In an ironic twist of fate, Ryan Fitzpatrick will start for the first time this season as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against his old team of the New York Jets. This Week 10 matchup won’t have much of anything to do with him, however.
It seems like it was yesterday that “Fitzmagic” was running wild all over the city that never sleeps as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick brought a new energy to the New York Jets. That 2015 season will forever be remembered by fans of the Jets but 2016 would be a year many would like to forget.
From holding out for a bigger contract to completely stinking it up on offense, the Fitzpatrick saga ended bad and well, both sides have moved on. The Jets easily parted ways with him at the end of last season and of course, Fitzpatrick being the veteran quarterback that he is, easily found another backup job this past offseason.
This time around, he landed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and in an ironic twist of fate, has yet to start until now. Starting quarterback Jameis Winston is out for a few weeks to rest up his shoulder due to injury and sure enough, Fitzpatrick gets the nod to welcome in his old team to Raymond James Stadium in Florida.
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The truth of the matter is, yes, it’ll be a bittersweet moment since at the end of the day, Fitzpatrick was a nice surprise just a few years ago. Yes, that holdout for one of the worst performances in franchise his will leave a bitter moment in the minds of many for years to come but this Week 10 road game for the Jets should have nothing to do with him.
Fitzpatrick isn’t going to magically have a blockbuster of a game just because it’s him going up against his old team. It’s about a team on the rise in the Jets going up against a team that has lost their last five straight games. They’re in the bottom of the NFC South and are on the outside looking in when it comes to their hopes of making the NFL Playoffs.
Even head coach Todd Bowles knows that this game against the Buccaneers is not just about going up against his old starting quarterback but continuing in what the Jets believe in. Here’s what he said about this upcoming matchup in a recent press conference this week courtesy of the Media Relations Department of the Jets:
On facing Ryan Fitzpatrick…
I mean Fitz was good when he was here. We’re going down to play the Buccaneers, not Fitzpatrick. We’re going to prepare like a normal week and go down and try to get a win.
On if facing Fitzpatrick in practice against for two years helps with game-planning against him…
Not really. It’s a different scheme. You’re more playing the scheme than you are the player. He’s familiar with us as well as we are familiar with him. He’s got 52 guys behind him and we’re a different team and have tweaked some things since he’s been gone. It’s a little different for both parties.
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The Jets played one of their best and most complete game of the season last week in a huge win over the Buffalo Bills. Now, it’s all about consistency and for a change, the Jets are actually favored to beat the Buccaneers on the road. This game has nothing to do with the Jets going up against Fitzpatrick as it does about a new winning streak starting for Gang Green to continue surprising the football world. Yeah, it’s ironic that the Jets will indeed face him in the first game he’s officially starting for the Buccaneers but it won’t mean much in the grand scheme of things.