Miami's defense with his arm and legs, throwing caution to wind when scrambling and diving 'head first' for first downs. Fitzpatrick took turns picking on Miami's corners, singling out Brent Grimes, Jamar Taylor and Brice McCain at different points during the game. Fitzpatrick and Brandon Marshall abused Grimes throughout the game, utilizing Marshall's larger frame to win one-on-one and jump ball situations. Fitzpatrick and Marshall hooked up for two touchdown strikes, once during the first quarter and a second time during the fourth quarter. During the first quarter, Marshall ran a corner route and Fitzpatrick lobbed the ball in for a 16-yard score. Later in the fourth quarter, Marshall ran a slant route and hauled in a 3-yard touchdown. Marshall easily won at the catch point, making the scoring plays seem somewhat routine. Devin Smith scored his first touchdown right before halftime, running a tight post route and catching a strike from Fitzpatrick for a 16-yard touchdown. Fitzpatrick showed a lot of faith for targeting Smith in a high leverage situation--and Smith cashed in. Eric Decker found the end zone for the 7th time this season, running a slant route and hauling in a 2-yard touchdown pass during the third quarter. Credit Quincy Enunwa for clearing out the defenders and Fitzpatrick for instantly recognizing that Decker was wide open. Fitzpatrick proved that, without a shadow of a doubt, he gives this team the best chance to win games.
2015 Week 13 vs NYG (36 / 50 / 390 / 2 / 0 pass, 5 / 22 / 0 rush)
Ryan Fitzpatrick delivered one of the best performances by a New York Jet quarterback in recent memory; Fitzpatrick's 390 passing yards were the most since Vinny Testaverde threw for 481 yards in 2000. Fitzpatrick proved that he could lead a comeback effort, erasing a 10-point, 4th quarter deficit to force overtime. While Fitzpatrick's final stat line looks impressive, the Jets' offense was fairly stagnant for two and a half quarters. Fitzpatrick, however, caught fire late in the third quarter, and into overtime, completing 19 of his 26 attempts for nearly 200 yards and a touchdown. Fitzpatrick's late game surge was a direct result of peppering Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker with targets. Decker, in particular, became unstoppable when he lined up in the slot. At one point in the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick and Decker connected three straight times on post routes for a total gain of 50 yards. Marshall, who was jawing and fighting with Giants' defenders throughout the game, asserted his will and bullied defenders at the catch point. Fitzpatrick and Marshall were locked in, hooking up for 12 completions in 13 pass attempts. With just 27 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick and Marshall connected for a 9-yard touchdown strike. Fitzpatrick threw the target high, allowing Marshall, and his 6'5" frame, to 'go-get' the ball. In overtime, Fitzpatrick paced the Jets' offense down the field, but ultimately settled for a field goal. Fitzpatrick had Decker open for a short, game winning touchdown, but was unable to connect. Finally, credit Bilal Powell for his pass protection and passing game chops. The Giants' defensive line was able to generate pressure throughout the game, but Powell's pass blocking ability gave Fitzpatrick extra time to find Marshall and Decker. Fitzpatrick and Powell were also able to hook-up for a 25-yard touchdown on a screen in the middle of the field. Finally, one of the most overlooked aspects of Fitzpatrick's performance--no turnovers. Fitzpatrick's ball protection is elite and that alone keeps his team in games.
2015 Week 14 vs TEN (21 / 36 / 263 / 3 / 0 pass, 3 / 23 / 0 rush)
Another week, another dominant performance by Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick extended his turnover-free streak to over 120 pass attempts while chucking another three touchdown passes. Fitzpatrick benefitted from several blown coverages and his pass catchers generating yardage after the catch. During the second quarter, Fitzpatrick set-up a short screen for Bilal Powell and Powell was able to score from 16 yards out. New York's offensive line did an excellent job of setting up its blocks, but credit Powell for finding space and accelerating through it. Tennessee's defenders attempted to 'shoulder tackle' Powell, which proved to be a fruitless endeavor. Right before halftime, Fitzpatrick benefitted from a bit of good luck, hooking up with Brandon Marshall for a 69-yard scoring play. Simply put, Tennessee's secondary forgot to cover Marshall, so Fitzpatrick hit him with a quick screen and Marshall made the scoring play happen after the catch. Fitzpatrick also connected with Eric Decker for a 16-yard scoring play during the first quarter. Like we've seen week after week, Decker ran a tight post route and Fitzpatrick threw it in a spot where only Decker could make a play. While it may go somewhat unnoticed, Fitzpatrick continued to make plays with his legs, scrambling for 19 yards and picking up a key first down during the first half. Fitzpatrick's scramble prolonged New York's first drive, which resulted in his scoring strike to Decker. Over the last three games, Fitzpatrick has thrown nine touchdowns and no interceptions. He's playing arguably the best football of his long career and his offense is peaking at the right time.
2015 Week 15 vs DAL (26 / 39 / 299 / 1 / 1 pass, 5 / 13 / 0 rush)
As the season has progressed, the identity of New York's offense has transformed from a hard-nosed, rushing attack to a pass-first approach. The change in identity is a direct result of Fitzpatrick's ability to shift from a game manager to a confident, 'pass first' quarterback. During the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick completed 10-of-12 passes for 132 yards, which culminated with 10 'game winning' points. Midway through the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick hooked up with Eric Decker for a 3-yard touchdown. As we've seen week after week, Decker used his size and physicality to win at the line of scrimmage, created a small opening and received a quick strike from Fitzpatrick. This scoring play gave New York a 16-13 lead. Dallas was able to tie the game with a field goal at the two-minute warning, giving Fitzpatrick one final drive to win the game. Fitzpatrick didn't disappoint---easily pacing the offense into field goal range. It took New York eight plays to get into field goal, but Fitzpatrick's trust and faith in secondary options set up the game winning field goal. On a 3rd-and-13 play, Fitzpatrick found Kenbrell Thompkins down the right sideline for a 43-yard gain. Thompkins was able to use a quick fake to shake his defender and run free into the secondary. Due to injuries, Thompkins and third wide receiver, Quincy Enunwa, played critical roles at time. Of note, Enunwa was instrumented on third down and made several big catches to prolong drives. Decker and Marshall both suffered leg injuries during the first half, but luckily returned and made an impact during the second half. Fitzpatrick continues to play the best football of his long career and is playing in arguably the biggest game of his career next week against the Patriots.
2015 Week 16 vs NE (26 / 41 / 296 / 3 / 0 pass, 2 / 13 / 0 rush)
Ryan Fitzpatrick missed a few easy throws early in the game, but rebounded in a big way as the game progressed. Early in the first quarter, Fitzpatrick over-shot Kenbrell Thompkins on a deep post route that would have resulted in an easy touchdown. During the second quarter, Fitzpatrick hit Quincy Enunwa in a stride on a deep post route, but the ball bounced off of Enunwa's hands and fell incomplete. Right before halftime, Fitzpatrick started to develop a rhythm, hooking up with Brandon Marshall for a 2-yard touchdown. Marshall ran a tight corner route, boxed out the smaller defender, and hauled in the scoring strike. Early in the third quarter, Fitzpatrick went back to Marshall on a deep sideline route for a 33-yard scoring strike. This scoring play gave New York a 17-3 advantage that would slowly vanish as the third quarter progressed. Late in the third quarter, Fitzpatrick was strip-sacked by Jabaal Sheard and the fumble was returned by Jamie Collins for a touchdown. It was Fitzpatrick's first turnover in five games and unfortunately cut New York's lead to 17-13. New England was able to tie the game in the fourth quarter, forcing overtime. Fitzpatrick and New York's offense, however, benefitted from a curious coin toss decision by New England and drove 80 yards to win the game. During the game winning drive, Fitzpatrick went 3-for-3 on his pass attempts for 74 yards. On his third pass attempt, Fitzpatrick found Decker for 6 yards for the game winning touchdown. Decker ran a tight corner route, beating Malcom Butler at the line of scrimmage to position himself to secure the game winning score. While the Fitzpatrick-Decker touchdown won the game, Fitzpatrick's 48-yard completion to Quincy Enunwa set-up the game-winning scoring strike. Enunwa atoned for his drop earlier in the game and proved that he could make a play in crunch time. Credit Fitzpatrick for once again making plays when his team needed him the most.
2015 Week 17 vs BUF (16 / 37 / 181 / 2 / 3 pass, 2 / 12 / 0 rush)
The loss is directly attributable to the poor play of Ryan Fitzpatrick, who turned in a forgettable three interception performance. Two major factors, the wind and Buffalo's pass rush, had a direct impact on his performance. New York's offensive line had trouble slowing down Buffalo's talented array of pass rushers. The wind, on the other hand, made downfield passing even harder for Fitzpatrick, who struggled all season with the deep ball. Fitzpatrick also threw three, fourth quarter interceptions that sealed his team's fate. Midway through the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick targeted Decker on a corner route, but underthrew him and the pass was intercepted by Leodis McKelvin. Fitzpatrick threw his third and final interceptions with just 20 seconds remaining. Fitzpatrick targeted Decker on a crossing route, but the ball was underthrown and intercepted to end the game. Fitzpatrick did throw two more touchdown passes to Marshall and Decker, but a third scoring strike would have resulted in a playoff berth. Overall, it was a forgettable performance by Fitzpatrick in New York's biggest game of the last five seasons. Fitzpatrick, an impending free agent, had a great season and will have some leverage in his contract negotiations.
2014 Week 1 vs WAS (14 / 22 / 206 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 10 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick had the type of game that Texans fans and coaches alike expected. Bill O'Brien called a very conservative game plan for the offense initially, and started to open things up just a little once the defense and the run game set the tone. Fitzpatrick dropped back to pass 9 times out of 24 offensive snaps in the first half, and 13 out of the 34 second half offensive snaps. While both ratios equal passing 38% of the time, the passes in the first half were mostly screens to Arian Foster as well as bubble screens and quick outs to the wide receivers. Fitzpatrick looked to pass the ball further down the field in his second half throws, looking almost exclusively for Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins on intermediate routes. The best thing Fitzpatrick did was take care of the football. Not only did Fitzpatrick not throw any interceptions or fumble the ball, but the only sack he took was after a low snap gave him no time to avoid Jason Hatcher's A-gap pressure. Once Fitzpatrick started throwing the ball down the field, he did not come close to throwing any interceptions, although that is not to say he was completely accurate as he left several throws short or errantly wide of receivers. The one glaring difference to the conservative play calling for Fitzpatrick was the 76 yard touchdown strike to Hopkins. After running Foster three straight runs for a collective 13 yards, Fitzpatrick sold a play action fake and found Hopkins wide open 30 yards down the field. As a whole though, as long as the Texans defense is able to keep the team in games, this is the play calling likely to be seen. It is glaringly obvious that Bill O'Brien does not trust Fitzpatrick enough to run the offense through him.
2014 Week 2 vs OAK (14 / 19 / 139 / 2 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick's stat line was far from gaudy yet again on Sunday because head coach Bill O'Brien likes it that way. The most important statistical categories for Fitzpatrick all had zeros; zero interceptions, zero fumbles, zero turnovers. Fitzpatrick showed glimpses of what he can do in this offense if the there was a need to pass more by completing his first eight passes to start the game. His first incompletion, however, is a good example of how Fitzpatrick can sometimes get himself into trouble. He threw into double coverage in the back corner of the end zone trying to thread the needle to Andre Johnson, the ball was tipped up, and almost resulted in a red zone interception. Johnson is certainly Fitzpatrick's favorite target, but he has shown a willingness to throw DeAndre Hopkins' way as well as the tight ends. This contest was not a great example of Fitzpatrick's abilities due to the Texans' defense domination of the Raiders offense. For instance, Fitzpatrick only attempted four passes in the second half, three of which he completed for 35 yards and a touchdown. Running the ball to set up shots is not a cliché for Bill O'Brien though, so as long as the Texans defense keeps dominating Fitzpatrick will put up very similar stat lines.
2014 Week 3 vs NYG (20 / 34 / 289 / 1 / 3 pass, 7 / 34 / 1 rush)
Texans fans wondered when Fitzpatrick would have his first turnover laden game, and they got their answer today. Not all of the picks were his fault, but a three interception day in the NFL is unacceptable. The first interception was the result of pressure and the ball was tipped during the throw. The other two interceptions were throws that Fitzpatrick tried to fit into tight windows, but missed on one and the other was tipped by a defensive back and then intercepted by another. Fitzpatrick lacks arm strength and flings his entire body into throws like a twelve year old throwing a full sized football. This compensation for lack of arm strength leads to occasional inaccuracy which is what plagued him today. Additionally, for the first time this season the game script did not allow for head coach Bill O'Brien to call the game in the conservative fashion he would prefer as the Giants moved the ball with relative ease on the Texans defense. In the second half, the Texans found themselves down by two touchdowns and O'Brien dialed up numerous pass plays. Fitzpatrick not only found several pass catchers on intermediate routes, but was also able to find slot receiver Damaris Johnson for a long touchdown and two huge downfield passes to DeAndre Hopkins, although one was negated by penalty. Fitzpatrick was also able to add a silver lining for fantasy purposes by showing a willingness to tuck the ball and run to include a touchdown. Ultimately what kills Fitzpatrick for fantasy purposes is inconsistency, both in production and game plan. Today Fitzpatrick had a decent fantasy performance due to garbage time, especially if your scoring system does not greatly penalize for interceptions. O'Brien will do everything in his power, however, to ensure that Fitzpatrick does not have this much impact on the game going forward.
2014 Week 4 vs BUF (25 / 37 / 268 / 1 / 2 pass, 6 / 14 / 0 rush)
Fitpatrick's stat line from Sunday is nothing to brag about, but it does not truly indicate his performance against his old team the Buffalo Bills. For instance, the 1 touchdown to 2 interception ratio is less than ideal, but one interception was the result of a batted ball at the line of scrimmage, and another came on a decently thrown deep ball into single coverage which Leodis McKelvin happened to outfight DeAndre Hopkins for. Head Coach Bill O'Brien called a very good game for Fitzpatrick and the offense, but the problem is that Fitzpatrick is only as good as that play calling. That is to say, he can play within the structure of O'Brien's offense, but as soon as he leaves that structure bad things happen. Still, Fitzpatrick's 7.2 yards per attempt show decent efficiency given that he was also the Texans' lead rusher with 14 yards. Fitzpatrick made some very impressive throws, such as a back shoulder throw to Andre Johnson in the third quarter that was placed perfectly where only Johnson could catch it. The Texans offense was able to put up 16 points despite turning the ball over three times, featuring a not completely healthy Arian Foster, and playing a determined defense that stymied the run. Fitzpatrick will continue to have value only as a bye week or injury fill-in, and even then there are other quarterbacks that likely have a higher floor than Fitzpatrick.
2014 Week 5 vs DAL (16 / 25 / 154 / 0 / 1 pass, 3 / 3 / 0 rush)
Another week, and another lackluster performance from Ryan Fitzpatrick. His 64% completion percentage doesn't look bad on first glance, but Fitzpatrick continuously either threw for short completions or incompletions on third downs, which led to numerous stalled drives. Fitzpatrick played mostly mistake free, having only thrown one interception on a miscommunication between him and Arian Foster on an option route. Orlando Scandrick got the easiest interception of his career as Foster ran down the sideline and Fitzpatrick threw it as if he expected Foster to come back for the football. The offensive line was also able to keep Fitzpatrick clean, as he was not sacked all day long. The issue is that Fitzpatrick did nothing to worthwhile to move the team outside of the last two drives of the game, which led to the 10 points needed to tie it. If Fitzpatrick was more consistent, he could be viable in real life with this defense as well as in fantasy. Unfortunately though, both the Texans and any fantasy teams that rely on Fitzpatrick regularly will suffer more wins than losses.
