Grading every 2015 game of Ryan Fitzpatrick
Oct 4, 2015; London, ENG; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) looks for a pass during the first half of the game against the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports
As the New York Jets might face the reality that quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick won’t be coming back for 2016, here is a breakdown of every game he played in from 2015 and if they can win without him.
Time is running out for the New York Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick to get a deal done. OTAs are upon us and teams league-wide are beginning to shape up. On top of that, head coach Todd Bowles has come out several times and said that he likes how Geno Smith is progressing.
Related Story: 5 reasons to move on from Ryan Fitzpatrick
The 2013 second-rounder is surrounded by talent if he’s the man under center, so Gang Green might honestly have the leverage in these negotiations. Matt Forte, Bilal Powell, Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and an experienced offensive line is quite the supporting cast for any signal-caller.
With all that said, the 10-6 season that the Jets put together last year will be tough to replicate. The schedule is difficult, ‘Fitz’ could be elsewhere and expectations may perhaps be too high. If the team wants to get it done, they’ll need another above average campaign from their quarterback.
For the time being, general manager Mike Maccagnan is putting all his faith in the West Virginia product. Fitzpatrick isn’t worth the $12M guaranteed that he’s asking for, but it might be unrealistic to say Smith can come through. Let’s take a look at what the Harvard graduate did in 2015 game by game and see how important he is to New York.
Next: Week 1
Sep 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74) and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) prepare to snap the ball during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Week 1 Stats: 15/24 for 179 yards, 2 TDs & 1 INT
The Jets got off to an extremely slow start in this contest, however they ended up coming out on top 31-10. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey’s gameplan was centered around feeding running back Chris Ivory opposed to letting Fitzpatrick air it out.
This was simply because they had no clue what they had in him. Let’s not forget, Smith was supposed to start prior to the IK Enemkpali incident in August.
Fitz did showcase a fair amount of potential vs. Cleveland, although his most memorable pass was the interception. Safety Tashaun Gipson picked off an underthrown ball only to have it ripped out of his hands seconds later by wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Week 1 was essentially the Ivory show, but Fitzpatrick did his duty by managing the game and helping New York light up the scoreboard.
Next: Week 2
Sep 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. New York Jets defeat the Indianapolis Colts 20-7. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Week 2 Stats: 22/34 for 244 yards, 2 TDs & 1 INT
This one surprised many Jets fans who were bracing for a blowout loss on Monday Night Football in Indianapolis. The Colts were coming off of an embarrassing defeat in Orchard Park, so everyone was expecting quarterback Andrew Luck and company to bounce back.
Instead, Gang Green’s defense came up huge and so did Fitzpatrick. If neither of those things happened, the Jets might’ve lost because Ivory wasn’t himself by any means (14 carries for 57 yards).
Marshall and Decker both had touchdowns to go along with nearly 200 yards receiving combined. Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa hauled in a 27-yard pass that wound up being a crucial play as well.
Fitzpatrick’s one mistake was a gamble deep ball that the team was willing to take given their stout defense. He gave the offense the boost they needed to get the job done and that’s all a coach can ask for.
Next: Week 3
Sep 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Bair (93) during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Week 3 Stats: 35/58 for 283 yards, 2 TDs & 3 INTs
A 3-0 start for the Jets was obviously too good to be true. After beating the talented Colts on the road, hosting the 0-2 Philadelphia Eagles was the definition of a trap game.
Having no Ivory or Decker was of course a blow to the offense, but it can’t hide Fitzpatrick’s shaky performance. A lot was asked out of him, although 17 points on Philadelphia’s bottom-dwelling defense is horrendous.
The veteran tossed three picks and looked unready to take control of the offense. Marshall and wide receiver Jeremy Kerley scored the team’s two touchdowns.
There’s no denying that this wasn’t pretty. It could’ve been worse, however we definitely saw some flashes of Mark Sanchez circa 2012.
Next: Week 4
Oct 4, 2015; London, ENG; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports
Week 4 Stats: 16/29 for 218 yards, 1 TD & 1 INT
Even with a low completion percentage, Fitzpatrick had himself a respectable outing in London. He connected with Marshall throughout the game and used his feet to pick up 34 yards on nine carries.
The Miami Dolphins were uninspired under ex-head coach Joe Philbin and the Jets’ offense showed it to the entire world. Ivory tore it up and running back Zac Stacy punched in a touchdown too.
New York took it to Miami and the score doesn’t tell the story whatsoever. It should’ve been a much bigger point differential than 13.
Overall, this was a statement game for the Jets and their quarterback. They stood at 3-1 heading into the bye week and Fitzpatrick had plenty to do with it.
Next: Week 6
Oct 18, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) walks after the NFL game against the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium. The Jets won, 34-20. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Week 6 Stats: 19/26 for 253 yards, 2 TDs & 1 INT
Much like the Week 4 matchup across the pond, Gang Green smacked the Redskins from start to finish. If Decker hadn’t coughed up the ball on the team’s first drive, this one would’ve been over quickly.
