Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick

refer to caption

Fitzpatrick with the New York Jets in 2016
No. 14New York Jets
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Birth name: Ryan Joseph Fitzpatrick
Date of birth: (1982-11-24) November 24, 1982
Place of birth: Gilbert, Arizona
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 223 lb (101 kg)
Career information
High school: Gilbert (AZ) Highland
College: Harvard
NFL Draft: 2005 / Round: 7 / Pick: 250
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 12, 2016
Pass attempts: 3,803
Pass completions: 2,277
Percentage: 59.9
TDINT: 164–129
Passing yards: 25,430
Passer rating: 80.1
Player stats at NFL.com

Ryan Joseph Fitzpatrick[1] (born November 24, 1982), is an American football quarterback for the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). Fitzpatrick was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft and has also played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, and the Houston Texans.

Fitzpatrick played college football at Harvard and was the first quarterback in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a career.[2]

College career

While a mathematics student at Harvard, Fitzpatrick had five starts during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, working as the backup for Neil Rose. In 2001, he amassed deep passing yards and a pair of touchdowns. He followed that in 2002 by collecting 1,155 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for five scores and 523 yards that year.

Fitzpatrick took over the starting job in 2003 following Rose's graduation. Fitzpatrick finished his junior campaign with 1,770 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions in seven games. Additionally, he ran for 430 yards and six rushing touchdowns, leading his team to a 7–3 record.[3]

In 2004, Fitzpatrick earned Ivy League MVP honors (Asa S. Bushnell Cup), as he accumulated 1,986 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also led Harvard to a 10–0 record, thus winning the Ivy League Championship.[4] He ranked second on the team with 448 rushing yards and five scores.

For his career, Fitzpatrick connected on 384 of 641 passes (59.9 percent) for 5,234 yards, 39 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He collected 1,487 yards with 16 scores on 365 carries (4.1 avg.) and totaled 6,721 yards, an average of 224.0 yards per game, while seeing action in 30 contests. He ranks second on Harvard's career list for pass completions, touchdowns, yards passing and pass completion percentage, topped only by Neil Rose (5,949 yards, 41 touchdowns, 455 completions, 62.4 percent, 1998–2002). His 641 pass attempts rank fourth in school history. His 1,006 total plays for 6,721 yards in total offense broke the old school career records of 1,005 plays by Mike Giardi (1991–93) and 6,519 yards by Rose.

Professional career


As is the case for most incoming NFL rookies, Fitzpatrick took the Wonderlic Test. Rumors have indicated that Fitzpatrick recorded a 50 on the test in nine minutes, signifying a perfect score.[5] However, according to a The Wall Street Journal report that appeared in the September 30, 2005, edition, Fitzpatrick scored a 48 on the exam, not a 50—still considered an exceptionally high score, but the claim that he completed the test in nine minutes is accurate. While his actual score is unknown, he has acknowledged that he left at least one question blank.[6] As the Wonderlic score is the number of correct answers to 50 questions, the best he could have scored would be a 49. To date, Fitzpatrick has the highest Wonderlic Test score ever achieved among NFL quarterbacks.

The only player to earn a verified perfect score on the Wonderlic test was also a Harvard graduate: wide receiver/punter Pat McInally, who played his entire career with the Cincinnati Bengals.[7]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BPWonderlic
6 ft 2 in 232 lb 4.86 s 1.67 s 2.81 s 4.07 s 7.09 s 30½ in 8 ft 9 in 48
All from NFL Combine.[8]

Additionally, Fitzpatrick ran a 4.86 in the 40-yard dash, had a 295-pound bench press, 415-pound squat, and 325-pound power clean.[9]