2014 Week 6 vs IND (15 / 23 / 212 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / 5 / 0 rush)
In the first quarter of the game, Fitzpatrick and the entirety of the offense looked completely ineffectual which allowed Andrew Luck and the Colts to build a 24-0 lead. Head coach Bill O'Brien to his credit though, did not allow this lead to change the game script which limited Fitzpatrick to only 23 attempts. Fitzpatrick locked onto Andre Johnson for 12 of those attempts, as Fitzpatrick showed he only had eyes for Johnson after an early DeAndre Hopkins drop. Fitzpatrick played a clean game for 58 minutes giving up the ball not once, until he fumbled without defensive contact on what could have been the game winning drive. Fitzpatrick played much worse than his stat line would indicate and the offensive line is to blame for some of that as they are not giving him nearly enough time to get through his progressions. Ultimately, this team is not good enough on defense yet to win the way they have in their victories which is run the offense through the running game with a conservative game plan. That is not stopping Bill O'Brien from calling games that way though, and Fitzpatrick will have very little week to week fantasy value with such little offensive responsibility placed on him.
2014 Week 7 vs PIT (21 / 32 / 262 / 2 / 1 pass, 5 / 16 / 0 rush)
In the NFL you're only as good as your quarterback, and the Texans don't have one. Fitzpatrick seems like a great backup in the sense that he's good enough to give a team a spark in relief, but he simply isn't consistent enough to be an effective starter in real life and therefore in fantasy as well. The two touchdowns, his completion percentage and YPA looks good on paper, but when you can't score more than 13 points in the first half when you have a running back running for 5.4 YPC, you're not getting it done. When Fitzpatrick throws the ball it looks like it weighs 25 pounds and he has to heave his whole body into a toss to drive it even 15 yards down the field. Fitzpatrick's one interception was tipped at the line by Brett Kiesel, deflected by Arian Foster, and then intercepted by Kiesel. Fitzpatrick will continue to not be roster worthy for the rest of the season absent the rare garbage time catch up effort because of his lack of consistency.
2014 Week 8 vs TEN (19 / 35 / 227 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 12 / 0 rush)
There are two types of games that Ryan Fitzpatrick plays; the ones in which the Texans need Fitzpatrick to win the game and he makes a pivotal mistake, or the ones in which the defense and running game make it so all Fitzpatrick needs to do is not make a critical error. Today was of the latter category. Playing a rookie quarterback making his first start and Arian Foster running on all cylinders meant Fitzpatrick could get away with an abysmal 54% completion percentage and a lackluster 6.4 yards per attempt. Fitzpatrick suffered from worse ball placement than normal, which is typically not good. Fitzpatrick was lucky to not throw any picks this afternoon because he had several balls batted down at the line of scrimmage which is an issue for the shorter than average quarterback. One thing that was working very well was his connection with second year receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Fitzpatrick was more than content to exploit an obvious mismatch between Hopkins and Tennessee cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson. Fitzpatrick does excel at comeback routes that rely on timing, of which Hopkins ran many today. As usual, a game that goes by a favorable game script for the Texans like the one today does not make Fitzpatrick a viable fantasy option.
2014 Week 9 vs PHI (13 / 27 / 203 / 2 / 1 pass, 6 / 49 / 0 rush)
Another week, another game for Ryan Fitzpatrick that appears better statistically than his performance actually was. Possibly because of the matchup with Cary Williams, or perhaps because he doesn't trust Andre Johnson, Fitzpatrick peppered DeAndre Hopkins throughout the game. Johnson has perhaps lost a step, but ignoring a future Hall of Fame inductee who can still play is just one reason Fitzpatrick has a horrid lack of consistency. On Sunday the Texans converted 5 of 13 third downs which is right at the 37.5% conversion rate for the season. Fitzpatrick's fantasy value got a bump by his willingness to take off and run for first downs. Overall though, Fitzpatrick has deficient arm strength, inconsistent ball placement and less playing intelligence than you'd expect for a Harvard graduate. The eventual switch to backup Ryan Mallett seems inevitable as the Texans now have a losing record and Mallett is in the last year of his rookie contract.
2014 Week 13 vs TEN (24 / 33 / 358 / 6 / 0 pass, 2 / 10 / 0 rush)
The game on Sunday was an example of two things; what the Texans can do on offense when Fitzpatrick doesn't turn over the ball, and more importantly how bad the Titans are on defense. Outside of the occasional splash play by Jurrell Casey, the Titans couldn't do anything to slow down the Texans passing attack. Fitzpatrick quickly diagnosed coverages post snap and fed the ball to the open receiver, who as the stat line indicates, was often DeAndre Hopkins. Fitzpatrick had a far from perfect game, throwing many low throws that either fell for incompletions or spectacular catches. The afore mentioned Hopkins bailed out Fitzpatrick several times in the beginning of the game by snagging several of the low throws which should have been incomplete passes. Fitzpatrick did do some of the heavy lifting, putting throws where only his receivers could catch it such as a back of the end zone toss to Andre Johnson. Fitzpatrick unfortunately does not play this Titans defense every week, so a 6 TD to 0 INT ratio is probably not repeatable.
2014 Week 14 vs JAX (13 / 19 / 135 / 0 / 0 pass, 8 / 19 / 1 rush)
On Sunday Ryan Fitzpatrick returned to Earth after his 6 touchdown performance the week prior. That's what happens when you're not passing against air, i.e. the Tennessee Titans secondary. Fitzpatrick struggled to sustain drives yet again, but importantly did not throw any interceptions, which is the catalyst to the Texans offensive success this year. Fitzpatrick did scamper for a 4 yard touchdown to help salvage the day for anyone that streamed him against the Jaguars, but his meager stat line outside the one rushing touchdown did not please any fantasy owners. The game played out the way that Bill O'Brien wanted it to though, and as long as Arian Foster can find running room such as he did Sunday, the Texans will be completely content keeping Fitzpatrick's attempts below 20-25.
2013 Week 4 vs NYJ (3 / 8 / 108 / 1 / 0 pass, 2 / -2 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick came in for Jake Locker in the third quarter after he suffered a hip injury. Fitzpatrick immediately faced a third and 13, which he converted by throwing a precise pass to Kendall Wright over the middle of the field. That throw was the highlight of Fitzpatrick's day however. He repeatedly missed receivers before completing a 77 yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington. While he threw the 77 yard pass, Washington deserves the credit for the play because he initially came free and was forced to work back to an underthrown pass. There was a notable drop off between Fitzpatrick and Locker.
2013 Week 5 vs KC (21 / 41 / 247 / 1 / 2 pass, 6 / 50 / 1 rush)
Fitzpatrick made horrible throw after horrible throw before he should have been intercepted by Eric Berry early in the second quarter. As he had done earlier in the game, Fitzpatrick forced the ball into a very tight window over the middle against a Cover-2 coverage. On the first occasion he couldn't get the ball to Kendall Wright, but Brandon Flowers had to stretch to tip it away. On the second occasion, he forced it to Delanie Walker, instead throwing the ball into Eric Berry's chest. Fitzpatrick continued to play poorly, but he had a big play with his feet when he scrambled at the start of the third quarter. A few plays later, Fitzpatrick evaded a sack with a quick shovel pass to Chris Johnson in the flat. It was a good play, but Johnson did all the work to turn it into a 49 yard touchdown pass. Fitzpatrick did find Kenny Britt with an excellent throw in the endzone later in the third quarter, but Britt dropped the ball. On the next drive, Fitzpatrick should have been intercepted again, but Berry dropped it again and was unfairly penalized for pass interference. Eventually, the Titans found their way to the goalline and Locker was able to scramble in for a touchdown. A staple of the Titans 2013 season so far has been deep comeback routes to Nate Washington. Locker has consistently thrown them with great accuracy and velocity, when Fitzpatrick attempted a deep sideline route to Washington late in the fourth quarter, he was intercepted. Fitzpatrick's throw was inaccurate and it came at a critical point of the game as the Chiefs had just taken a three point lead. The Chiefs scored a field goal off that turnover and Fitzpatrick threw another interception on the next drive to seal the loss.
2013 Week 6 vs SEA (17 / 29 / 171 / 0 / 2 pass, 6 / 33 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick almost led a 90+ yard scoring drive in the first quarter. However, as is typical of him, he overthrew Damian Williams in the end zone. On the next drive, he immediately overthrew Nate Washington for his first interception of the day. Fitzpatrick was connecting well with Williams after missing him early and he made some nice plays with his feet. However, he should have been intercepted again late in the second quarter when he threw the ball straight to an underneath defender. Early in the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick underthrew a deep pass down the sideline straight to Richard Sherman. This was something Fitzpatrick regularly did with the Buffalo Bills. His day was encapsulated on a play late in the fourth quarter, when he fumbled the ball by simply trying to go through his throwing motion.
2013 Week 10 vs JAX (22 / 33 / 264 / 2 / 0 pass, 3 / 13 / 1 rush)
Fitzpatrick came in late in the second quarter. Fitzpatrick was eased into the game with screen passes and throws underneath before he found Taylor Thompson wide open in the end zone for his first touchdown. Thompson was open after play-action while Fitzpatrick ran into the flat on a bootleg. Fitzpatrick kept the Titans offense on track for the most part, but he should have been intercepted deep in Jaguars territory after throwing the ball straight to Alan Ball. Ball dropped the pass however. Down by nine late in the fourth quarter, Fitzpatrick completed some underneath throws that turned into big gains because of his receivers before he scrambled into the end zone for a touchdown. After that touchdown, Fitzpatrick panicked on the next drive as his eyes dropped against a blitz and he fumbled the ball. The Jaguars returned it for a touchdown that sealed their victory. Fitzpatrick did lead a touchdown drive after, but the Jaguars recovered an onside kick to end the game.
2013 Week 11 vs IND (22 / 28 / 222 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 26 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick's performance against the Colts was his best since his Buffalo days. He continued to be a limited quarterback, as his eyes repeatedly dropped too quickly when he left the pocket and his deep ball is still essentially non-existent, but he did enough to keep the offense ticking over without Jake Locker. Fitzpatrick was primarily able to keep the offense on track because the Chris Johnson was very effective running the ball and the Colts couldn't match up to Delanie Walker or Kendall Wright over the middle of the field. Nate Washington and Justin Hunter were barely involved because they were working more down the sidelines. Fitzpatrick's only touchdown of the game went to Walker as he was wide open running towards the pylon in the end zone.
2013 Week 12 vs OAK (30 / 42 / 320 / 2 / 0 pass, 5 / 26 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick converted many third and longs during the first quarter with precise throws. His most impressive was a seeam route to Kendall Wright that he fit between two defenders. Fitzpatrick played well in the first half. He still ran too often but at least he didn't make any costly mistakes. To begin the third quarter, he made an excellent throw to Kendall Wright before he found Justin Hunter for a touchdown. Hunter did most of the work, but the throw from Fitzpatrick was on point. Fitzpatrick's best throw of the game came late in the fourth quarter, as he found Kendall Wright down the field on a perfect throw while under pressure. He dealt with a lot of pressure during the game. Often he ran and didn't pull the trigger like he did on this play however. On a drive that lasted six minutes, Fitzpatrick showed good poise and made smart decisions before finding Wright for the game winning touchdown at the goal line. The backup quarterback is still limited in certain areas, but this was a very impressive display overall.
2013 Week 13 vs IND (21 / 37 / 201 / 1 / 3 pass, 8 / 54 / 1 rush)
Ryan Fitzpatrick underthrew his first pass to Kendall Wright, before he overthrew Nate Washington down the sideline in the first quarter. Washington made a great catch to save the reception, but Fitzpatrick's ball placement cost them an immediate touchdown. Nonetheless, the drive continued down the field and Fitzpatrick made two plays with his feet to set up and score the Titans' first touchdown. On third and 14 in the second quarter, Fitzpatrick should have been intercepted when he forced a ball over the middle of the field and completely missed Kendall Wright. Fitzpatrick wasn't throwing the ball accurately throughout the first half so it was no surprise that he ended the half with a terrible interception. In the third quarter, Fitzpatrick did little to bring the Titans to the end zone, but made a smart pass to Chris Johnson on fourth and one after rolling out of the pocket for the touchdown. After taking over excellent field position in the third quarter, when the Titans were winning by two points, Fitzpatrick showed no situational awareness as he tried to escape a sack and make a throw that turned into a fumble. The Colts took the ball down the sideline to set up a field goal of their own. On the ensuing drive, Fitzpatrick forced a pass over the middle of the field that was intercepted. Fittingly, Fitzpatrick threw another bad interception to end the game. He was the difference between a convincing victory and a close loss in this game.
2013 Week 14 vs DEN (13 / 24 / 172 / 1 / 1 pass, 1 / 4 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick hit his first two throws. The first converted a third down, while the second was a big play to Justin Hunter that brought them to the goal line. Fitzpatrick had little else to do in the first half, but he missed a few pass attempts to receivers down the field. In the third quarter, he was too relaxed in the pocket and eventually threw an interception as Von Miller tipped a pass in front of his face. The Broncos scored on the ensuing drive, but Fitzpatrick rebounded. He found a wide open Justin Hunter down the middle of the field for a big touchdown. Hunter was wide open, which allowed Fitzpatrick to hang it in the air for him to go and get. Fitzpatrick again proved in this game why he is still just a backup quarterback.
2013 Week 15 vs ARI (36 / 58 / 402 / 4 / 2 pass, 3 / 22 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick completed his first few passes to move the chains in the first quarter. He was able to set up a field goal, but he was also fortunate not to turn the ball over. After dropping his eyes too early in the pocket, something he has done throughout the season, Fitzpatrick scrambled and had the ball punched free by a defender from behind. Fortunately for the veteran quarterback it went straight to a teammate. On the ensuing drive, Fitzpatrick's weakness benefited him. He initially dropped his eyes in the pocket and made to scramble. For whatever reason, he bounced backwards instead of continuing upfield and spotted Chris Johnson open out wide. Fitzpatrick threw a perfect pass to him that he carried into the end zone. His second touchdown came in the third quarter, but it overshadowed a number of bad throws he made in between. Kendall Wright's excellence and a number of penalties allowed the drive to continue, before Fitzpatrick found a wide open Delanie Walker for a touchdown. That didn't stop Fitzpatrick from continually missing receivers. Their next drive stalled because of his inacurracy, before he was lucky not to be intercepted by Daryl Washington in the fourth quarter. Fitzpatrick was intercepted on the next drive, as he made a bad decision trying to find Nate Washington. That combined with bad ball placement gave Antoine Cason an easy pick-six. At the very least, Fitzpatrick rebounded by driving his offense down the field before throwing a touchdown pass to Michael Preston. He followed that up with a number of impressive throws to set up a field goal and score a touchdown before the end of the fourth quarter, but again he fell apart in overtime. He cost Nate Washington a chance at a long-range touchdown to win the game with poor ball placement, before throwing the interception that proved to be the nail in the coffin.
