Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Wins trump stat sheet in team debuts for Bucs’ Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s first starts with his new teams haven’t been impressive. He has never passed for more than 250 yards and has thrown multiple touchdowns only once. In fact, he has thrown more interceptions (eight) than touchdowns (seven). All that matters, though, is the W, and Fitzpatrick has been victorious in four of his seven debuts.

Season Team Opponent Result Passing stats

2005 STL WAS L 24-9 21-of-36, 163 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT

Comment: Fitzpatrick’s first career start was a bit of a letdown. The week before, he threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns. Against Washington, the Rams scored only one touchdown — a Fitzpatrick 7-yard scramble that tied the game at 7-7 in the second quarter.

Season Team Opponent Result Passing stats

2008 CIN CLE L 20-12 21-of-35, 156 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs

Comment: Fitzpatrick, who started in place of Carson Palmer (sore elbow), threw three interceptions. The Bengals offense gained only 211 yards.

Season Team Opponent Result Passing stats

2009 BUF CAR W 20-9 11-of-22, 123 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs

Comment: By yardage, the Panthers outgained the Bills 425-167. Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme threw three picks, however, while Fitzpatrick didn’t throw any. Fun note: Terrell Owens once played for the Bills. In this game, he caught three of Fitzpatrick’s passes and gained 27 yards.

Season Team Opponent Result Passing stats

2013 TEN KC L 26-17 21-of-41, 247 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs

Comment: Fitzpatrick helped lead the Titans back from a 13-0 deficit, throwing a touchdown pass in the third quarter and then rushing for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. But he threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter that allowed the Chiefs to put the game away.

Season Team Opponent Result Passing stats

2014 HOU WAS W 17-6 14-of-22, 206 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs

Comment: Fitzpatrick threw a 76-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins in the second quarter and then let the defense take over. Defensive end J.J. Watt sacked Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III once and hit him five times.

Season Team Opponent Result Passing stats

2015 NYJ CLE W 31-10 15-of-24 179 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT

Comment: Fitzpatrick became the Jets’ starter when a teammate punched Geno Smith in the face and broke his jaw. He threw two touchdowns passes in what was his best debut for any team.

Season Team Opponent Result Passing stats

2017 TB NYJ W 15-10 17-of-34, 187 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Comment: It wasn’t pretty, but Fitzpatrick was good enough against his former team. In the fourth quarter, he led the Bucs on their longest scoring touchdown drive of the season (15 plays, 81 yards). The score ultimately proved to be the difference in the game.

Contact Thomas Bassinger at [email protected] Follow @tometrics.

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