The New York Jets will see a familiar face when they play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10 of the 2017 NFL season: Ryan Fitzpatrick.
There were concerns back in 2015 when the New York Jets traded for journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Those were quickly snuffed when the Jets had one of their best single-season offensive years in history.
Of course, 2015 won’t be remembered for the budding bromances between Fitzpatrick and his pair of star receivers, Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall. No, instead it’ll be remembered as the Week 17 choke job.
Fitzpatrick guided the Jets to an impressive five-game winning streak and a ‘win and you’re in’ scenario in the final week of the regular season. Then he threw three critical interceptions in the fourth quarter which continued the Jets’ playoff drought.
You can’t blame the brass for trying to see if they could recreate that same magic in 2016 with a similar cast of characters. But just like Jaws 2, it just should’ve never happened.
“It was hard to get over, and really that’s something that maybe you never get over in terms of what could have been and where we thought we were at that point as a football team,” he said on a conference call with New York media via ESPN’s Rich Cimini.
Fitzpatrick would go on to say that it was “the worst year of his career” and now, he’s looking for blood and revenge against the green and white.
We broke down Sunday’s big game with The Pewter Plank this week on the Jets Zone.
Fresh episode of @thejets_zone breaking down #NYJvsTB w/ @ThePewterPlank's @JYarcho_BUCS + @Aesj88 ready to prove @TBBuccaneers wrong + @tydbutler talking #Jets + PLAYOFFS in same sentence?!?!https://t.co/iAVzr8n1Lc
— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) November 8, 2017
But the real story was when I asked site expert James Yarcho about the Fitzpatrick curse. He revealed that he was painfully aware of the phenomenon. For those who are unaware you can relive the history thanks to SB Nation below.
The curse lives on!
If your NFL team signs Ryan Fitzpatrick, the starting QB better watch out… pic.twitter.com/e4i1TgKzk5
— SB Nation (@SBNation) November 6, 2017
James thought his team had avoided that curse because Fitzpatrick was originally third on the depth chart and their backup quarterback, Ryan Griffin, got hurt. Obviously, that was an oversight by not only the Buccaneers but James himself.
So what can we expect from Fitzpatrick on Sunday vs. the Jets?
Surely a spirited effort, but let’s be honest, that’s not going to be enough. For instance, I gave a spirited effort the other day at the gas station to buy a million dollar lottery ticket, yet I remain broke like a joke.
Spirited effort can only get you so far. While on the other hand, the Jets should be as motivated as Fitzpatrick, if not more so. The Jets wasted an entire season because of Fitzpatrick. His inevitable implosion set the franchise back, although the only thing he deserves thanking for is Jamal Adams thanks to the Jets’ 5-11 record.
Now the Jets have the version of Fitzpatrick they were hoping for, that’s Josh McCown. An efficient passer whose selfless play is infectious with his teammates. Speaking of revenge games, McCown has something to say for to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for dumping him like a cheap prom night date a couple years ago.
The Jets break one of their most embarrassing franchise streaks. Gang green gets at least one defensive touchdown on Sunday against their old quarterback. Trivia time!
When’s the last time the Jets had a defensive touchdown?
October 20th, 2013. Antonio Allen picks off Tom Brady and runs it in for a pick-six. Since then the Jets have been close, particularly this season, but so close yet so far.