2013 Week 16 vs JAX (17 / 26 / 181 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 1 / 0 rush)
The first drive of this game showed off what we have come to know about Ryan Fitzpatrick. He threw two very accurate, impressive passes to Nate Washington to big plays, before he made it easy on the defense on third and one. Fitzpatrick ran a bootleg but dropped his eyes immediately instead of looking for a receiver downfield. That decision forced the Titans to settle for a field goal, but a similar one on the next drive forced them to settle for a punt. It was a bad start for the former backup quarterback. Things didn't get much better as the game went on. Fitzpatrick missed Justin Hunter down the field before checking down too quickly to backs deep in the red zone. He overthrew Delanie Walker after play action from the one yard line for a turnover on downs. Incredibly, Fitzpatrick tried to find Kendall Wright between three defenders to start a drive in the second quarter. He was lucky not to be intercepted. Ironically, Fitzpatrick's luck turned immediately after half time. He slightly overthrew Delanie Walker, but Walker should have made a reception on a deep crossing route. Instead he tipped the ball into the air for an easy interception. After that, the Titans focused on the running game. The Titans ran it in for a touchdown before Fitzpatrick found Washington wide open for their first touchdown of the fourth quarter off of play-action. Fitzpatrick has the tools, but again, this game was another example of his inability to play the quarterback position.
2013 Week 17 vs HOU (15 / 24 / 166 / 0 / 1 pass, 2 / -2 / 0 rush)
This game gave us the overwhelming negatives of Ryan Fitzpatrick's play, without any of the rare positives. His inaccuracy as a passer is simply incredible for a professional and it's clear that he will be returning to the sideline moving into 2014.
2012 Week 1 vs NYJ (18 / 32 / 195 / 3 / 3 pass, 2 / 8 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick had an abysmal game in a very humbling loss to the Jets. The Bills first drive started in great field position thanks to a turnover, but Fitzpatrick made a poor decision while trying to force a ball and was picked off by Darrelle Revis. The second drive also ended with an interception on an underthrown ball that he was trying to fit into a very tight window. Fitzpatrick looked out of sync for much of the first half and the Bills were down 21-0 early in the second quarter. Things got worse on first drive of the second half when a clear miscommunication led to a throw right into the hands of Antonio Cromartie for an easy defensive touchdown. It wasn't until after the game was completely out of reach that Fitzpatrick started to string some passes together, and he did manage to throw 3 touchdown passes in garbage time to finish with respectable fantasy numbers. Given the performance we saw, however, the Bills are likely to have serious doubts about whether Fitzpatrick is really the QB than can take them to the next level and the calls for Tarvaris Jackson will probably start to pick up if he puts up another clunker like this.
2012 Week 2 vs KC (10 / 19 / 178 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / 34 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick bounced back from a dismal showing against the Jets and put up a respectably efficient performance against the Chiefs in a blowout win. A strong running game and defense helped take pressure off him, but he generally delivered the ball accurately and quickly while avoiding any big mistakes. Fitzpatrick's lack of arm strength is apparent, yet he is at his best when spreading the defense out and working the middle of the field. He has yet to take a sack in 2 games this year, and also added 34 yards rushing on 4 attempts this week as he was more aggressive when the defense dropped extra men in coverage.
2012 Week 3 vs CLE (22 / 35 / 208 / 3 / 0 pass, 6 / 10 / 0 rush)
Ryan Fitzpatrick put together another steady game in a road win over the Browns. Despite rainy conditions and the loss of the league's leading rusher to injury early in the game, he was able to find open targets and consistently move the ball downfield. Fitzpatrick helped the Bills take control of the game with a couple of early touchdown passes and then put the game away late with his third of the game. The line protected him well and the only sack he's taken all year came in the first half when he tried to attempt a pass but lost his grip on the wet ball before his arm started moving forward. Over his last 10 quarters combined, Fitzpatrick has thrown for 8 touchdowns and just 1 interception.
2012 Week 4 vs NE (22 / 39 / 350 / 4 / 4 pass, 3 / 14 / 0 rush)
If the Buffalo Bills were looking to make a statement about the direction of their franchise today, then that direction must be towards acquiring a new quarterback. Fitzpatrick's performance against the Patriots essentially epitomizes his whole career, it was...inconsistent. Fitzpatrick obviously has the ability to hit short throws with excellent accuracy, but his inability to find receivers down the field really hurt the Bills' chances at winning the game. Fitzpatrick's first turnover wasn't his fault at least. His pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and went directly to a Patriots' defender. Fitzpatrick's struggles became evident during a crucial stretch of the game in the second quarter. He underthrew TJ Graham deep down the right sideline throwing from his own endzone. Graham, a speedster, had easily beaten Devin McCourty but was taken out of the play as Fitzpatrick's pass landed in McCourty's hands with ease. Fitzpatrick rebounded with an accurate pass to Scott Chandler, a player who he had an excellent rapport with on the day, as well as making good use of TJ Graham on screen passes all throughout the game. It was a combination of those aspects of the offense that allowed Fitzpatrick to throw his first touchdown pass. The Bills faked a screen with Graham, before Fitzpatrick threw a very accurate pass to Scott Chandler over the head of Pat Chung in the endzone. Chandler was the only player Fitzpatrick could consistently hit. Outside of a few throws here and there, he never really established a relationship with Stevie Johnson while TJ Graham was cost a potential touchdown when he was overthrown deep on a post route. While Smith's first interception can't be put on him, neither can his touchdown pass to Donald Jones really. Smith completed an accurate short slant pass over the middle of the field for a short gain. Jones however turned that short gain into a long touchdown run with his speed and a devilish sidestep that turned the free safety around in the middle of the field. Continuing his inconsistent day, Fitzpatrick followed that up with a play when he held the ball too long and didn't feel the presence of Rob Ninkovich who forced an easy fumble. Then once the Patriots had a two score lead, Fitzpatrick threw the ball across his body looking for Johnson, but his pass was underthrown and Devin McCourty was gifted his second interception of the day. The next drive featured a throw where Fitzpatrick forced Johnson out of bounds with his accuracy even though he was wide open on the sideline. A relatively easy touchdown pass to Brad Smith wasn't enough to forgive Fitzpatrick late on, but even after that he threw another interception to Tavon Wilson when he and his receiver weren't on the same page. Ryan Fitzpatrick may not be an NFL starter much longer, the truth is he probably shouldn't be.
2012 Week 5 vs SF (16 / 26 / 126 / 0 / 1 pass, 2 / 1 / 0 rush)
A terrible day for Fitzpatrick, as the quarterback was unable to do much beyond completing short passes. In the first half, Fitzpatrick was able to string together a long drive with slants and out routes, getting the ball to his receivers and letting them do the rest. He almost threw a touchdown at the end of said drive, but the ball was behind Donald Jones and the receiver was unable to catch it. That was the high water mark for Fitzpatrick, as he spent the rest of the game badly missing receivers, even when given time in the pocket. On long routes down the side, Stevie Johnson and T.J. Graham were able to get some separation against man coverage, but Fitzpatrick either overthrew them or the ball wasn't even close. Once, C.J. Spiller had beaten the linebacker in coverage down the sideline on a designed play to specifically get Spiller the ball, and with time Fitzpatrick overthrew him. His inaccuracy when not even pressured was staggering. His interception was of the same cloth, with Jones running to the back of the end zone Fitzpatrick sailed a ball that wasn't able to pass the goal line. Jones had a step on his man, but with such a terrible throw, Jones wasn't able to readjust in time and Culliver easily picked it off.
2012 Week 6 vs ARI (18 / 32 / 153 / 0 / 0 pass, 3 / 5 / 0 rush)
It appears Buffalo has finally found the formula to success; limit both the amount of throws whilst also limiting the length of the routes Bills' WRs are running. After throwing eight INTs in the first five games, Fitzpatrick kept a clean sheet on Sunday. Playing second fiddle to a successful rushing attack, Fitzpatrick and the passing offense often found itself in 3rd and short, limiting the potential for mistakes. The Bills' first scoring drive saw only three passes from Fitzpatrick, the first a nice completion to Stevie Johnson on 3rd down. Because of a lapse in defensive alignment, Fitzpatrick took advantage of Johnson on safety Adrian Wilson on the out. On the same drive, Fitzpatrick missed a wide-open Johnson on a quick slant, throwing the pass behind his WR. The next play, facing a 3rd and 8, Fitzpatrick would hit Johnson on a delayed slant for 13 yards and a first down. Fitzpatrick's best play on the drive, however, was not a throw at all. Facing pressure and a collapsing pocket, Fitzpatrick stepped up and ultimately scrambled for a four-yard gain. Most importantly, though, he did not force a throw into traffic. Later Fitzpatrick would lead the Bills down the field on their second TD-scoring drive, this time going 80 yards in five plays. Fitzpatrick had his longest completion of the game, hitting a slanting Johnson on play action for 23 yards on the drive's first play (and only pass). Fitzpatrick had his struggles too, as he nearly threw an INT on the Bills' 4th drive, deep in their own territory. After airmailing Johnson badly on a skinny post, Fitzpatrick tried to hit Johnson on an out. The pass was not only late, but well behind Johnson and only a drop by the trailing CB William Gay kept his sheet clean. Later, in OT, Fitzpatrick had a perfect matchup with WR Donald Jones covered by LB Sam Acho. However, Fitzpatrick lazily (and badly) underthrew Jones (who was well beyond Acho) only to be saved by a pass interference call on Acho has he ran through Jones who was trying to come back to the throw. On the same drive, as Buffalo was at minimum trying to work into FG range, Fitzpatrick was facing a 3rd and 10 and had a wide open Fred Jackson with space to run on an out. The pass wasn't even close, low and too far in front of Jackson, falling incomplete and killing the potentially game winning drive. Fitzpatrick continued to struggle with his deep ball accuracy, as he missed an open Donald Jones early (overthrowing him) before the badly underthrown ball to Jones again in OT. Later in the same drive, Fitzpatrick would underthrow T.J. Graham on a deep throw as well. Fitzpatrick has a tendency to make the easy throws look hard and thankfully the offense didn't need any heroics on Sunday, as the defense and the running game (with the occasional short pass) kept the game close. Outside of Johnson, Fitzpatrick only targeted the other WRs a total of seven times (completing only two) while looking to his RBs 11 times with nine completions (mostly on screens). Johnson maintained his status as Fitzpatrick's favorite target, getting one-third of the QB's attempts. Fitzpatrick failed to throw a TD on Sunday for the second consecutive game.
2012 Week 7 vs TEN (27 / 35 / 225 / 3 / 1 pass, 2 / 23 / 0 rush)
It was too good to be true for Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills' passing offense. Facing one of the league's worst defenses and a deficit for the majority of the game, Fitzpatrick executed the Gailey game plan to perfection. A nice blend of short quick passes to the outside, lots of screens to C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson and a plethora of handoffs to both as well, all with the intent of avoiding costly turnovers. The Bills' opening drive utilized all three and allowed Fitzpatrick to get into a rhythm. After a nine-yard screen to Jackson, Fitzpatrick booted right off play action looking to hit TE Scott Chandler in the flat. Tennessee did a nice job covering the initial read, but Fitzpatrick was smart and facing pressure threw the pass away. The very next play, he hit Stevie Johnson on an out for 12 yards. It took a spectacular catch from Johnson, but again was a safe throw only Johnson could make a play on. After back-to-back runs, Fitzpatrick made another smart decision, recognizing the initial read wasn't there; he immediately took off and picked up 13 yards on a scramble. Buffalo had gotten themselves in a bit of hole via penalties, but Fitzpatrick didn't try and force the pass to get all the yards at once. Smartly, he took what the defense gave him and set up a 3rd and short, where the Bills offense is most dangerous. Again Johnson was the target, picking up the 3rd down on a quick out. Another designed swing pass to Spiller in the flat and a short run from Brad Smith from the wildcat had Buffalo facing another 3rd and long. Buffalo went right back to their playmakers, hitting Spiller on a middle screen for 20 yards. Two plays later, out of a different formation, Buffalo used the middle screen again, this time to Jackson for the three-yard TD. The Bills 3rd drive looked very similar to their first, a heavy dose of Jackson and Spiller in the run game, with short quick passes to supplement. Fitzpatrick hit Donald Jones on a WR screen for six yards. Two plays later, it was Jackson again on a middle screen for seven yards. The drive stalled on a short pass from Fitzpatrick to Smith for five yards when the Bills needed six for the first down, but still resulted in points via a Lindell FG. The offense continued to roll behind Fitzpatrick and the running game, not forced to punt until a holding call killed what looked like another promising drive in the 4th quarter. Beaming with confidence, Fitzpatrick began to attack the Titans down the field, finding Donald Jones on a play action boot for 20 yards. After a couple more short throws to his RBs, Fitzpatrick hit Jones on a nice throw in the end zone for a 15-yard TD pass. The following drive, Fitzpatrick again attacked the Titans secondary. With the safeties having to work closer to the line of scrimmage to help with the running game as well as the short passes, Johnson was left with man coverage on the outside. Johnson had CB Jason McCourty turned around allowing for an easy 27-yard TD connection. Well on his way to his best game since early 2011, Fitzpatrick came crashing back with one horrible read and throw, however, two drives later. Up six and at their own 40 with only three minutes remaining, Fitzpatrick made a pre-snap decision to throw to Jones on a comeback and didn't adjust when the coverage sat on the route. Johnson was wide open on the out, an easy read considering it was ran underneath Jones', but it was clear Fitzpatrick had made his mind up early. McCourty was waiting for the throw and Fitzpatrick delivered it on a silver platter, a crushing INT that up to that point the offense was beautifully designed to avoid. Fitzpatrick would get one more shot to work the offense into FG range with a minute left, but was unable to muster much of an attack, including a pitiful throw on 4th down giving Johnson no shot to make a catch as the ball was five yards short and well wide. A crushing loss, but certainly one the offense can build on going into their bye. Sunday's game plan should be a blueprint for the offense going forward.
2012 Week 9 vs HOU (25 / 38 / 239 / 0 / 0 pass, 3 / 18 / 0 rush)
For the 3rd time in four weeks, Fitzpatrick played a relatively clean game, but was unable to muster enough on offense to get the victory. Again working the short, quick passing game, Fitzpatrick was could not sustain drives consistently and for the first time since San Francisco, was unable to find the end zone. After a nice throw to Stevie Johnson on a slant for 14 yards, Fitzpatrick badly overthrew an open Johnson, ostensibly killing the Bills opening drive. It wasn't until the 3rd drive that Buffalo found much success on offense. Again Fitzpatrick found Johnson on a quick slant, picking up nine yards on first down. Then it was Donald Jones slanting, picking up another seven yards. Clearly the Bills' best play, Fitzpatrick and C.J. Spiller executed the middle screen to perfection, allowing Spiller to pick up 28 on the play. The drive resulted in a badly missed FG, but Fitzpatrick did a nice job managing the drive and putting Buffalo in position to get points on the board (this is the most Bills' fans can ask for). The following drive, Fitzpatrick again did a nice job working the Bills down the field. A middle screen to TE Dorin Dickerson picked up 14 yards. The very next play, off play action, Fitzpatrick found Jones on an out for 14 yards. Facing a 3rd and long two plays later, Fitzpatrick delivered a nice ball to TE Scott Chandler for eight yards and a first down. After a false start pushed Buffalo back, Fitzpatrick nearly picked up another 3rd and long, hitting Jones across the middle for eight, just coming up one yard short of a first down. Despite stalling, the Bills' offense was able to get points out of the drive. Fitzpatrick orchestrated another scoring drive, working the two minute drill nicely just before halftime. A drop on the drive's opening play by T.J. Graham broke a string of 11 straight completions for Fitzpatrick, but he did a nice job of recovering from the drop. After a pretty back shoulder throw/catch to Spiller, Fitzpatrick had his best throw of the game the following play. Working two routes to the right side, Fitzpatrick perfectly dropped a ball in-between the coverage to Jones on the deep out. Johnson was underneath Jones, with slacking coverage. It took immense touch to get it to Jones as coverage was below and over the top. Far from accurate and rarely able to exhibit touch, Fitzpatrick showed both on the pass. Fitzpatrick opened the 2nd half with some of his old tricks, namely the attempted deep ball to Johnson down the sideline that is overthrown by five plus yards resulting in a quick three and out. However, Fitzpatrick bounced back the next drive, again leading the team to points. After a nice throw to Jones off a play action fake for 15 yards on a crosser, Fitzpatrick completed another great pass. Chandler ran up the seam and Fitzpatrick delivered a 24-yard dart to the TE getting the Bills into Houston territory. After two successful plays to get Buffalo into 3rd and short, Johnson let Fitzpatrick down with a horrible drop. Again working the quick slant, the ball was delivered on target, but Johnson was unable to bring the pass in forcing another FG. Another drop later in the game by Chandler would prove to be crucial as well, killing another Bills drive while there was still ample time left on the clock. Fitzpatrick did have one turnover, a fumble, but it came late in the 4th quarter when the game was well at hand. Trying to scramble, Fitzpatrick didn't feel the backside pressure and took a hard shot from Whitney Mercilus, jarring the ball loose. Despite the turnover, and constant pressure (including three sacks) and numerous hits, Fitzpatrick played a strong game.
