If last week’s Thursday night showdown between the Jets and the Bills wasn’t already exciting enough, the Jets upcoming match up just got a little spicier.
The Jets hit the road after a two game home stand to Tampa Bay where they’ll face a shaky Buccaneers team. Luckily for the Jets, the Buccaneers will be without both their star wide receiver Mike Evans (suspension), and their quarterback Jameis Winston (injury).
But no Jameis means…that’s right, Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Jets.
<Insert Overly Dramatic Music Here>
Fitz will get the start against his former team in what will be a crucial game for both the Jets and the Buccaneers. The Bucs have slipped up as of late and have fallen to last place in the NFC South in what was supposed to be a promising season, while the Jets are attempting to keep their playoff hopes alive.
In the three games Fitzpatrick has played in so far this season, he has looked decent at best. He currently has 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions with a 95.7 QBR. Ironically enough, he didn’t start in any of those games, leaving his first one of 2017 to come against the upstart Jets.
The Jets are seeing somewhat of a replica of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 2015 season this year with Josh McCown. Both veterans quarterbacks have had similar numbers in the Green & White, and have both over-performed exceptionally:
Fitz through 9 in '15: 1,983 yds | 15 TD | 9 INT | 59% | 85.5 QB rating
McCown in '17: 1,980 yds | 13 TD | 7 INT | 70% | 96.1 QB rating
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) November 6, 2017
The Jets defense will likely be eager to get to Fitzpatrick on Sunday. Fitz left New York for Tampa Bay in what was an off season shedding following the 2016 season.
While many Jets fans tend to think of Fitzpatrick as “Fitzmagic” from his spectacular 2015 season in New York, it is still hard to ignore the dismal 2016 he had in the same uniform. At that time, rebuilding wasn’t the clear route as Fitzpatrick was still surrounded with stud receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, who in 2015, combined to be the league’s most threatening pass-catching duo.
But Fitzpatrick and his weapons left the Jets in awe in 2016 as they finished 5-11, calling for a full house cleaning of the Jets roster.
Now, as the Jets continue to surprise the media and fans with their overall competitiveness and drive, it is only ironic that their road to the playoffs runs through the man who last brought them success.
In the wake of it all, the term “McMagic” has been thrown around, highlighting the unnoticeable similarities of the veteran QBs during their tenures in New York.
If the Jets fall to the lacking, slumping, Fitzpatrick led Buccanneers, you can bet that the fans will never let it go. On the other hand, if the Jets are able to find similar pass-rushing success against Fitzpatrick this week as they did on Thursday against Tyrod Taylor, you can also bet that the fans will never let it go.
Either way, the game that was supposed to be nothing more than a lousy Week 10 match up, is now a clear favorite to be the game of the week.
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