As for Fitzpatrick, he looked absolutely outstanding with the exception of a few poor throws. He made an impact on the ground rushing for 31 yards and a touchdown as well.
The Jets’ passing attack allowed Ivory to put together another strong performance and truly establish himself as New York’s workhorse in the backfield. Stacy tacked on another 46 yards on 13 touches.
Nothing to really nitpick here. Fitzpatrick was red hot after the Week 3 letdown and it maximized the production of his teammates.
Next: Week 7
Oct 25, 2015; Foxborough, MA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) makes a pass while tackle Breno Giacomini (68) pushes New England Patriots defensive tackle Dominique Easley (99) out of the way during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots won 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Week 7 Stats: 22/39 for 295 yards & 2 TDs
The Jets may have fell short in this one, but Fitzpatrick kept them in it. Bowles’ defense was shredded by the New England Patriots who ran the ball a mere nine times in the entire contest.
As usual, New England contained Ivory which meant that Fitzpatrick had to carry the load. Surprisingly, Marshall was held in check (4 catches for 67 yards) and Decker led the way in the receiving corps (6 catches for 94 yards).
Despite the 17 incomplete passes, Fitzpatrick went wild. The Patriots’ secondary is ridiculously underrated, so any quarterback should hold their head high after a game like that.
If New York’s defense hadn’t played lazy in the second half, they would’ve came away with a win. There was an ounce of ‘Fitzmagic’ in Gillette Stadium that Sunday.
Next: Week 8
November 1, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) is looked at by the medical staff against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Week 8 Stats: 4/5 for 46 yards
Fitzpatrick injured his non-throwing hand on a scramble in the first quarter and sat out for practically the rest of the game. The 33-year-old stepped in late when Smith was banged up, but only for a couple of plays. The Jets lost 34-20, although Fitzpatrick’s presence probably wouldn’t have made a difference.
Next: Week 9
Nov 8, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) runs the ball against Jacksonville Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny (51) during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Week 9 Stats: 21/34 for 272 yards & 2 TDs
The 28-23 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars was much like the Week 7 game in Foxborough for Fitzpatrick. A decent amount of yardage, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a high number of incomplete passes.
Marshall and Decker found pay-dirt once again while Ivory played terribly outside of his two goal-line touchdowns. His 24 carries for 26 yards placed a ton of pressure on the injured Fitzpatrick to get the Jets downfield.
Quarterback Blake Bortles would eventually bring his team to within five points, but New York remained in control for all 60 minutes and milked the clock. If Fitzpatrick didn’t step up, Gang Green would’ve choked away an easy win.
Unfortunately, this would be the last positive outing he would have in a while. The quarterback’s following two weeks were hard to watch.
Next: Week 10
Nov 12, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) is tackled as he scrambles by Buffalo Bills corner back Leodis McKelvin (21) during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. The Bills defeated the Jets 22-17. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Week 10 Stats: 15/34 for 193 yards, 2 TDs & 2 INTs
Throughout the game, Fitzpatrick seemed to be bothered by the weather and Buffalo’s defense. He failed to hit his receivers and keep drives alive that the Jets needed to mount a comeback.
The veteran connected with Decker on a 31-yard dart to make the score 22-17, although that’s how the contest ended. The offense failed to cash in on the Colton Schmidt muffed punt as well as a 4th and 2 in the beginning of the fourth quarter.
The play calling was without a doubt head-scratching at times, however, quarterbacks must find a way to pick up a handful of yards to move the chains. Fitzpatrick just didn’t do that in Week 10.
This was a loss that would haunt the Jets further down the road and the first of two games they flat-out handed to the Bills.
Next: Week 11
Nov 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) in the pocket during game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Houston won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
Week 11 Stats: 19/39 for 216 yards, 1 TD & 2 INTs
This loss was exactly like Week 3 vs. the Eagles in the sense that the Jets weren’t ready to play. The final score was 24-17, but it was much worse than that.
Fitzpatrick had an impressive touchdown run in the fourth quarter to give New York hope before time eventually ran out. Missed throws and the inability to get on the same page with Marshall doomed the offense.
Gang Green was also dreadful on the ground and that didn’t help Fitzpatrick one bit. A lackluster 21 attempts for 70 yards put too much pressure on him to beat Houston through the air.
The Jets and #14 would go on to learn from this game and save their season that was slowly beginning to slip away.
Next: Week 12
Nov 29, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) looking down field In the first half at MetLife Stadium.The Jets defeated the Dolphins 38-20. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports
Week 12 Stats: 22/37 for 277 yards & 4 TDs
What a way for Fitzpatrick to rebound off of two sub-par performances. The Dolphins were of course a laughing stock in 2015, however, four touchdowns against any defense in the NFL is fantastic.