St. Louis Rams

Fitzpatrick played his first NFL game on November 27, 2005. Coming into the eleventh game of the regular season in the second quarter against the Houston Texans to replace injured veteran journeyman Jamie Martin, Fitzpatrick led the Rams from a 24–3 halftime deficit to a 33–27 overtime win, throwing for 310 yards and three touchdowns, completing 63.3% of his passes and 117.4 QB rating for the game. This made Fitzpatrick one of only seven players who passed for more 300 yards in their NFL debut. The others were Otto Graham, 346 yards (1950); Ed Rubbert, 334 (a replacement player for the Washington Redskins during the 1987 strike); Mark Rypien, 303 (1988), Peyton Manning, 302 (1998), Cam Newton, 422 (2011), Robert Griffin III, 320 (2012), and Andrew Luck, 309 (2012). The win earned him the next three starts, making Fitzpatrick the first Harvard quarterback to start an NFL game.[10] He was unable to duplicate his debut performance in the games he started with the Rams coming two weeks later in a 13–27 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in which he threw for 235 yards, no touchdowns, and five interceptions for a QB rating of 32.4 for the game. He was replaced by Martin after halftime the following week, after struggling in a home game against the Philadelphia Eagles in which he completed just 41.7% of his passes for a total of 69 yards.[11]

Cincinnati Bengals

On September 1, 2007, Fitzpatrick was traded to the Bengals for a seventh-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.[11]

A restricted free agent in the 2008 offseason, Fitzpatrick signed his one-year tender offer from the Bengals on April 17. Due to an injury to starting quarterback Carson Palmer, Fitzpatrick made his first Bengals start on September 28, 2008 against the Cleveland Browns. Fitzpatrick was not only the leading passer, but also the leading rusher in the Bengals' 20–12 loss. With Carson Palmer sitting out the game on October 12, 2008, Fitzpatrick got the start against the New York Jets, and every other game that season.

During the 2008 NFL season, Fitzpatrick ranked third in rushing yards among quarterbacks, finishing behind Tyler Thigpen and David Garrard.[12]

Buffalo Bills


Ryan Fitzpatrick playing for Buffalo.

Fitzpatrick signed with the Buffalo Bills on February 27, 2009 to a 3-year $7.405 million contract.[13] He made his first appearance on October 18, 2009 against the New York Jets when starter Trent Edwards went down with an injury, leading the Bills to a 16–13 overtime win, while throwing for 116 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Fitzpatrick started the following two games, resulting in a win over the Panthers and loss to the Texans.

On November 18, 2009 he was named the starting quarterback of the Buffalo Bills by interim head coach Perry Fewell who took over the coaching duties after former coach Dick Jauron was fired. He went 3–3 as a starter under Fewell, throwing seven touchdowns, six interceptions and 1060 yards. Overall, Fitzpatrick went 5–4 in games in which he had a majority of the playing time for a team that finished with a 6–10 record. In week eleven of the 2009 season in a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Fitzpatrick threw a 98-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens, the longest touchdown reception and pass for both Owens and Fitzpatrick, also setting the team record for longest touchdown pass. The Bills went on to lose to the Jaguars 18–15.[14]


Despite the strong showing, new head coach Chan Gailey decided to go with Trent Edwards as the starter for the 2010 season, relegating Fitzpatrick to the backup role. On September 20, 2010, Fitzpatrick was named the new starting quarterback following the Bills 0–2 start.[15]

In a 49–31 comeback win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Fitzpatrick threw for 316 yards and 4 touchdowns, including 3 to Stevie Johnson. This performance marked the first time in NFL history that a team had come back from 17 points down to win by 18 or more.


During the second week of the 2011 season, Fitzpatrick led the Bills to touchdown drives on five straight possessions in the second half to rally past the Raiders. It was the first time in league history a team had scored offensive touchdowns on five straight possessions in the second half.[16] In the 2011 season, Fitzpatrick was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for September. On October 28, 2011, Fitzpatrick signed a six-year, $59 million contract extension including a $10 million signing bonus with the Bills.[17] He had three 300-yard performances in the 2011 season, with a season high 369 yards vs. the Patriots. After the 2011 season, it was revealed that Fitzpatrick had broken his ribs in a game against the Washington Redskins, which was presumably a factor in his decline in play over the rest of the season. Fitzpatrick finished the 2011 season with 3,832 yards and 24 touchdowns, but threw a league-leading 23 interceptions.