2012 Week 10 vs NE (27 / 40 / 337 / 2 / 1 pass, 3 / 12 / 0 rush)
It's beginning to feel like clockwork for the Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buffalo Bills offense. Like the mule chasing the carrot on the stick, victory is mere inches away and yet, Fitzpatrick, playing the ass, cannot get out of his own way. Fitzpatrick again looked the part for the majority of the game on Sunday, but crumbled when it mattered most. After penalties killed the opening drive, Fitzpatrick made his first big mistake on the Bills' 2nd drive. Trying to hit C.J. Spiller in the flat, Fitzpatrick saw his only target blanketed and was unable to adjust to the coverage. Holding the ball too long, Fitzpatrick took a shot from monster Vince Wilfork and fumbled, giving the Patriots possession deep in Buffalo territory. Fitzpatrick finally got things going offensively the following drive, with the very familiar middle screen kicking things off. Facing a 3rd and long, Fitzpatrick hit Fred Jackson on the screen and watched his RB carry three tacklers the final four yards for the first down. Playing off a successful running game early, Fitzpatrick used a play fake three plays later and was given forever in the pocket. Donald Jones had ample time to drag all the way across the field for a 22-yard gain. Fitzpatrick found Jackson one more time on the drive, picking up four yards before penalties killed the drive and left Buffalo settling for a FG. Having found his rhythm, Fitzpatrick completed all three throws for 42 yards on the next TD drive. A short swing to Spiller in the flat for two yards, followed again by another successful play fake allowing TE Scott Chandler to get down the seam for 23 yards. Fitzpatrick went right back to Chandler the very next throw, hitting him on the post for 17 yards. Still brimming with confidence, Fitzpatrick again lead the Bills down the field for a TD. Opening with a 14-yard toss to Stevie Johnson on a curl, Fitzpatrick was not deterred by poor drop by Donald Jones on the following play. Fitzpatrick went back to Chandler, hitting him across the middle for 14 yards. Another nine yards to Jackson on a quick slant, Fitzpatrick may have had his play of the game the next play. With nowhere to toss the ball and a pocket collapsing, Fitzpatrick went into scramble mode. Waiting in the open, Jarod Mayo was sizing the QB up. Doing his best Vick impersonation, Fitzpatrick pumped once and hesitated just briefly, before bouncing the run to the outside and leaving the befuddled Mayo in his wake, picking up five yards on the scramble and another 15 on a late hit out of bounds. After misfiring to Johnson on a deep ball down the sideline, Fitzpatrick found Jones on a deep post for 18 yards. The toss was high, but Jones was able to secure the throw before the hit. Fitzpatrick and Johnson just missed a TD on the following play in the back of the end zone as Johnson made a spectacular catch/toe tap, but couldn't get the 2nd foot down before getting shoved out of bounds. However, not to be deterred, Fitzpatrick found a wide-open Chandler on the following play for the three-yard TD just before halftime. Just like the week prior, Fitzpatrick struggled on the Bills opening drive of the 2nd half. The lone pass play saw the QB waiting in the pocket too long for an opening downfield, taking the sack and killing the drive immediately. Fitzpatrick found his rhythm again, however, the following drive. After a great diving catch by Johnson on a deep in for 19 yards, Fitzpatrick hit Spiller on a screen for 20 yards. Fitzpatrick went back to Jones on a curl the following play for 11 yards. Fitzpatrick again made a smart decision the next play, grounding the pass to Jackson after the defense was prepared for the screen. Jones broke the coverage on a wheel route two plays later, but the pass was slightly overthrown and grazed the diving WRs fingers before falling incomplete. Buffalo didn't hesitate to go on 4th down and Johnson easily won his out route picking up 14 yards in the process. Johnson went right back to the out the very next play, picking up 11 to the Patriot two yard line. Working the slot, Jones took the ball to the one on a quick slant. Fitzpatrick again took the offense down on the following possession. Using the play fake, time was abundant and Fitzpatrick was able to hit his 3rd read in T.J. Graham for 11 yards on the comeback. A beautiful play fake of an end around, Fitzpatrick dumped it to Spiller and watched the magician work his magic to the tune of 25 yards. The Bills marched down the short field the following possession. After getting deep into Patriot territory, Johnson saved a poor throw from Fitzpatrick from getting picked off in the end zone. Fitzpatrick stared Jones down on the following play, but the pass never reached the waiting DB reading the QB's eyes as it was knocked down. Fitzpatrick made amends the following play, finding Jones on a quick slant for the two-yard TD. With the game hanging in the balance, Fitzpatrick seemed poised to work the beleaguered Patriot defense for one more drive. On 3rd and long, Fitzpatrick coolly hit Johnson on an out for 21 yards, followed by a 14-yard toss to Jones on a crosser. The following throw was Fitzpatrick's best of the game, despite it falling incomplete. Jones ran a solid corner route and Fitzpatrick put the perfect touch on the throw, dropping it right over Jones' shoulder and into his arms. Certainly not an easy catch, it is one Jones needed to make. Jones collected the pass, but hit the ground hard and the ball popped out. After a short dump to Jackson for seven, Fitzpatrick converted another 3rd down, finding Johnson on an out for six yards. Spiller was next, dragging underneath the routes for 15. After a shot to the end zone that fell incomplete, Fitzpatrick made the mistake all Gillette Stadium was waiting for. After looking and pumping left, Fitzpatrick turned right and threw blindly to T.J. Graham in the end zone. After Devin McCourty's brother killed Buffalo three weeks prior, it was Devin's turn. McCourty was sitting beneath the route and easily picked the pass off, effectively ending the game 15 yards short of victory. Just like his INT against the Titans, Fitzpatrick's mind was made up pre-snap and he never even considered the coverage adjustment throwing the pass into a flat-footed, zoned defenders' arms. There appeared to be some confusion in the booth about if it was Graham or Fitzpatrick's fault, but regardless of fault have to question the decision to target the rookie there as compared to one of the league's better WRs in Johnson. After looking every bit the part for 59 minutes, one decision obliterated it all. It is tough to ask Fitzpatrick to play perfect every week (and the defense has spent all of 2012 doing just that), but mistakes like Sunday's INT (given down and distance) have become all too familiar for Fitzpatrick.
2012 Week 11 vs MIA (17 / 27 / 168 / 0 / 0 pass, 3 / 15 / 0 rush)
Like his counterpart in Ryan Tannehill, Fitzpatrick had what appeared to be one of his better matchups facing a weak Dolphin's passing defense. However, like Tannehill, Fitzpatrick struggled to get much going in the passing game, with the Bills' coaching staff clearly comfortable milking their double digit lead for the majority of the game. It wasn't until the Bills' 3rd drive that Fitzpatrick threw his first pass, a failed attempt at a back shoulder throw to Stevie Johnson on 2nd down. A rare disconnect between the QB and WR, as clearly Fitzpatrick made a quick audible at the line and Johnson just missed the read. Fitzpatrick made amends the very next play, hitting Johnson on a deep in for 15 yards on 3rd and 10. Fitzpatrick targeted Johnson for a third consecutive play, hitting the comeback for 16 yards after Johnson created separation with a nice swim move. Facing another 3rd down, Fitzpatrick targeted Donald Jones for the first time, just missing the connection in the front corner of the end zone. Certainly not the easiest of catches, it is one the Bills and Fitzpatrick need the 3rd year WR to make as it caromed off his hands and fell incomplete. The following drive, Fitzpatrick went play action on 2nd down, faking the hand off to C.J. Spiller before he did a nice job dropping his arm level to avoid the pressure on the outside and complete the sidearm toss on the screen to Spiller for 24 yards (the longest play of the night). Two plays later Fitzpatrick went back to play action, faking the hand off left before booting right and finding a wide-open Chandler in the flat for 23 yards. After a failed quick screen to T.J. Graham due to a poor block on the outside, Fitzpatrick nearly made that momentum-swinging mistake on 3rd down. Fitzpatrick's mind was made up pre-snap and locked on to Chandler just beyond the sticks on the quick out. Karlos Dansby was draped all over Chandler and had he went for the INT instead of just knocking the pass down, he had a clear lane to the end zone. Buffalo was forced to settle for another FG, but more importantly, avoided the red zone turnover. Fitzpatrick and the Bills again marched down the field the following drive, but did so with considerable help from the officiating crew and Miami CB Nolan Carroll. After a bad throw into traffic to Johnson fell incomplete, Fitzpatrick tried to hit a streaking Graham down the sideline. The pass wasn't even close to completion, but a 32-yard pass interference call on Carroll saved the drive. Fitzpatrick had his best play of the game two plays later, again turning pressure and a collapsing pocket into a positive with his feet instead of forcing a throw down field. DE Jared Odrick had the QB dead to rights in the backfield, but Fitzpatrick did his best Houdini impression, sneaking out and picking up 13 yards and the first down on the scramble. Fitzpatrick went right back at Carroll the following play and despite a really poor throw to Jones, was able to collect 15 more yards on the interference call. Fitzpatrick was caught staring Chandler down again on 3rd down, this time on a deep seam route, but didn't pull the trigger and was ultimately sacked, forcing another FG attempt. Fitzpatrick went back to Johnson to open the next drive, taking advantage of a sagging corner and hitting Johnson on the quick strike for 12 yards. Another penalty on Carroll after Jones worked the CB with a solid double move had the Bills driving again. But after picking up eight to Chandler over the middle, the drive stalled when Tashard Choice got a case of alligator arms and didn't extend on the short toss on the angle route, killing the drive and forcing the Bills' first punt of the night. Working the two-minute drill on the Bills final drive of the first half, Fitzpatrick opened the drive with a screen to Spiller for 13 yards. Fitzpatrick and Johnson again connected on a 3rd and long with another back shoulder throw, taking the drive down to the Dolphin four-yard line. Fitzpatrick tried to force his next throw to Jones across the middle, but threw it into too much traffic and a deflection nearly led to an INT. Two plays later, Fitzpatrick sent Chandler out wide all alone. The TE was locked into single coverage against the much smaller Rashad Jones, but was able to easily disrupt the quick slant, forcing a 4th FG in four red zone trips. After leading the Bills on four scoring drives in six attempts in the first half, Fitzpatrick was not able to get anything going in the 2nd half. The Bills took the opening drive to the Miami 36, but a tipped pass on 3rd down sent his attempt to Johnson sailing out of bounds, forcing a punt. The following drive was considerably worse, despite Fitzpatrick making a nice play on 1st down to scramble away from pressure and pick up three yards. 3rd down had Spiller running an underneath route and was left uncovered, but immediate pressure from an unblocked Cameron Wake left Fitzpatrick with no time and he was dropped for the sack, forcing a quick three and out. Miami ramped up the pressure on the following drive, again forcing two short throws underneath and pushing Buffalo to consecutive three and outs. After a Miami TD, Fitzpatrick needed to get the offense going the next drive as the lead had shrunk to five. Fitzpatrick went back to his favorite target/route, hitting Johnson on a back shoulder throw for 12 yards, picking up an important first down. However, the drive stalled as the Bills and Fitzpatrick went conservative, choosing the safe dump to Spiller in the flat for two yards on 3rd and long. Far from Fitzpatrick's best game and clearly missing one of his favorite targets in Fred Jackson, Fitzpatrick did what he needed to ensure the win. Most importantly, Fitzpatrick did not turn the ball over once, despite a couple questionable throws, never allowing the Miami defense to swing the field position (and momentum) for the struggling Dolphin offense. Fitzpatrick certainly didn't win the game, but again, that isn't what Buffalo needs from the QB. Behind a strong running game and a solid defensive effort, Fitzpatrick did not lose the game.
2012 Week 12 vs IND (17 / 33 / 180 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 12 / 0 rush)
With their season on the line and facing a must-win on Sunday, the Bills needed Ryan Fitzpatrick and the passing offense to step up against one of the leagues worst defenses. Unfortunately, what has become standard operating procedure for the Buffalo Bills; whatever is needed (offensively or defensively) to take the next step in Buffalo never shows up. Struggling right out of the gate, Fitzpatrick nearly threw an INT on his first pass before taking a sack waiting for something to open on his next throw, promptly going three and out. Fitzpatrick hit Stevie Johnson on his first throw the following drive, picking up nine yards on the mismatch from the slot. What has been the theme on every deep ball up to that point, Fitzpatrick badly missed a streaking (and wide-open) C.J. Spiller running up the seam on his next toss. Loving the matchup against a flat-footed LB, Spiller ran right past the coverage. But Fitzpatrick rushed the throw, overthrowing his RB by a good three yards, which seems impossible considering Spiller's speed. A penalty saved the drive, however, and Fitzpatrick used play action on his next throw, putting the back shoulder throw right between TE Dorin Dickerson's numbers only to have pass fall incomplete. Fitzpatrick tried to hit Spiller on a middle screen, but the Colts were clearly prepared for it and easily clogged the play and forced the incompletion. Fitzpatrick went back to the screen game on 3rd down, hitting T.J. Graham on the quick screen for 24 yards for the 1st down. Four plays later Fitzpatrick tried to go back to the same screen, but the Colts were ready stopping the play for no gain. Pressure forced Fitzpatrick out of the pocket the following play and only allowed a short dump to Johnson over the middle for six yards. Starting on their own one, Fitzpatrick did a nice job to get the initial first down with a play fake to quick screen to Donald Jones for nine yards. With some space to operate and a Colts defense jumping every screen and first move, Fitzpatrick again failed to capitalize on a wide-open receiver down field. Immediately after Jones picked up nine yards, he easily beat the coverage with a double move, but Fitzpatrick's throw was high and wide, with too much zip and Jones was unable to make the adjustment or the catch. Fitzpatrick booted right on the next play, but sound coverage forced the QB to ultimately throw the ball away. Fitzpatrick opened the next drive with offense's longest play of the season, finally able to take advantage of an overaggressive Colts defense. Just as Jones had done the drive before, Johnson pulled a beautiful double move, easily getting five yards beyond the coverage. Making sure to not miss the target this time, Fitzpatrick slightly underthrew Johnson who was able to pick up 63 yards on the play. Had Fitzpatrick hit Johnson in stride and not forced him to slow down to make the catch, the play would probably have been 80 yards and a TD. Despite the long play, Buffalo again stalled in the red zone as three consecutive pass plays netted only four yards, all coming on a Fitzpatrick scramble on 3rd down after two incompletions to Johnson. Like a volume knob on a stereo, the Colts slowly ratcheted up the pressure with each drive, killing the final drive of the first half as they were able to hit Fitzpatrick's arm on his first attempt forcing an incompletion before forcing a rushed throw (and incompletion) to Johnson on a quick slant on the next play. Coming out of halftime, Fitzpatrick continued to struggle, badly underthrowing Graham over the middle. Fitzpatrick finally converted a 3rd down, hitting TE Scott Chandler for 10 yards on an out before imploding on the drive's final two plays. After a batted pass on 2nd down, Fitzpatrick threw what should have been an INT over the middle to LB Moise Fokou. With heavy pressure right in his face, Fitzpatrick threw blindly over the middle to Johnson on a slant. Fokou was positioned perfectly as the pass hit him right in the hands, but he couldn't secure the easy INT. Following another three and out, Fitzpatrick was able to ride the back of Spiller's rushing attack to lead the Bills to their lone TD. Fitzpatrick did convert another 3rd down, however, doing a nice job looking off the coverage before picking up 14 yards on the slant to Johnson. Two plays later, it was Jones on a middle screen for 12 yards, taking the ball down to the one-yard line. Fitzpatrick found back up TE in the end zone all alone two plays later for his lone TD pass on the day. Building on the success of the previous TD drive, Fitzpatrick appeared to get into a rhythm the Bills' final drive, hitting Chandler over the middle for 15 yards after a play fake. Fitzpatrick hit his next three throws, including two more to Johnson. However, a negative play on another screen to Jones seemed to disrupt that rhythm as Fitzpatrick threw his lone INT on the following play. Johnson made a tremendous play to get the ball back for Buffalo, but the damage was done. After picking up six yards on a scramble, Spiller was dropped for a four-yard loss on a screen. Facing pressure, Fitzpatrick tried to hit Spiller again in the flat, but the contested throw fell incomplete and Buffalo offense did not take the field again after punting on 4th down.