Marshall had one of his best games of the year and Decker found the end-zone yet again. Ivory pounded Miami’s front-seven for 87 yards and a score as well.
The Jets needed this one desperately and they delivered. Sitting at 5-5 vs. a divisional rival, a loss would’ve all but mathematically eliminated them.
A win put them at 6-5 heading into an enormous match-up with the Giants. If you thought Fitzpatrick couldn’t top his Week 12 outing, you should’ve thought again.
Next: Week 13
Dec 6, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) scrambles with the ball against New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Week 13 Stats: 36/50 for 390 yards & 2 TDs
Outside of the six touchdown game he had in Houston, this was probably the best game of Fitzpatrick’s career. If you’re a Jets fan, it was most likely your favorite game in the past five years.
Gang Green came back from a 20-10 deficit against the New York Giants with five minutes remaining to finish on top 23-20 in overtime. The team’s season was on the line and the offense clicked at the best possible moment.
Fitzpatrick drove down the field and kicker Randy Bullock hit a 24-yard field goal to make the score 20-13 with just over four minutes left. On the team’s next drive, Marshall boxed out Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara to haul in a touchdown to tie things up with 30 seconds left.
The Jets struck first in overtime with another field goal and ‘Big Blue’ kicker Josh Brown missed the game-tying attempt shortly after. Overall, Fitzpatrick showed that he can be the guy to lean on for the rest of the way.
Next: Week 14
Dec 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) passes against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Week 14 Stats: 21/36 for 263 yards & 3 TDs
In what was almost a replica of the Week 12 game vs. the Dolphins, Fitzpatrick put on a clinic against the Tennessee Titans. Marshall and Decker did their thing while running back Bilal Powell continued to get in on the action catching passes out of the backfield.
If Fitzpatrick tossed fewer incomplete passes, his day would’ve been close to perfect. Tennessee is one of the worst teams in the league, but you can’t say that those numbers aren’t impressive.
Fitzpatrick all of a sudden had the Jets sitting at 8-5 with three tricky opponents ahead. He picked apart soft defenses Weeks 12-14, although confidence was what he needed moving forward.
New York was heading into the Lone Star State with another win on the horizon. It wasn’t as much of a cakewalk as everyone thought it’d be, however.
Next: Week 15
Dec 19, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) rolls out to pass in the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Week 15 Stats: 26/39 for 299 yards, 1 TD & 1 INT
The Jets scared just about all of their fans when they nearly ruined their entire season in Dallas. They won the game 19-16 in arguably the ugliest fashion possible.
The Kellen Moore-led Cowboys were up 13-9 in the fourth quarter before Fitzpatrick hit Decker for six with eight minutes to go. Dan Bailey would even things up late with a 50-yard boot, but Bullock would drill a 40-yarder on the next drive to put the game on ice.
In the first three quarters, New York’s offense was an embarrassment. Believe it or not, Fitzpatrick was a large part of that ineptitude.
Nonetheless, he got the Jets a win they had to have to keep a postseason berth alive. The veteran needed two more wins and their next test was the ‘Evil Empire’ from Massachusetts.
Next: Week 16
Dec 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws a pass while New England Patriots defensive end Jabaal Sheard (93) rushes during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Patriots 26-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Week 16 Stats: 26/41 for 296 yards & 2 TDs
Gang Green beat one of the best teams in football in Week 16 and their quarterback was a main reason why. Quarterback Tom Brady sent the game to overtime after a long drive to end regulation, although the decision New England made moments later was mind-boggling.
The Patriots strangely elected to kick instead of receive when they won the coin toss. This of course gave the ball to the Jets and all they had to do was put the ball in the endzone to secure a win.
Enunwa caught a short pass and turned it into a 48-yard play that set the offense up perfectly. Fitzpatrick connected with Decker for a touchdown like he did in practically every week and New York was instantly in the driver’s seat for a wild card spot.
A five-game win streak had the Jets thinking playoffs, however Fitzpatrick would run into a brick wall in the finale of what was a career year for him.
Next: Week 17
Week 17 Stats: 16/37 for 181 yards, 2 TDs & 3 INTs
Could the season have ended any worse for Bowles’ squad? Fitzpatrick laid an egg and the winner on the other sideline was Rex Ryan.
The offense did exactly what they did in the first matchup with the Bills. They were careless with the football, the play-calling was suspect, and they couldn’t convert on third down.
New York’s defense underachieved and there’s no way to cover that up, but Fitzpatrick self-destructed in the worst of ways with three fourth quarter interceptions.
must read: 5 reasons Lorenzo Mauldin will breakout
Marshall and Decker did all they could to get open while Kenbrell Thompkins was so close to making a historic play along the sideline. Regardless, this loss falls 100% on Fitzpatrick and it’s probably the reason why Maccagnan refuses to give him the money he wants.