Heading into today’s Jets vs Chiefs Week 3 matchup, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has had a mostly solid start to the season. He’ll need to provide his team with a little more Fitzmagic against a stout opponent.
The bearded quarterback of the New York Jets has impressed so far this season. Despite the team sitting at 1-1, the decision to give Ryan Fitzpatrick his $12M/one-year deal has proven to be worth the “will he, won’t he?” drama that headlined the offseason. Now it’s time to prove Fitzpatrick was worth that contract in today’s Jets vs Chiefs game.
With a strong outing against the Buffalo Bills in which he threw for nearly 400 yards and a touchdown, Fitzpatrick showed the patience, poise, and determination to win. It made him so successful last season in his first year back with Jets’ offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.
Fitzpatrick and the offense looked very comfortable against a Rex Ryan defense that was his Achilles’ heel for years. He’s conquered his demons against a tough defense that gave him, quite frankly, the Fitz. Unfortunately for him, his next challenge doesn’t get any easier.
When the clock hits 4.25 Eastern time today, head coach Andy Reid and his Kansas City Chiefs will be awaiting them at Arrowhead Stadium, which just so happens to be one of the most difficult places to play in the NFL.
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Arrowhead, much like Centurylink Field in Seattle, is considered one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL.
As we’ve seen time and time again, the noise levels present throughout the duration of the game can often have a very negative experience on opposing quarterbacks.
In this league, there are many great offenses and defenses that can change the momentum of a game at any minute.
Whilst the Chiefs don’t have a unit on their team that can be considered “elite”, the fact that they play at Arrowhead can be considered as much as an advantage as the others.
Sometimes this can be even more of a concern for visiting teams. The one thing I’m not saying here is that the Chiefs are invincible at home. That is not the case. However, it does require a strong-minded quarterback who will take command of his offense in such adverse conditions.
To be able to walk out of Arrowhead with the win would be huge for Fitzpatrick and his Jets. If we’re going by what he has done in the past, this could possibly happen today. Fitzpatrick currently holds a 4-2 overall record against the Chiefs and is 2-1 in games which were played at Arrowhead.
The argument to be made here is that the Kansas City teams Fitzpatrick faced previously are not as strong as the current roster, although he did manage to do this with the Buffalo Bills without the kind of weapons he has at his current disposal with the Jets.
An interesting nugget that should help Fitzpatrick this Sunday is that in two games in which he won against the Chiefs, Gailey was the Bills’ head coach.
Sep 15, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws a pass during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. The Jets beat the Bills 37 to 31. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Many players in this league appear to have certain teams’ numbers and so far, Fitzpatrick has had their number. The veteran quarterback showed last season over the stretch of the final games that he can be relied on to command a team that’s ready to win now.
The pieces are in place and Fitzpatrick should take advantage of what’s arguably a better team than what he won 10 games with the previous year. Of course, that all sounds great, however, we all know that Fitzmagic can quickly turn to Fitztragic at any given moment.
The meltdown in Buffalo was evident of this and if the Jets want to prove to the league that they’re legit contenders, it starts and finishes with Fitzpatrick’s production.
The Jets don’t need him to put up another high yardage performance against the Chiefs. If he simply manages the game and avoids turnovers, this will be enough to sink a Chiefs team looking to get back to their winning ways after an embarrassing loss to the Houston Texans last week.