2012 Week 13 vs JAX (9 / 17 / 112 / 2 / 1 pass, 5 / 18 / 1 rush)
Pay no attention to Fitzpatrick's numbers; this is the type of performance the team needs to succeed in the future. Only throwing 17 times, Fitzpatrick only completed nine of them for a paltry 112 yards, but more importantly he wasn't the focal point of the offense as the Bills rushing attack racked up 39 carries. After two incompletions and an 11-yard scramble on 3rd down, Fitzpatrick compiled nearly half of his passing yards on the day on his first completion. Filling in for the injured Donald Jones, T.J. Graham was able to slip behind the coverage for a 51-yard bomb from Fitzpatrick to the Jacksonville one-yard line. Two plays later, Fitzpatrick took the carry up the middle on the sneak for the TD. A drop from TE Scott Chandler on 3rd down killed the Bills' second drive, resulting in a punt. The ball was perfectly placed, but Chandler let the throw get into his body. In true Fitzpatrick fashion, the QB looked both the genius and the dunce on the same drive. After smartly checking down to C.J. Spiller on 2nd down for seven yards, Fitzpatrick stared Stevie Johnson down on his next throw. Former Bill Paul Posluszny easily read the locked in eyes of the QB, stepping in front of the throw for INT. Certainly frustrated with the turnover, Gailey smartly took the ball out of Fitzpatrick's hand on the following drive. After a slip screen to Fred Jackson picked up 11, the Bills rushed six consecutive plays before Fitzpatrick was allowed to throw again. Still not fully trusting, it was two more plays before Fitzpatrick was allowed to throw the ball down field, an incompletion on 4th down to Chandler. Gailey kept the ball out of Fitzpatrick on the following drive too, running four times before Fitzpatrick hit Chandler over the middle for an 11-yard TD pass. It was a perfect touch pass from Fitzpatrick, just barely grazing Posluszny's outstretched fingers on the underneath coverage before finding Chandler in the back of the end zone. Buffalo again went run heavy on the following drive, avoiding the throw until 3rd down where it appeared Fitzpatrick was given one option on the toss (by the coaching staff), throwing the ball away as the coverage killed the route. Buffalo continued to pound the Jaguar defense out of halftime, not throwing until the Bills were deep in Jacksonville territory. After three consecutive incompletions, Fitzpatrick connected with Johnson on an out for a 13-yard TD pass. Six more runs before Fitzpatrick threw the ball again, a middle screen to Jackson for a short loss. With a mounting lead, continued poor weather and dwindling WR options (following Johnson's departure with a hamstring issue), Fitzpatrick would only get one more throw, a 12-yard toss to Brad Smith on a curl. Not needing to throw much on Sunday, Bills fans hope the blueprint from Sunday sees more play in the future.
2012 Week 14 vs STL (25 / 33 / 247 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 5 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick and the Bills' passing offense hit that (un)magical number of passing attempts of at least 30 in another brutal loss on Sunday, despite leading for the majority of the game. After two awful three and outs to open the game, with a near INT on Fitzpatrick's first attempt, the offense finally found its groove on the 3rd drive. Using the play fake on the opening play, Fitzpatrick hit a streaking Donald Jones down the seam for 19 yards. After a sack and a short dump to Jones on 2nd down, Fitzpatrick went to the screen game on 3rd and long and let C.J. Spiller work his magic to the tune of 15 yards. Two plays later, Fitzpatrick booted right off the play fake with TE Scott Chandler working beneath the line of scrimmage and into the flat. Chandler was uncovered and was able to turn up field for 20 yards. After a quick nine-yard hit to Stevie Johnson, Fitzpatrick (who was running for his life all day) was pressured outside the pocket on 3rd down. Unable to set his feet, Fitzpatrick short armed his toss to a wide-open Jones bringing on the FG unit. Pressure forced another incompletion to kick off the next drive, but still in rhythm from the previous drive, Fitzpatrick hit Chandler over the middle for 23 yards. Fitzpatrick booted right on the next play and threw a nice back shoulder throw to Johnson for 34 yards. The offensive rhythm was interrupted, however, as a costly fumble spoiled the drive and the Bills went three and out on the following drive. Fitzpatrick completed a deep in to Jones on 3rd down for 11 yards to extend the next drive, but pressure again forced another punt. Taking over at midfield just before halftime, Fitzpatrick quickly moved the offense into scoring position with a nine-yard dump to Fred Jackson and then a quick hit to T.J. Graham for six yards. Two plays later, Fitzpatrick and Chandler connected again over the middle for 11 yards. The Rams' defense appeared to be reeling, but awful clock management and questionable play calling had the Bills settling once again for a FG. Trailing for the first time, Fitzpatrick put his best drive together on the Bills' opening drive of the 2nd half. With lax (reoccurring theme for St. Louis) coverage on the outside, Fitzpatrick hit Johnson for 11 yards. After a strange Fitzpatrick fumble put the offense in 2nd and long, Fitzpatrick hit Graham underneath for 11 yards before Jackson took a short pass in the flat to the sticks. The coverage continued to lay off and Fitzpatrick didn't hesitate to attack, hitting Graham again just off the line for 16 yards. Like they've done all year, once the Bills hit the red zone Gailey called a middle screen to Johnson who took the pass down to the St. Louis one-yard line. With the Rams clearly expecting run, Fitzpatrick play faked to Jackson and booted right, finding a wide-open Lee Smith in the end zone for a one-yard TD pass. In the following four drives, with three chances to seal the game, the Buffalo offense absolutely died, with Fitzpatrick only completing two passes and converting one first down. After relinquishing the lead, Fitzpatrick opened the final drive with a nice ball to Chandler for 19 yards. However, with only one timeout and dwindling time, Fitzpatrick took a sack on the following play all but killing any chance of a comeback. Following the sack, Fitzpatrick threw his lone INT of the game, stifling the (very) brief comeback bid. While the offense certainly sputtered, the blame should be nowhere near Fitzpatrick. Sacked five times, hit countless others and shady play calling (Spiller eight touches?!?!); Fitzpatrick worked with what he was given only to just barely come up short (again).
2012 Week 15 vs SEA (21 / 38 / 217 / 1 / 2 pass, 3 / 8 / 0 rush)
In a season full of struggles, Sunday's game was just one more nail in Ryan Fitzpatrick's coffin. With the way Wilson was playing on the other side, Buffalo needed an other worldly type performance from their QB and Fitzpatrick is just not capable of delivering those types of games. Fitzpatrick opened the game trying to hit T.J. Graham on a vertical route down the sideline, but like a blind man throwing darts, Fitzpatrick merely heaves and prays on every deep throw. Badly overthrown, the tone was set and Buffalo was punting two plays later. Fitzpatrick actually looked palpable on the Bills' 2nd drive, opening with a short 11-yard dump to Scott Chandler in the flat for a quick first down. Seeing sagging coverage on the outside, Fitzpatrick picked up a quick seven yards to Stevie Johnson the following play. Two plays later, Brad Smith curled up for a 10-yard gain on 3rd down to extend the drive. Fitzpatrick connected with Johnson again three plays later, a quick slant that went for 17 yards and put Buffalo into position to score their first TD of the game. However, the rhythm was short lived, as the following two drives netted zero first downs and resulted in two quick punts. Deep in deficit and needing to give the defense a chance to regroup, it was the Bills pass catchers who came to the rescue. After picking up a 3rd down with a short toss to Chandler, Fitzpatrick went right back to his TE as he ran free down the seam. An awful throw, both high and behind him, Chandler made a tremendous play to make the 22-yard catch. A drop and a short run had Buffalo facing another 3rd down, but as he did all day, Johnson worked CB Richard Sherman on a beautiful corner route. Probably Fitzpatrick's easiest completion of the day, Johnson was essentially uncovered for the 20-yard TD pass. With a little momentum, Fitzpatrick went right back to the corner route to kick off the last drive before halftime, hitting Johnson on an almost identical play for 24 yards. A short six-yard slant to Spiller (nearly intercepted on the dangerous throw) followed by a dump to Chandler over the middle for 13 yards had the Bills deep in Seattle territory. Unfortunately, time was not on their side and following an incompletion to Johnson, the Bills had to settle for a FG. With a little momentum, having scored ten unanswered points and getting the ball to kick off the 2nd half, Fitzpatrick managed to do what he does best. After a sack and another horrible overthrow of an open receiver down field, Johnson made a spectacular one handed grab on another high throw for 25 yards on 3rd and long to keep the drive going. With barely any time to celebrate, Fitzpatrick dropped back to pass for a 3rd consecutive time and like he as done so often in 2012, made up his mind pre-snap. Locked into Chandler, despite the double coverage, Fitzpatrick's throw was easily intercepted by LB K.J. Wright. Such a microcosm of the season, hope immediately followed by utter disappointment, the Bills offense (especially Fitzpatrick) never recovered from the INT. The following drive, Fitzpatrick opened with a couple quick shots to Johnson, but was strip sacked on his next drop back resulting in another turnover. As if the two badly missed deep shots earlier weren't enough, Fitzpatrick opened the next drive with another for good measure. Using play action, Johnson was able to get both vertical and behind the coverage, but Fitzpatrick's heave was not even close. After a short gain to Smith on a quick slant, Fitzpatrick dropped back to throw on 3rd down. Hearing footsteps, Fitzpatrick looked incredibly uneasy in the pocket despite having all day and ultimately uncorked a wild throw downfield to Chandler. The throw was not close, Chandler reacted (or didn't) as if it was intended for someone else as the pass was both high and well wide as it sailed into S Earl Thomas' hands. Thomas returned the INT for a TD perfectly capping another abhorrent game from the Bills' QB. Never easy to watch a Fitzpatrick-led attack, Sunday was especially difficult as across the field stood a rookie who Buffalo had passed on not once or twice, but three consecutive rounds in the 2012 draft.
2012 Week 16 vs MIA (20 / 35 / 240 / 1 / 1 pass, 4 / 18 / 0 rush)
Well documented and proven time and again, Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't a QB who is going throw the offense on his back and carry the team to victory. Combine that sentiment with four turnovers, an injury to one of his favorite targets on the 2nd offensive play of the game and perhaps the worst game of Stevie Johnson's young career and you have the makings of a 14-point loss to a team who only threw for 130 yards. Fitzpatrick and the offense took off quickly, with a 14-yard dump to C.J. Spiller and a 25-yard completion to Scott Chandler on consecutive plays. Two plays later Fitzpatrick and Stevie Johnson connected on a quick slant for eight yards, but the drive (and rhythm) were cut short on the same play as Johnson fumbled the catch away. The following drive, Fitzpatrick continued to deal, finding a wide-open Johnson for what would have been another 10+ yards gain, but the WR couldn't make the catch. Undeterred, Fitzpatrick hit TE Dorin Dickerson on a corner route for 22 yards to keep the drive going. The game, namely Fitzpatrick, took a fairly aggressive turn on the next play, however, as Karlos Dansby ran free to the QB's blindside. Just as Fitzpatrick delivered the ball Dansby drilled Fitzpatrick, forcing an incompletion and perhaps more importantly, rattling the QB. Two plays later, Fitzpatrick and Dickerson couldn't make a connection over the middle, forcing a punt. A big run from Spiller promptly moved the offense into Miami territory and Fitzpatrick delivered perhaps his best throw of the season the following play. With Johnson running a vertical, Fitzpatrick perfectly placed the throw out in front of Johnson who had just beaten the coverage. The equivalent to winning $10,000 on a scratch ticket (the duo have tried vehemently to connect on the same play all season, with essentially zero success), Johnson was able to extend and catch the pass in his fingertips. As he stumbled into the end zone, Johnson maintained the extension, clearly in an attempt to break the plane and was able to do just that. However, just as Calvin Johnson had done in week one of 2010, Stevie used the hand/ball combo to break his fall as he tumbled through the end zone. The ball came out and the officials quickly ruled it incomplete. Regardless of the stupidity of the rule (was clearly a TD in both instances), it was correctly applied and two plays later, the Bills were again settling in the red zone. Frustrated, and hurting after another crushing blow from the Miami defense, Fitzpatrick couldn't muster another 1st down for the rest of the half; going three and out on three consecutive possessions. Just out of halftime, Fitzpatrick connected on his first throw for 18 yards to Dickerson, a nice throw on a deep post. However, the turnover bug struck again as Dickerson fumbled the catch away. The following drive, the Bills opened with four consecutive runs before Fitzpatrick dropped back to pass on 3rd down. Just like the previous drive, the play ended disastrously as Fitzpatrick was hit on the play and fumbled the ball away. Another three and out to follow, the Bills found themselves down 21 with less than a quarter left in the game the next time they touched the ball. Fitzpatrick opened the drive with a quick screen to T.J. Graham for two yards before hitting Dickerson on a crosser for seven yards. Four plays later, Fitzpatrick connected on another ball, a 41-yard bomb to Graham. The ball was underthrown, Graham was well behind the coverage on the vertical route, but Graham made a nice play on the ball to bring the completion down despite the contact from trailing CB Bryan McCann. Fitzpatrick finally connected with Johnson on the following play, picking up 10 yards on the hitch. Three plays later, Fitzpatrick his Ruvell Martin on 3rd down to extend the drive. Two plays later, Fitzpatrick and Brad Smith connected on a quick hit for a two-yard TD, the first offensive TD against Miami in 2012. After the next drive opened with a sack, Fitzpatrick did a nice job working out of the long down and distance. After an eight-yard scramble, Fitzpatrick connected with Spiller on a Z route for 14 yards and a first down. A quick hitter to Smith for nine yards and another 15-yard completion to Johnson two plays later had the Bills offense working down the field. Fitzpatrick and Johnson connected again two plays later, a 10-yard back shoulder throw. Four plays later, Fitzpatrick showed his headiness, spreading the Dolphins out on 4th down before quick snapping the ball and sneaking for five yards on 4th and five. A 17-yard completion to Martin two plays later had Buffalo at the Dolphin one before a spectacular play from S Reshad Jones ended the drive (and the game) at the goal line. Fitzpatrick took the snap and rose up to hit Johnson on the quick slant, but Jones was able to elevate and make the INT allowing the Dolphin offense to kneel the game away. With turnovers and missed chances killing everything early, Fitzpatrick just didn't have enough time or weaponry to bring Buffalo back.