Fitzpatrick returned as the Bills' starter at the beginning of the 2012 season, but was released on March 12, 2013.[18]

Tennessee Titans

On March 18, 2013, Fitzpatrick signed a two-year contract with the Tennessee Titans.[19] He replaced Jake Locker for the Titans in Week 4 due to an injury in the third quarter. Fitzpatrick completed 3 of his 8 passes for 108 yards, which included a 77-yard TD pass to Nate Washington, in a 38–13 win against the Jets.

Fitzpatrick played in 11 games and started 9 of them. He finished the season with a 3–6 record as the starting quarterback, beating division rivals the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans in the final two games of the season. He completed the season throwing for 2,454 yards with 14 TDs and 12 INTs.

Fitzpatrick was released on March 14, 2014 and replaced by Charlie Whitehurst.[20]

Houston Texans

Fitzpatrick in 2014.

On March 18, 2014, Fitzpatrick signed a two-year contract with the Houston Texans.[21] He was named the Texans' starting quarterback by new Head Coach Bill O'Brien on June 17,[22] but was demoted to second on the Houston Texans depth chart on November 5, 2014, replaced as starter by Ryan Mallett.

On November 23, 2014 Mallett tore his pectoral muscle and Fitzpatrick was renamed the starter.[23] On November 30, 2014 in a 45–21 win against the Tennessee Titans, Fitzpatrick threw for a franchise-record six touchdowns and 358 yards with no interceptions and a 147.5 passer rating.[24]

On December 14, 2014 during the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts, Fitzpatrick scrambled for a two-yard gain, was tripped up, and ended up with a fractured tibia, ending his season. He was replaced by rookie Tom Savage, who also received a minor injury, and the Texans lost 10–17.[25] Despite his season-ending injury, Fitzpatrick had a solid season, throwing for 2,483 yards with 17 TDs and 8 INTs for a career-high 95.3 passer rating. He finished the season with a 6–6 record as the starting quarterback for the Texans.

New York Jets


Fitzpatrick as a member of the Jets in 2015.

On March 11, 2015, Fitzpatrick was traded by the Houston Texans to the New York Jets for a late-round conditional draft pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.[26][27] The move reunited Fitzpatrick with his former Head Coach Chan Gailey, who was hired during the off-season as the Jets offensive coordinator and play-caller. Following an incident in the locker room, when starting quarterback Geno Smith was punched and left with a broken jaw, Fitzpatrick was tentatively named the Week 1 starter for the Jets.[28]

Making his first start for the Jets on September 13, 2015 in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns, he threw for 179 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception in the 31–10 victory.[29] During Monday Night Football against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 2, Fitzpatrick threw for 244 yards with two touchdowns and an interception as the Jets won 20–7. During Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles, Fitzpatrick threw for 283 yards with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions as the Jets lost 17–24. In Week 4 against the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium, Fitzpatrick had 218 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception as the Jets won 27–14.[30] In Week 6 against the Washington Redskins, Fitzpatrick rushed for a touchdown on 31 rushing yards and passed for 253 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception in the 34–20 victory. In Week 7 against the defending Super Bowl champ New England Patriots, Fitzpatrick threw for 295 yards with 2 touchdowns but the Jets lost 23–30. In Week 8 against the Oakland Raiders, Fitzpatrick suffered torn ligaments in his left thumb while scrambling and did not play for the remainder of the game. Geno Smith relieved him for the rest of the game as the Jets would go on to lose 20–34. Fitzpatrick underwent thumb surgery two days later and stated that he would still start.[31] During Week 9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Fitzpatrick threw for 272 yards with 2 touchdowns as the Jets won 28–23. During Thursday Night Football against the Bills in Week 10, Fitzpatrick threw for 193 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions as the Jets lost 17–22. In Week 11 against the Texans, Fitzpatrick threw for 216 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions as the Jets lost 17–24. During a Dolphins rematch in Week 12, Fitzpatrick made his 100th career start by throwing for 277 yards with 4 touchdowns in the 38–20 victory. In Week 13 against the interleague-rival New York Giants, Fitzpatrick threw for 390 yards with 2 touchdowns as the Jets won 23–20 in overtime. In Week 14 against the Titans, Fitzpatrick threw for 263 yards with 3 touchdowns in the 30–8 blowout victory. During Saturday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 15, Fitzpatrick threw for 299 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the 19–16 victory. This was Fitzpatrick's 9th win of the season as a starter, securing his first winning season as a starting quarterback.[32] During a Patriots rematch in Week 16, Fitzpatrick threw for 296 yards with 3 touchdowns, including an overtime drive that gave the Jets a game winning touchdown for a 26-20 victory.[33] In the rematch against the Bills during the season finale in Week 17, Fitzpatrick threw for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns, but he also threw 3 costly interceptions, all of which were in the fourth quarter. The Jets not only lost 17–22, but were also eliminated from playoff contention after the Steelers' win over the Browns, despite finishing the year with a 10–6 record. In 16 starts of the 2015 season, Fitzpatrick finished with his best year as a pro, 3,905 passing yards and 31 passing touchdowns along with 15 interceptions, breaking Vinny Testaverde's 1998 franchise record for most touchdown passes in a season.[34]


