Miami Dolphins fans still oooh and aah over the mention of Ryan Fitzpatrick but it’s time to face reality, he wasn’t great but he was good for what we needed.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was a perfect bridge quarterback. A veteran who has been around the NFL since 2005, knows what it takes to prepare for a game, and still plays with a schoolyard mentality. But if we are really going to look at Ryan Fitzpatrick, we have to realize that he is what his career says he is. A 17-year journeyman QB.
On social media, the debate of what Fitzpatrick did better than Tua Tagovailoa still continues and the mainstream beat writers will still tell you how Miami made the mistake of switching to Tua over Fitzpatrick. We get it, we understand, everyone loved to watch Fitzpatrick and he was media gold. Put him in a room with a microphone after a win or a loss and he was going to give the media everything they needed and wanted. But he is still a backup quarterback getting a chance to start.
In his 16 seasons, he has never led a team to the postseason. Not one game. Not one pass was thrown after the regular season ended. No Pro Bowl appearances as a starter or an alternate. His best statistical year came in 2015 while with the Jets. He threw for 3,905 yards and 31 touchdowns against 15 interceptions. He was 10-6 that season. In fact, that season was the first time in his career that he posted more wins than losses. He has done that three times in 16 years. The other two? 2017 when he won two games and lost one while with Tampa Bay and last year when he won four games against three losses for the Dolphins.
In his two seasons with Miami, Fitzpatrick’s legacy is anything but statistically stellar.
- 2019: 5-8 as a starter, 3,529 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions
- 2020: 4-3 as a starter, 2091 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions
I know, I’m hating on Fitzpatrick and that is entirely not true. Fitzpatrick is a lot of fun to watch and I thoroughly enjoyed his demeanor on and off the field. I loved how he played with the passion of a 12-year old that just got told he would someday play in the NFL. His legacy in Miami will never be about the stats. It will be for the plays he gave us like the one against the Raiders, his head twisted and manipulated but the pass still completed to lead Miami to a win.
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Fitzpatrick is still Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins media needs something to hold on to, something to point a finger at because they spend far too much time calling Tua Tagovailoa out for throwing five interceptions in a monsoon than talking about the six touchdowns he threw the next day when the rain was gone. Unfortunately, many fans feed on that. It’s the same reason that Chad Pennington still to this day is so revered by Dolphins fans when they rank Miami’s quarterbacks. A starter who had very little left and benefited greatly from the Wild Cat formation.
We can like Fitzpatrick, we can love Fitzpatrick, but hopefully, it is what he left behind for Tua that will benefit this team more. Hopefully, Fitzpatrick will win the starting job in Washington and lead the team to a playoff birth. It would be a shame if Fitzpatrick after all these years, didn’t at least get to experience it once.
When the dust on his career is settled and as part of this organization it has, Fitzpatrick was the perfect fit for a locker room that was transforming, that was changing culture, changing the focus during a massive rebuild. For that, he should be revered.