2012 Week 17 vs NYJ (12 / 26 / 225 / 1 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
In a battle of two QBs getting paid way too much and who may be without jobs in 2013, Fitzpatrick was able to ride the back of his playmakers to a victory in the season finale. After opening the game with a nice 11-yard connection with Stevie Johnson, Fitzpatrick missed on his next four throws (spanning three drives). Missing badly on all four throws, Fitzpatrick went back to the team's bread and butter; a middle screen to C.J. Spiller. An easy completion, Spiller took the short toss 66 yards for the team's first offensive TD. Fitzpatrick's struggles continued, however, despite following the TD pass up with a 29-yard completion to Johnson on his next throw. After the completion, Fitzpatrick missed on five of his next six throws (this time spanning two drives) and only completed three passes in the 1st half. Fitzpatrick finally found some semblance of rhythm the following drive, opening with an 18-yard completion to Brad Smith on 3rd down. Facing another 3rd down, Fitzpatrick went to Johnson over the middle for 18 yards to get the Bills into FG range. Despite spectacular field position to on the following drive, Fitzpatrick threw well wide of Johnson on 3rd down, forcing the WR to make a ridiculous one-handed grab. Even though Johnson was able to make the catch, the throw forced him to leave his feet and killed any shot at a conversion. Using play action to kick off the next drive, Fitzpatrick and Johnson connected deep down the sideline for 37 yards. A rare occurrence, Fitzpatrick put the ball where Johnson could make a play on it and the WR did a nice job making the catch. High from the connection, Fitzpatrick hit his next three throws to get the Bills inside the Jet five-yard line. Fitzpatrick only completed one more pass (another great grab by Johnson for 11 yards), but in a game the Bills were running away with, they didn't need anything more from the QB. With only one TD and sub 50% completion rate, Fitzpatrick's best stat was the zero in the turnover column.
2011 Week 1 vs KC (17 / 25 / 208 / 4 / 0 pass, 3 / 3 / 0 rush)
The big question for Fitzpatrick and the Bills heading into 2011 was whether much of the success that they had on offense in 2010 would carry over. Apparently it will. Fitzpatrick was cool, consistent, took chances, and made huge throws in the redzone all day long. The offense was aided by numerous turnovers by the Chiefs and great field position. But they took advantage on every turnover by putting points on the board. Fitz spread the ball around wonderfully, not only continuing to use his great rapport with Steve Johnson, but even showing a new look by throwing to the tight end 5 times, and twice in the endzone. The Chiefs defense was hurt when Eric Berry left the game early on, and Fitzpatrick exploited that loss by attacking the backups. In 2010, many thought Fitzpatrick's big games possibly were flukes. Anyone that watched the games though, had to be impressed. In 2011, he has picked up right where he left off, by looking extremely impressive. The Bills have to be excited, as this offense looked sensational. Combine that with an impressive showing by the D-line, and this team could be a major sleeper this year.
2011 Week 2 vs OAK (28 / 46 / 264 / 3 / 1 pass, 3 / 23 / 0 rush)
It was a tale of two halves for Fitzpatrick and the Bills offense. In the first half, Fitzpatrick was victimized by some dropped passes and could not seem to find a rhythm. He threw a bad interception over the middle that wound up leading to 7 points for the Raiders and the Bills went into halftime with a 21-3 deficit. In the second half, however, the Raiders had no answer for the Bills spread attack as they scored a touchdown on 5 straight drives and won the game on a 4th down pass play with 14 seconds left. The offensive line held up for the second week in a row, opening up some huge holes for Fred Jackson in the running game while also giving Fitzpatrick sufficient time in the pocket. With the Bills falling behind early, he was forced to pass the ball 46 times so it was even more impressive that the Raiders were only able to generate a few hits and no sacks in the game. While Fitzpatrick didn't take many chances downfield, he was excellent at making quick decisions and delivering the ball accurately to an open receiver. He only threw for 264 yards but finished with 3 touchdowns and also added 23 yards rushing on 3 attempts.
2011 Week 3 vs NE (27 / 40 / 369 / 2 / 2 pass, 4 / -6 / 0 rush)
The strong play of Ryan Fitzpatrick continued this week as he led the Bills to another comeback win, this time over their hated rivals. After a slow start that saw his first two drives end on an interception and the Bills fall behind 21-0 in the first half, Fitzpatrick found his rhythm and started matching Tom Brady throw for throw. While he has locked onto one or two players at times in the past, he did a great job this week of spreading the ball around and keeping everybody involved. With the Bills in comeback mode from very early on, Fitzpatrick finished with 40 pass attempts and lit up the struggling Patriots secondary for 369 yards. The first interception he had came on a tipped pass when the ball went right through the hands of WR Donald Jones, and the second came on a 4th down play when he forced a throw into coverage but it basically worked out like a punt. He did almost have a third interception late in the game on a terrible deep throw into the end zone, but the Patriots were flagged for pass interference on the play. The Patriots did not generate much in the way of a pass rush in the game but they frequently only rushed 3 or 4 guys and dropped the rest in coverage against the Bills spread attack. In addition to his typically accurate passing on short and intermediate routes in the middle of the field, Fitzpatrick also made some great deep throws in the game and beat the Patriots for big gains down either sideline.
2011 Week 4 vs CIN (20 / 34 / 199 / 0 / 0 pass, 1 / 5 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick did not have a particularly good game this week as he ran into a tough and underrated Bengals defense. He didn't make any big mistakes in the game, but also didn't hit on any big throws either. It was a defensive struggle for much of the game and the Bills took control towards the end of the second half thanks to a couple of takeaways from their defense. The Bills offensive line only gave up one sack in the game but the Bengals were credited with 6 QB hits. The offensive line had been a strength up to this point, but had some difficultly creating a solid pocket for Fitzpatrick to operate out of. The Bengals did a good job of collapsing the pocket and crowding the middle of the field, which forced Fitzpatrick to throw more passes to the outside away from his comfort zone. We knew that Fitzpatrick wasn't going to throw for multiple touchdowns in every game he played, but it did seem as though the Bills went pretty conservative in their play calling while trying to protect the lead. He completed 10 of 14 pass attempts in the second half but only picked up 78 yards.
2011 Week 5 vs PHI (21 / 27 / 193 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 7 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick did not make the type of big plays this week that Michael Vick was making for the Eagles, but he managed the game very well and avoided making any costly mistakes. The Bills were clearly helped by the five takeaways their defense generated along with a defensive touchdown. Given that he was playing with a lead for much of the game, Fitzpatrick took a conservative approach and favored the shorter routes like slants and screens. This went away from the Eagles strength at corner and allowed him to complete a high percentage of his 27 targets. Fitzpatrick did throw a 6-yard touchdown pass in the game to David Nelson after he found a soft spot in the Eagles zone coverage. The one mistake he made in the game came late in the first half when he tried to force a ball and had it picked off by Eagles LB Jamar Chaney. The Eagles were not able to take advantage though, and Fitzpatrick drove the Bills down for another touchdown on the opening drive of the second half to give them a 21-point lead. From that point forward, the Bills went a little too conservative on offense and had trouble converting third downs. Brad Smith and the Wildcat formation made a little more than a cameo appearance this week, which also ate into Fitzpatrick's numbers slightly. Overall, the Bills offensive line held up well and Fitzpatrick did a good job of taking what the defense gave him.
2011 Week 6 vs NYG (21 / 30 / 244 / 2 / 2 pass, 3 / 8 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick had an up and down performance this week against the Giants. He completed 8 of 10 passes in the first half and hooked up with Naaman Roosevelt for a 60-yard touchdown pass to give the Bills an early lead. He also followed that up with a short touchdown pass to Steve Johnson in the 4th quarter to tie up the game. The game was marked by a couple of big mistakes, however, as he turned the ball over twice in the second half on deep balls that were clearly underthrown, including one that came late in the game with the Bills already in field goal position. The offensive line was forced to start a rookie backup at Left Tackle this week, but he held up pretty well against Osi Umenyiora. The Giants pass rushers still managed to generate some pressure and focused on getting their hands up to clog passing lanes and disrupt the Bills quick passing attack. As a result, Fitzpatrick often seemed uncomfortable in the pocket and held onto the ball longer than he had been in most other games this season, leading to 3 sacks and a handful of other hits.
2011 Week 8 vs WAS (21 / 27 / 262 / 2 / 1 pass, 3 / 4 / 0 rush)
In a matchup against a blitz-heavy Redskins defense this week, Fitzpatrick mostly took 3 step drops and got rid of the ball quickly. The offensive line had to move LG Andy Levitre out to LT, but they held the Redskins to just a couple sacks and 4 QB hits in the game. Fitzpatrick did take one big hit to the ribs that saw backup Tyler Thigpen start to warm up on the sideline, but he did not miss a play. Playing in Toronto under the dome, there was no weather to worry about and that helped him deliver the ball accurately, often picking up the blitz and making some quick throws to his RBs and WRs. He did lose a fumble on a bobbled snap for the first time all year and threw an interception in the end zone that he would like to have back, but made up for those mistakes with a couple of touchdown throws to TE Scott Chandler in the red zone. The Bills got out to an early lead and were in control nearly the entire time thanks to a steady offense and dominating defense.
2011 Week 9 vs NYJ (15 / 31 / 191 / 1 / 2 pass, 2 / 9 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick and the Bills had a dismal outing against the Jets on Sunday. They could not get anything going on offense as only one of their first 8 drives lasted longer than 4 plays. Fitzpatrick was not sacked in the game, but was pressured often and had difficulty finding an open receiver to throw to. Some of his throws were erratic and off-target, and he was not able to move the ball effectively until the game was well out of reach. While he did manage to finish with some respectable numbers thanks to a late touchdown drive and 2-point conversion in garbage time, his early struggles were apparent from a look at his first half numbers (4 of 12 for 24 yards with 0 TDs and 2 INTs). The Jets did a good job of pressing the receivers and crowding the line of scrimmage, which lured the Bills into taking some shots outside against the strength of the Jets coverage.
2011 Week 10 vs DAL (20 / 31 / 146 / 1 / 3 pass, 3 / 20 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick and the Bills offense had another poor outing this week as they were blown out on the road. The Cowboys scored touchdowns on their first four drives and this put a lot of pressure on the Bills to try and score, but they only managed one touchdown and a missed field goal in the first half. Fitzpatrick was off target on quite a few throws while he was also victimized by several key drops in the game. The poor outing could not really be explained by a breakdown from the offensive line either as a blitz-heavy Dallas defense was only credited with 1 sack and 4 QB hits in the game. Fitzpatrick threw one touchdown in the game to David Nelson on a hard throw into tight coverage, but he threw three interceptions in the second half as he continued to press in a failed comeback attempt. One of those interceptions was picked off easily by corner Terence Newman and returned 43 yards for a touchdown. After a great start to the season, Fitzpatrick now has just 7 touchdowns and 9 interceptions over his last 5 games and it seems that defenses have figured out how to stop this offense.
2011 Week 11 vs MIA (20 / 39 / 209 / 0 / 2 pass, 7 / 16 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick had another rough outing this week as he barely completed 50% of his passes and threw 2 or more interceptions for the third game in a row. The weather conditions were wet, which may have impacted his accuracy negatively, but many of his throws early on were high and off target. Even as he started to play better, he got very little help from the players around him. The Bills receivers were not able to get any separation and had several balls bounce right off their hands. There were also many problems with the shotgun snaps and QB-Center exchange due to the loss of Eric Wood for the season. Due in part to the tight coverage, Fitzpatrick seemed to hold the ball longer than normal and that led to some negative plays like the 2 sacks and 2 fumbles he lost in the game. The Bills fell behind early after allowing 3 touchdowns on the first three drives, which put added pressure on Fitzpatrick and caused them to abandon the running game too early.
2011 Week 12 vs NYJ (26 / 39 / 264 / 3 / 0 pass, 5 / 34 / 0 rush)
Coming off several erratic and disappointing games (2 TDs/7 INTs over previous 3 weeks), Fitzpatrick had a great bounce back performance on the road this week against the Jets. Despite facing one of the better pass defenses in the league, he looked very decisive in the pocket and attacked the defense with a lot of quick hitting plays over the middle. The Jets got quite a bit of pressure on him with 3 sacks and many more pressures, but he did not turn the ball over and also showed some athleticism with 34 yards on 5 rush attempts for his highest total of the season. Fitzpatrick did not shy away from attacking Darrell Revis and generally did a great job of spreading the ball around to each of his receivers. He threw 3 touchdown passes in a game for the third time this season and nearly had a 4th after leading the Bills down the field at the end of the game but could not convert.
2011 Week 13 vs TEN (29 / 46 / 288 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / -6 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick finished with solid numbers but many of them came late in the game with the Bills trying to desperately complete a comeback. As usual, he had most of his success throwing shorter routes over the middle but struggled with his downfield accuracy. He lost a fumble on a 4th down scramble that came up short but otherwise protected the ball well.
2011 Week 14 vs SD (13 / 34 / 176 / 0 / 2 pass, 5 / 26 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick has played better of late, but had one of the worst games of his professional career. He completed less than 40% of his passes, failed to lead a touchdown drive, and turned it over twice (and could have had two more). The turnovers were especially bad. The first one was partially his fault and partially bad luck. He threw a pass down the seam that bounced off the back of a defender's shoulder and into the waiting arms of another. It was bad luck because of the way the ball deflected, but even so the ball should have been thrown over the top of the first defender so that it didn't hit him in the back. The second pick was all Fitzpatrick. As he was rolling to his right, he stepped back and threw a pass off his back foot into a crowd of players. The ball was easily intercepted by the defender and run back for a touchdown to all but seal the deal. Fitzpatrick had a chance for about an 87-yard touchdown bomb to WR Derek Hagan. Hagan had beaten the last defender by several steps, but the ball was very underthrown. By the time the ball met Hagan, the defenders had caught up and knocked it away incomplete. It was initially ruled a pass interference penalty, but after a brief conference it was waved off. Fitzpatrick made precisely two really good plays in the game. The first was a quick decision to take off on a scramble up the middle on third and four to pick up 18 yards (including banging into the defensive back at the end of the run instead of sliding safely). And another was a perfect pass floated down the sideline to WR Stevie Johnson on a deep ball that went for 53 yards. But aside from that, he was unable to do much. It wasn't even that he was under a ton of pressure or being hit all game; he just simply didn't make quality throws.
2011 Week 15 vs MIA (31 / 47 / 316 / 2 / 3 pass, 2 / 7 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick once again wound up with some solid fantasy numbers in this game as the Bills tried to play catch up in the second half, but he was also one of the main reasons they were trailing in the first place. He was erratic on many of his throws and wound up with three interceptions for the second time this season. Two of the interceptions were underthrown balls that were relatively easy plays for the defense to pick off while the third came after he forced a throw into triple coverage and saw it kicked up in the air to a Dolphins defender. He also badly overthrew Steve Johnson after he got behind the defense for what should have been an easy touchdown. Fitzpatrick tried to lead the Bills on a late comeback with a couple of touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough to overcome the huge hole they dug themselves. The Bills are banged up and missing some key components of their offense but Fitzpatrick has not looked the same in recent weeks as he did earlier this year. He doesn't have the same accuracy or confidence and the Bills may already be second guessing the contract extension they gave him a couple months ago.