Fitzpatrick, a free agent after the conclusion of the 2015 season, signed a one-year fully guaranteed $12 million contract with the Jets on July 27, 2016.[35]

Opening the season against the Cincinnati Bengals on the September 11th anniversary in Week 1, Fitzpatrick had 189 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception as the Jets lost a close game 22-23.[36] During Thursday Night Football against the Bills in Week 2, Fitzpatrick improved gradually with 374 passing yards and a touchdown, leading the Jets to a 37–31 victory.[37] During Week 3 against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Jets committed 8 turnovers, including Fitzpatrick throwing 6 interceptions. Fitzpatrick finished with 188 passing yards as the Jets lost 24–3.[38] In a week 6 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, Fitzpatrick was benched in favor of Geno Smith after going 16 for 31 for 174 yard with no touchdowns and one interception and the Jets trailing 28-3. Smith was then named the starter for the next game.[39]

Career statistics

Year Team G GS Passing Rushing Sacked Fumbles
Comp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD Sack YdsL Fum FumL
2005 STL 4 3 76 135 56.3 777 5.8 4 8 58.2 14 64 4.6 2 9 49 3 1
2006 STL 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2007 CIN 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2008 CIN 13 12 221 372 59.4 1,905 5.1 8 9 70.0 60 304 5.1 2 38 193 11 5
2009 BUF 10 8 127 227 55.9 1,422 6.3 9 10 69.7 31 141 4.5 1 21 127 3 2
2010 BUF 13 13 255 441 57.8 3,000 6.8 23 15 81.8 40 269 6.7 0 24 145 8 5
2011 BUF 16 16 353 569 62.0 3,832 6.7 24 23 79.1 56 215 3.8 0 22 148 7 2
2012 BUF 16 16 306 505 60.6 3,400 6.7 24 16 83.3 48 197 4.1 1 30 161 8 6
2013 TEN 11 9 217 350 62.0 2,454 7.0 14 12 82.0 43 225 5.2 3 21 109 9 2
2014 HOU 12 12 197 312 63.1 2,483 8.0 17 8 95.3 50 184 3.7 2 21 83 5 1
2015 NYJ 16 16 335 562 59.6 3,905 6.9 31 15 88.0 60 270 4.5 2 19 94 5 2
2016 NYJ 10 9 190 330 57.6 2,252 6.8 10 13 72.2 26 113 4.7 0 18 73 8 1
Total 123 114 2,277 3,803 59.9 25,430 6.7 164 129 80.1 431 1,982 4.6 13 223 1,182 67 27

Career awards and highlights


NFL records
NFL firsts
Buffalo Bills franchise records
Houston Texans franchise records
New York Jets franchise records

Personal life

Fitzpatrick is married to Liza Barber. They have five children named Maizy, Zoey, Lucy, Tate and Brady.[43] In 2010, Fitzpatrick was tabbed as the fifth-smartest athlete in sports by Sporting News.[44]


