This Sunday the New York Jets have a big game at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and there is an added twist to this game as well. Not only are the Jets in position to possibly propel themselves toward playoff contention with a win, but they also have to face an old friend.
The Jets were expecting to face the young stud Jameis Winston, but he aggravated a pre-existing injury and will be held out for this week’s game. What this injury means is that the Jets will be going up against their old friend, and journeyman quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick, or as some fans like to call him “Fitzmagic,” was the Jets quarterback for the past two seasons and had a total win/loss record of 13-14 in his starts.
The 13-14 record was not anything special, but in his first season at the helm, he had a shocking 10-6 record, but could not repeat his magic last season. Ryan Fitzpatrick is probably the NFL’s most well-known journeyman quarterback as he has played for seven different organizations in his storied career.
The reason he is well known is not due to the large number of teams he has played for, but because he signs with teams to be the backup and for some reason it seems as if the original starter always gets hurt.
Here are a few examples of the original starter getting hurt when Ryan Fitzpatrick was the backup: Carson Palmer misses 11 weeks in 2008, Jake Locker goes down in 2013, and Geno Smith breaks his jaw in the locker room before the 2015 season. The Fitzpatrick injury bug has continued into this season as Winston will be out for a few weeks and Tampa Bay will rely on some Fitzmagic.
Now, this matchup is not just intriguing because Fitzpatrick is returning to MetLife, but because the quarterback the Jets will be sending out is probably the second most known journeyman quarterback in the NFL in Josh McCown. McCown has played for eight different organizations in his career and been a valuable backup.
McCown came to New York this season probably expecting to hold the starting job down for a few weeks until the Jets season went down as everyone has expected. Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg would then take the reigns and McCown would help groom them from the sidelines for the rest of their terrible season.
To the surprise of many, that did not happen and the battle of the journeymen quarterbacks this Sunday will actually be an important game for the New York Jets. The AFC is extremely weak this season, so if the 4-5 Jets can beat their old pal Fitzpatrick they will throw themselves into a potential Wild Card race.
The Jets need to prevail this week in order to make this season, which was supposed to be a failure, not have the worst outcome possible. That outcome would be for the Jets to finish in the middle of the pack and don’t make the playoffs. To make sure that doesn’t happen the Jets “McCown-Town” will have to take down “Fitzmagic” this Sunday.