2011 Week 16 vs DEN (15 / 27 / 196 / 0 / 0 pass, 3 / 22 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick did not have one of his better games this week, but the other aspects of the team (defense, special teams, running game) all contributed enough that it didn't really matter. He completed 15 of 27 pass attempts in the game for less than 200 yards and didn't throw a touchdown (or interception) in the game. Fitzpatrick was off target on quite a few throws but didn't make any of the big mistakes that he was making during the Bills 7-game losing streak.
2011 Week 17 vs NE (29 / 46 / 307 / 2 / 4 pass, 5 / 36 / 0 rush)
This game was a microcosm of Fitzpatrick's season. He got off to a great start, leading the Bills on three long touchdown drives to take a 21-0 lead on the Patriots. The Patriots slowly climbed back into the game, however, and the wheels fell off the Bills offense in the second half. A key turning point was likely the benching of his favorite receiver Steve Johnson, who was penalized for an excessive celebration after a touchdown catch. Fitzpatrick looked extremely accurate early on but became more and more erratic as the game went on and threw four interceptions in the second half.
2010 Week 3 vs NE (20 / 28 / 247 / 2 / 2 pass, 3 / 18 / 0 rush)
The Bills have never won at Gillette stadium and they looked to spark the offense by giving the Harvard grad, Ryan Fitzpatrick, the helm. Fitzpatrick brought life to a stagnant Buffalo offense and led the unit in his typical game manager fashion in what was a close and winnable game. He looked poised and his cool demeanor inspired this team and brought a nice rhythm to the offense. It was apparent from the get go that the team had a level of confidence, calmness and comfort with Fitzpatrick that they lacked under Trent Edwards' leadership. He threw some tight balls into some fairly tight windows (something Trent Edwards would not do), scrambled for a few first downs, and made plays when needed. His first TD pass was a 5 yard pass to CJ Spiller in the first half. His only critical error came in the 2nd half when he was intercepted in the endzone when he overthrew an open Roscoe Parrish. Fitzpatrick's 2nd TD was a 37 yard toss to Steve Johnson in the 4th quarter and was a good representation of his knack for taking risks and showing faith in his receivers. While he may not have a large arsenal of tools, he did a nice job of getting rid of the ball, utilizing his mobility, and using his intelligence to manage the game, giving his team a chance to compete.
2010 Week 4 vs NYJ (12 / 27 / 128 / 2 / 0 pass, 7 / 74 / 0 rush)
Ryan Fitzpatrick did much more damage with his feet than he did with his arm, though he was able to find tight end David Martin all alone in the end zone on terribly blown coverage and Steve Johnson with a late garbage touchdown. Fitzpatrick was under pressure much of the game, sacked three times and had no luck finding open receivers as the Jets blanketed them all day. As a result, the team was completely shut out completely on third down conversions. Fitzpatrick handled the pressure pretty well and did not turn the ball over. Fitzpatrick scrambled often and was able to break several big runs although he refuses to slide and more than once if he had been a step slower, a Jets defender would have had a clean shot that could have seriously hurt the quarterback. Fitzpatrick looks like he could be the answer at quarterback for the Bills, especially behind a young and at times brutal offensive line but it won't help the team if he ends up hurt because he won't slide.
2010 Week 5 vs JAX (20 / 30 / 220 / 3 / 0 pass, 2 / 4 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick started hot and ended very cold. You could be forgiven looking at his stat line thinking that he played a consistent game, but he was helped out very early in the game by multiple Jacksonville turnovers and great field position. The turnovers seemed to fuel Fitzpatrick's confidence and he delivered a perfect in stride go route to Lee Evans early on for a big touchdown pass. He also connected with Parrish deep over the middle on a big time throw of confidence, fitting it in nicely to Parrish between defenders. His play was also spotty at times; twice it looked like the ball slipped out of his hands which resulted in bizarre looking passes. Later in the day with the game on the line, Fitzpatrick took a couple of drive killing sacks and should have been easily intercepted once. He looked really out of rhythm compared to earlier in the game and Buffalo could not make it easy on him with their pass protection woes. Fitzpatrick seems to be a player that only plays well with confidence and when he's feeling good, and crumbles under pressure or when things are bad.
2010 Week 7 vs BAL (29 / 43 / 374 / 4 / 2 pass, 4 / 20 / 0 rush)
Ryan Fitzpatrick has a fiery yet composed gun slinging mentality underneath his calm exterior which shows itself on the football field on Sundays. He really likes to push the ball down the field and target his wide receivers in the passing game, rather than checking down the ball to tight ends or running backs. Rest assured, when Fitzpatrick is given time in the pocket, he will hit a wide receiver more times than not. His accuracy and decision making in this game were mostly solid throughout. He was picked off twice, once on a tipped pass and the other on a poor overthrow down the middle of the field. No matter the situation, Fitzpatrick looked in control. Whether it was a 4th and 7 conversion in the last few seconds to TE Nelson, or placing a perfect ball to Lee Evans on a post route between about 3 defenders, Fitzpatrick came up in the clutch on numerous key moments. He loves to take advantage of one on one match ups on the outside, especially when the receiver is running a fade route against bump and run coverage with only one safety in the middle of the field. Plays like this resulted in 3 big touchdown passes for Fitzpatrick. He spread the ball very well throughout, but really focused on his wide receivers in the game. Fitzpatrick has great confidence to make throws into very tight windows with defenders close by, and trusts that his receiver will win the ball or it will hit the grass incomplete.
2010 Week 8 vs KC (24 / 48 / 223 / 1 / 1 pass, 6 / 43 / 0 rush)
After setting the league on fire over the past month, the Chiefs unleashed a pass rush that gave Fitz little time to get anything done. Fitzpatrick looked very out of sync with his receivers in the first half. He continually had to throw the ball away, and often times just chunked the ball way over his receivers head to avoid taking a sack. On the first drive of the game, Fitzpatrick just about threw a pick 6, but the ball was dropped by the LB. In the 2nd half, the Bills adjusted and Fitzpatrick began getting the ball out quicker, and the Bills were able to move the ball with more success. In the 4th quarter, he led the Bills on a long TD drive to tie the game at 10 and give the Bills a chance at their first victory. He capped off the drive with a short pass to his new favorite target, Steve Johnson. However, after getting the ball back, he missed a chance to put his team in position to win when he threw one of the ugliest balls you'll ever see, a duck that winded up in the hands of rookie Eric Berry. Todd Haley coached a great defensive game against Fitzpatrick, but even through all his struggles, he still managed over 225 yards and a TD, so he should be fine going forward.
2010 Week 9 vs CHI (31 / 51 / 299 / 1 / 2 pass, 2 / 9 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick's improbable streak of impressive, high-caliber performances continued on Sunday as he posted a season-high 51 passing attempts. Considering the Bills don't seem particularly interested in running the ball anymore, despite spending such a high draft pick on the explosive rookie C.J. Spiller, Fitzpatrick has posted 43, 48 and 51 passing attempts in his last three games (with 29, 24 and 31 completions to go alongside them, respectively). Most of his completions came on relatively short passes where his receivers (mostly Steve Johnson) did the rest with some impressive YAC totals. The offensive line did an excellent job protecting their quarterback with Fitzpatrick only being sacked once and enjoying nicely sustained pockets for most of the day.
2010 Week 10 vs DET (12 / 24 / 146 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick was playing from ahead in this one, a strange position for him. He threw a lot fewer passes than he has in previous games, and his inability to connect on a few deep routes that were open led to a very meager fantasy day. Fitzpatrick's fight still fueled the Bills, as he threw a block on a broken play and hung in to make throws when he was about to take a hit, and his perfect deep ball to Lee Evans set up the Bills first touchdown. He did have a TD pass, but it was a shovel pass to Fred Jackson, and Jackson did all of the work. Fitzpatrick is still a borderline QB1 in weeks that the Bills aren't playing fellow teams destined for top 10 draft picks in 2011.
2010 Week 11 vs CIN (21 / 34 / 316 / 4 / 2 pass, 1 / 11 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick started the game under intense pressure from Cincinnati and he just couldn't get into any kind of rhythm. He had 2 ugly interceptions very early, including one that Jonathan Joseph returned for a TD, and things were looking bad for Fitzpatrick. But Cincinnati lost two starting safeties to injury, and as the game progressed, the Buffalo coaching staff began running plays to counter the aggressive Cincy front. With two minutes left in the first half, Fitzpatrick threw a screen pass against the blitz that Donald Jones took the distance for a TD. Then in the 2nd half, Fitzpatrick began rolling out, running play-action and was able to carve up a secondary that was reeling. When Cincinnati got to Fitzpatrick, he made mistakes. When they didn't, he threw strikes and carved them up. It was basically a battle of protection, and after a tough first half, the OL gelled enough to give Fitzpatrick time to hit Steve Johnson for 3 TD's and a huge comeback win. Fitzpatrick is continuing to improve his game week after week, and his numbers are quite impressive. It will be interesting to watch this team over the final part of the season.
2010 Week 12 vs PIT (23 / 45 / 265 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 4 / 0 rush)
Much like all of his teammates on offense, the evaluation of Fitzpatrick is pretty much limited to the second half and OT due to the fact that the Bills offense only had the ball for 6 minutes in the entire first half - the lowest first half number by any team in the NFL this year. He obviously started sluggish as the Bills looked like they were attempting to mimic the Patriots' approach of short passes to negate the Steelers' aggressive blitzes and gain yards to supplement the run game due to the Steelers' defensive ability to shut down the run. After connecting on his first pass for 12 yards, Fitzpatrick promptly went 0-3 leading to a Bills' punt. This "rhythm" continued for the first half. In the second half, however, the Bills marched down the field for over 60 yards in 6+ minutes, only to have the drive end a Lee Evans fumble. The momentum gained by that drive, however, carried over to the rest of the half as Fitzpatrick's accuracy was on display. His longest play of the game was on a simple screen that Fred Jackson took 5 yards to the house, but his accuracy and calmness in the face of the Steelers' blitz showed throughout the second half. For a guy who was basically a career backup until this year, Fitzpatrick looked like a very competent NFL quarterback in this game against one the league's best defenses, and he has looked that way for most of the season since he took over.
2010 Week 13 vs MIN (15 / 25 / 158 / 1 / 1 pass, 4 / 5 / 0 rush)
Ryan Fitzpatrick was under immense pressure from the Vikings fearsome front four for the entire game, and rarely had a chance to set his feet and survey the field. Fitzpatrick's improvisational skills allowed him to make one or two plays outside the pocket and he fired strikes to his receivers on those occasions. Early on, he delivered a perfect ball on a post route to Steve Johnson, who unfortunately dropped it. Fitzpatrick had to deal with a couple of injuries to his offensive line and this really disrupted the pass protection. Fitzpatrick played on like the warrior that he is and made a few nice throws when he was given more than a couple of seconds to read the defense.
2010 Week 14 vs CLE (14 / 23 / 142 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 49 / 0 rush)
To be fair to Delhomme, it was a nasty day, and Fitzpatrick didn't have much success either. But Fitzpatrick took his shots, was able to sustain drives by hitting key third downs, and got the team into the endzone. Fitzpatrick also had 49 yards rushing on the day, as he continued to prolong drives with his legs. With the wind and rain, this was huge as it allowed the Bills to sustain drives. Fitzpatrick has done a nice job this year as the Bills QB, but he needed to put a few wins under his belt to give himself an opportunity to be the guy in 2011. Under tough conditions, he passed a big test today, showing moxie and heart, despite bad weather and the loss of one of his top targets.
2010 Week 15 vs MIA (16 / 26 / 223 / 2 / 1 pass, 3 / 19 / 0 rush)
Nothing real flashy but he does what is asked of him. He isn't strictly managing the game but he also does not put his team in bad situations. Fitz did a great job of a Henne interception which set up a short field form the Miami 35. Fitz actually hit Steve Johnson for a touchdown but that play was called back. Instead of getting down or hitting the panic button, Fitz comes right back and hits David Nelson for a touchdown in the back of the end zone. Fitzpatrick has had some big games this season and overall you have to admit there is a place in this league for him. Is he the Bills' QB for the next 5 years? That is the million dollar question and I think for sure that Fitz will be the QB in 2011/2012. Beyond that however things begin to look a little murky. He has good command of this offense and also is on the same page with his receivers. He's not a terrible acquisition in dynasty this coming off season.
2010 Week 16 vs NE (18 / 37 / 251 / 0 / 3 pass, 2 / 14 / 0 rush)
Easily his worst performance of the season committing 5 turnovers including 3 interceptions and 2 fumbles that helped a New England team that was struggling early on to move the football until they figured out they could just line up and run it. Fitz has been such a nice story this year that you hate to see him disintegrate right at the end of the year like this. It really was Ryan's fault for a majority of the turnovers so there isn't a whole lot he can take from this game. Hopefully this is not a sign of the real Fitzpatrick. Buffalo is going to be picking high in the draft and you wonder how committed are they to Fitzpatrick for their future. He has gained valuable time this year starting a majority of the games and at the least he has carved himself out a solid back up role for years to come.
2009 Week 6 vs NYJ (10 / 25 / 116 / 1 / 1 pass, 7 / 20 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick was not overwhelmed by the task of coming off the bench against the tough Jets defense. He stood tall in the pocket, and he wasn't afraid throw the ball into small windows. Fitzpatrick wasn't all that efficient, and he didn't threaten the defense downfield, but he did get rid of the ball on time and gave his receivers a chance to make a play after the catch on a few occasions, including the third-down throw that Lee Evans took to the house to tie the game in the second half. Fitzpatrick's only interception came when Lee Evans route was disrupted and the defensive back was where Evans was supposed to be on the timing throw. While Fitzpatrick didn't do anything that would make him the definitive starter, he looked better than Trent Edwards has in the last few weeks.
2009 Week 7 vs CAR (11 / 22 / 123 / 1 / 0 pass, 7 / 10 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick did enough for the Bills to win the game, but it was more his lack of big mistakes and smart play to preserve field position than any big positive plays that helped the Bills get over the hump in this one. The Panthers got good pressure on Fitzpatrick - creating a lot of his incompletions by forcing him to just throw the ball away. Fitzpatrick did make a few improvisional plays, but mostly he seemed to short-circuit when he was under pressure, either looking to run or just get rid of the ball. On deep balls, he hit Lee Evans in stride, but also underthrew Terrell Owens when he got a step on the defensive back trying to cover him. Fitzpatrick was victimized by a few Owens drops, in addition to drops by Josh Reed and Jonathan Stupar, and played better than his stats, while still showing why he is a backup. Fitzpatrick seemed to have the best timing with Lee Evans again this week. He executed much better in the red zone and showed great arm strength on short throws.
2009 Week 8 vs HOU (15 / 23 / 117 / 0 / 2 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick put in another below average performance for the mundane offense of the Bills. In reality you get the impression that most anyone would struggle behind the Buffalo O-line and the vanilla play-calling. He was rarely allowed to throw downfield, and when he did he turned the ball over. His 2nd INT looked like it came on a communication breakdown with Terrell Owens when Fitzpatrick threw a deep out pass into no man's land. Overall Fitzpatrick hasn't been good enough to warrant an extended look, and appears to be headed back to the bench for Trent Edwards following the teams bye week.