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  2. Hubbuch, Bart (October 14, 2011). "Fitzpatrick's journey from Harvard to Buffalo could wind up in playoffs". New York Post.
  3. 2003 Harvard Football Stats. Totalfootballstats. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
  4. Harvard Completes Undefeated Season. Harvard Magazine. Retrieved 2013-03-15
  5. http://legendsrevealed.com/sports/2013/02/20/did-ryan-fitzpatrick-really-score-a-perfect-50-on-his-wonderlic-test/
  6. "The Harvard Crimson :: Sports :: Embracing Brains and Brawn". Thecrimson.com. 2005-03-03. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
  7. "Who knows if this Longhorn is short on IQ". Usatoday.Com. 2006-03-01. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
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  13. http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/7160727/ryan-fitzpatrick-buffalo-bills-agrees-new-contract
  14. http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=291122030
  15. "Bills bench Trent Edwards, will start Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB". USA Today. September 20, 2010.
  16. Brandt, Gil (2011-09-21). Odysseys. Nfl.com. Retrieved on 2012-12-17.
  17. Fitzpatrick agrees to new six-year, $59M contract with Bills. Tsn.ca (2011-10-28). Retrieved on 2012-12-17.
  18. Wawrow, John (2013-03-12). "Bills open free agency by cutting QB Fitzpatrick". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
  19. Ryan Fitzpatrick signs with Tennessee. ESPN.com. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  20. Ryan Fitzpatrick released by Tennessee Titans. NFL.com. Retrieved 2014-03-14.
  21. David Smith, Michael. "Texans sign Ryan Fitzpatrick". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  22. Sessler, Marc (June 17, 2014). "Ryan Fitzpatrick named Houston Texans' starting QB". NFL.com. Retrieved 2014-06-17.
  23. Sessler, Marc (November 24, 2014). "Ryan Mallett (torn pectoral muscle) out for season". NFL.com. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  24. "Fitzpatrick, Hopkins lead Texans over Titans 45-21". November 30, 2014. Retrieved 2014-12-01.
  25. Patra, Kevin (December 14, 2014). "Texans' Ryan Fitzpatrick breaks leg, out for season". nfl.com. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
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  27. Allen, Eric (March 11, 2015). "QB Fitzpatrick Added in Deal". NewYorkJets.com. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  28. "Fitzpatrick steps in starting role again, this time for Jets". August 12, 2015.
  29. Hurcomb, Michael. "Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick throws two TDs in season-opening win.". CBS Sports. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
  30. "Ivory, Fitzpatrick lead Jets over Dolphins at Wembley". ESPN. espn.com. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  31. Costello, Brian. "Post-surgery Ryan Fitzpatrick gets Todd Bowles' green light". nypost.com. New York Post. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  32. Seth, Walder. "Jets survive awful Cowboys 19–16, while going against QB Kellen Moore". dailynews.com. New York Daily News. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  33. Seth, Walder. "Jets beat Patriots, who elect to kickoff in OT, now control own playoff fate". dailynews.com. Daily News. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  34. 1 2 http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/14492641/new-york-jets-qb-ryan-fitzpatrick-breaks-vinny-testaverde-record-td-passes-season
  35. http://www.si.com/nfl/2016/07/27/ryan-fitzpatrick-signs-new-york-jets-contract-free-agency
  36. Slater, Darryl. "Jets, Ryan Fitzpatrick struggle in red zone during 23-22 loss to Bengals". NJ.com. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  37. Bell, Jarrett. "For Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets' revenge on Bills runs deep". USA Today. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  38. Costello, Brian. "Ryan Fitzpatrick implodes in complete Jets fiasco". New York Post. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  39. "Jets' Geno Smith: Officially named starter". cbssports.com. October 19, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  40. Ryan Fitzpatrick 2015 Game Log
  41. "WATCH: Ryan Fitzpatrick breaks Sid Luckman's Ivy League TDs record". cbssports.com. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  42. "Ryan Fitzpatrick sets unusual NFL record by beating Jaguars". cbssports.com. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  43. nypost.com/2015/12/24/ryan-fitzpatricks-christmas-and-life-180-painfully-immobile-to-best-ever/
  44. Sporting News (2010-09-27). "SN names the 20 smartest athletes in sports". SportingNews.com. Archived from the original on May 23, 2013. Retrieved 2011-09-22.

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