2009 Week 10 vs TEN (2 / 7 / 6 / 0 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick got in for just long enough to throw a pick six when he was out of sync with Terrell Owens.
2009 Week 11 vs JAX (18 / 31 / 297 / 1 / 2 pass, 1 / 5 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick didn't have a great game, but he gave the Bills a chance to win and got TO back on board. He started off the game with an interception when he overthrew Josh Reed, but that didn't daunt Fitzpatrick, who made good decisions all day, but had trouble throwing the ball consistently throwing the ball on target. His poor clock management at the end of the first half cost the Bills a chance at a TD (and almost the FG), but he more than made up for that with a perfect arcing deep ball to Terrell Owens, who did the rest for the longest play of Owens storied career (98 yards). Fitzpatrick actually had a good pocket on a lot of his dropbacks, but when he faced pressure, he did a solid job of eluding the pressure and improvising. As the game went on, his erratic throws results in at least a couple of tosses that should have been picked. He had a chance to get the Bills in range for a tying field goal in the final seconds, but a 4th down throw to Owens was too high and picked off after TO tipped it. This game showed why Fitzpatrick has been a career backup, but it also showed why he is the better choice to start for the Bills right now. This will probably be a fantasy high water mark for him because of the 98 yard TD.
2009 Week 12 vs MIA (17 / 26 / 246 / 1 / 1 pass, 7 / 50 / 1 rush)
Fitzpatrick is reminding us that he is roughly on the level of a Shaun Hill each week, but he is also showing us that like Hill, he has more spirit than a some current starters. He faced pressure all day behind a piecemeal offensive line, including at least 10 complete collapses of the pocket, but Fitzpatrick hung in and never lost his gumption. His accuracy was off early, but Fitzpatrick made up for that by using his legs to make plays, including a 31-yard TD run when he was flushed and ran to the right side of the field that had been vacated because all the receivers had run routes to the left. Fitzpatrick's only INT came because rookie Shawn Nelson ran his route behind the safety at the last second for some reason. Fitzpatrick also notched some key first downs on the ground and played with no fear of injury or big hits. He was perfect on the biggest throw of the afternoon, a high-arcing deep ball to Terrell Owens that finished off the Dolphins on the play after a Henne INT. As the game went on, the Bills made better playcalls like screen passes to defeat the pressure, and Fitzpatrick executed very well. They have found their QB for the rest of the season, if not 2010.
2009 Week 13 vs NYJ (9 / 23 / 98 / 0 / 1 pass, 5 / 32 / 0 rush)
The Bills looked to take advantage of man coverage early as Fitzpatrick hit WR Lee Evans on a 38 yard pass to set up the Bills first scoring drive. The Jets defense played tight man coverage the majority of the night and decided to test the Bills passing game. Fitzpatrick was nearly picked for 6 while looking for Evans during the 2nd quarter. He also fumbled on a QB sack waiting for another deep route to develop which led to a turnover. But he did take his shots downfield, in spite of blanket coverage on Terrell Owens all evening long, as he hung in there amidst constant pressure. Fitzpatrick threw his only interception when Darrelle Revis stole a bomb intended for Terrell Owens in the final two minutes.
2009 Week 14 vs KC (12 / 20 / 86 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 17 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick made a couple of first downs with his feet and threw the block to spring Marshawn Lynch's long run, but other than that, it's hard to find bright spots in his performance. He threw a horrible INT in the end zone by forcing the ball into triple coverage to Lee Evans. He either took too long to throw downfield, or just didn't throw downfield to take advantage of his talented WR combo against a Chiefs secondary that has given up tons of big plays this year. Fitzpatrick was patient enough to find Terrell Owens on a late crossing route to account for the Bills only TD, but he also missed Josh Reed for another TD, and he had another throw directly to a Chief that should have been picked. The Bills won this one in spite of Fitzpatrick, not because of him.
2009 Week 15 vs NE (17 / 25 / 178 / 1 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
The Patriots defense was too much for the Fitzpatrick and the revamped (for the 8th time this season) offensive line. After allowing Fitzpatrick to orchestrate a 69-yard drive on their first possession, the Pats held the Bills to 172 total yards the rest of the contest. Bellicheck's depleted defense (missing Ty Warren and Vincent Wilfork) racked up six sacks and an interception and pressured Fitzpatrick all day long. His interception came in the 2nd quarter on a roll out intended for Josh Reed on the sideline. After taking a bludgeoning by the Patriot's defense, looking a little gimpy and ineffective, Fitzpatrick was replaced in the 4th quarter by Trent Edwards, but was forced to return when Edwards injured his ankle after just four plays. As poorly as the Bills played, they were still in the game late, when Fitzpatrick rallied the offense, after a previously failed red zone trip (a dropped ball by Josh Reed), and found Lee Evans for an 11 yard TD strike just inside the left pylon with three minutes remaining.
2009 Week 17 vs IND (16 / 25 / 155 / 3 / 0 pass, 1 / 7 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick displayed the same fight upon return from injury that we saw from him earlier in the season, helping the Bills end the season on a high note. He made a nice read to find Fred Jackson for his first TD throw, and went back to TO deep after overthrowing him the first time for his second TD. The third came on a bullet to Lee Evans. Fitzpatrick was throwing the ball with confidence despite the heavy snow, and he should have had four TDs, except that Joel Klopfenstein dropped the ball that hit him in the hands. Fitzpatrick was still taking deep shots in the second half, and he should be in the mix to start in 2010.
2008 Week 2 vs TEN (0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Backup quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick entered the game late and handed the ball twice to DeDe Dorsey.
2008 Week 4 vs CLE (21 / 35 / 156 / 1 / 3 pass, 4 / 41 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick looked out of synch all day, looking uneasy in the pocket and being late on his reads. He threw three interceptions and lost a fumble, and seemed to try to force some throws in where coverage was tight. He took off running several times when he was unable to locate a receiver.
2008 Week 6 vs NYJ (20 / 33 / 152 / 0 / 0 pass, 6 / 23 / 1 rush)
Fitzpatrick made his second start of the season and struggled through most of the first half. Out of their five total possessions in the first half, Fitzpatrick only managed a first down on one of them, the final drive of the second quarter. It was this drive where he took the Bengal's down the field in 14 plays and scored on a quarterback sneak. He managed not to throw an interception, however was sacked five times in total, fumbling once.
2008 Week 7 vs PIT (21 / 35 / 164 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 15 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick simply had a poor start to the game. He was held to just 3 net yards on the first 5 possessions to begin the game. His fortunes changed dramatically with just over five minutes left in the first half, where he was able to connect with WRs T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chad Johnson and Chris Henry three times each on the way to an 82 yard drive that ended with a five yard TD to Johnson. Despite being dominated statistically for most of the half, Fitzpatrick found himself down only by three at the intermission. His opening drive in the second half lead to a field goal and displayed his athletic ability when he ran twice for first downs, once on a nifty ten yard scramble. After that however, the Steelers' pass rush imposed itself and held the Bengal offense scoreless the rest of the way. Fitzpatrick's yards per pass play were quite low (less than three yards) and much of his results were short passes over the middle or towards the sidelines. When he did drop back, he went down, to the tune of seven sacks. He was effective in spreading the ball around to his trio of wide receivers.
2008 Week 8 vs HOU (20 / 32 / 155 / 0 / 2 pass, 7 / 42 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick had a rough outing against the Texans as he completed 20 of 32 passes for just 155 yards, zero scores and three turnovers. Later in the third quarter, Fitzpatrick also lost a fumble that the Texans turned into a Slaton touchdown run. Fitzpatrick did add 42 yards rushing on seven attempts, and showed some athleticism when he was flushed out of the pocket. However, that was the only bright spot in this game for the inexperienced signal caller.
2008 Week 9 vs JAX (21 / 31 / 162 / 2 / 1 pass, 3 / 52 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick played efficiently, showing good decision making and touch on his short passes. While he missed a few opportunities to connect on deep pass plays, he did not let that affect his decision-making, and routinely made the right decision in terms of who to pass to. Even on the deep pass plays he missed, his targeted receiver was open, but overthrew them. Fitzpatrick also displayed good running ability, rushing for 18, 12 and 22 yards in large part to having a good burst. He focused on Houshmandzadeh and Johnson with 16 of his 31 passes, and was in rhythm with them on short passing plays.
2008 Week 11 vs PHI (29 / 44 / 261 / 1 / 0 pass, 5 / 9 / 0 rush)
Despite facing cold and windy conditions all day long, as well as a vicious Eagle pass rush that sacked him eight times, Fitzpatrick actually managed to put together a solid performance. Despite the pressure he faced, Fitzpatrick showed decent mobility, avoided any interceptions and his sole TD came on a 26 yard bullet after a convincing pump-fake to a streaking WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh late in the second quarter. One odd thing about Fitzpatrick's performance was a tendency to lock on a particular WR target for stretches at a time. At various points throughout the game, each of Houshmandzadeh, Chad Johnson and Chris Henry were targeted on at least three consecutive passing plays.
2008 Week 12 vs PIT (20 / 37 / 168 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 8 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick got off to a good start by completing seven of his eight passes in the first quarter, and hooking up with WR Glenn Holt for a ten yard touchdown. He led the Bengals down the field for 62 yard touchdown drive going three for three on third downs during that drive. Unfortunately for Fitzpatrick, it was all down hill after that first quarter. He went 13 for 29 for 114 yards and one interception after the first quarter. Fitzpatrick was unimpressive in the second half getting passes knocked down and missing receivers consistently. He picked up some garbage yardage late in the game while it was out reach for Cincinnati and he threw an interception deep in Steelers' territory toward the end of the game. He simply did not make very many plays when the opportunity presented itself in the game and, he did not get help from his receivers, who dropped some balls in this game.
2008 Week 13 vs BAL (12 / 31 / 124 / 0 / 0 pass, 3 / 29 / 0 rush)
The lack of running game really hurt. Fitzpatrick was often in long conversion situations where the Ravens could simply pin their ears back and rush the quarterback to apply pressure. He also seemed to struggle with the wet ball. He often threw ducks and passes that appeared to just slip out of his hand. This attributed in part to his 12 of 31 passing. Give full credit to the Ravens defense in limiting the Bengals passing attack.
2008 Week 14 vs IND (18 / 26 / 170 / 0 / 2 pass, 3 / 17 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick fought hard, but made three huge errors that essentially cost the Bengals the game. On the opening drive, they were actually moving the ball well, when Fitzpatrick took off on a scramble - down the middle of the field, in heavy traffic - and lost the ball while diving for the first down. His two interceptions both resulted in Indy touchdowns, and more importantly erased any progress the offense had been making. He did look very capable at times, but the bottom line is that his mistakes overshadowed everything else.
2008 Week 15 vs WAS (16 / 29 / 209 / 1 / 0 pass, 11 / 29 / 1 rush)
While he was the better of the two QBs on the field today and led the Bengals to only their second win, Fitzpatrick wasn't really all that impressive. He barely cracked a 50% completion percentage, and were it not for the fact that RB Cedric Benson turned a first quarter screen pass into a 79 yard gain; Fitzpatrick wouldn't have amassed more than 130 yards. Much of this is due to the fact that the passing game seemed to focus on short routes all day long, and Fitzpatrick rarely had much time to look deep. Even considering the above, however, Fitzpatrick's fantasy numbers ended up respectable. In addition to the 79 yarder to Benson, Fitzpatrick also tossed a 12 yard TD strike to WR Chris Henry. Moreover, Fitzpatrick managed to do a little damage with his legs as he scored his own TD on a first quarter one yard bootleg run right after he had scrambled for 14 yards to get the offense there.
2008 Week 16 vs CLE (5 / 9 / 55 / 1 / 0 pass, 5 / 10 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick did not look good but did make one good throw on the day that ended up being a 20 yard touchdown pass to Chris Henry. He only threw the ball nine times, and really did not do much with those passes with the exception of the Henry touchdown. A couple of his passes could have been intercepted but were not.
2008 Week 17 vs KC (18 / 30 / 129 / 0 / 0 pass, 7 / 29 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick completed 60 percent of his passes, but averaged just 4.3 yards per attempt with TJ Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson inactive to finish with a passer rating of 70.0.
2005 Week 12 vs HOU (19 / 30 / 310 / 3 / 1 pass, 3 / 23 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick had to enter the game in the second quarter once QB Jamie Martin was sidelined with a concussion. He settled into the pocket nicely, completing over 60% of his passes and throwing for over 300 yards. Fitzpatrick missed a few receivers, but his offensive line was a sieve. The Texans finished with seven sacks, which was equal to 50% of their entire season total before facing the Rams. Fitzpatrick handled the pressure admirably, rolling out and scrambling when he needed to buy time or yardage. He got the ball to WRs Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt regularly, which is never a bad idea for any quarterback. The support of RB Steven Jackson (110 yards rushing) kept the defense honest, as the Rams did not abandon the running game despite the comeback effort. Fitzpatrick is the first quarterback in the history of the NFL to have come from Harvard. He led Harvard to a perfect 10-0 record last season, and against the Texans he showed all the tools for an NFL quarterback. He had accuracy, touch, arm strength and the ability to throw the deep ball. While his final touchdown was his longest, the 56 yard scoring throw to WR Kevin Curtis was mostly yardage after the catch. The best long ball of the day for Fitzpatrick was the 43 yard toss to WR Isaac Bruce, which landed perfectly in his hands in stride on a fourth down and six.
2005 Week 13 vs WAS (21 / 36 / 163 / 0 / 1 pass, 5 / 22 / 1 rush)
In his first NFL start, Fitzpatrick came out shaky and had some trouble dealing with the Redskins frequent blitzes. His passes were often off target and more alertness on behalf of the Redskins' secondary could have resulted in some easy interceptions. To his credit, Fitzpatrick adapted to the pressure by getting rid of the ball earlier and scrambling for positive yardage and the Rams' only touchdown. He tucked the ball and scored a tough rushing TD bringing an element to the QB position the Rams haven't had in a while. He looks to have loads of talent, but at this point in his career he wasn't able to make the best of the Rams' potent stable of wide receivers.
2005 Week 14 vs MIN (26 / 45 / 235 / 0 / 5 pass, 5 / 16 / 1 rush)
In just his second NFL start, Fitzpatrick made some poor decisions and poor pass attempts which led to his second straight loss. Fitzpatrick did make several nice throws down field but often put too much air under his passes allowing the defenders to adjust for the easy defend or interception. His passes were nice, tight spirals but his timing with the receivers needs to improve in a passing offense that lives on the timing pattern. Fitzpatrick made too many mistakes in the red zone throwing two of his five interceptions in the end zone. He completed 26 of 45 pass attempts 245 yards but no touchdown and a haunting five interceptions. Although one of his interceptions was clearly not his fault, as Bruce slipped to the turf, he must reduce the turnovers if the Rams have hopes of winning close games. Fitzpatrick does have some scrambling ability, something the Rams have lacked for years. He scored for the second straight week rushing for a 14 yard touchdown on a beautiful play action, breaking a tackle and diving into the end zone.
2005 Week 15 vs PHI (10 / 24 / 69 / 1 / 1 pass, 1 / 3 / 0 rush)
Fitzpatrick added another shaky start to his NFL game log, completing only ten of his 24 passes for 69 yards and one touchdown. He threw off-target more often than not, though he didn't see an unusual amount of pressure from the Eagles' defense. He overthrew TE Brandon Manumaleuna in the third quarter for his lone interception. Jamie Martin replaced him with six minutes left in the game and the Rams down by a single point.