Yesterday we took a look at Ryan Fitzpatrick's record against good teams on the road. Today we're going to look at Fitzpatrick in games he has started against good quarterbacks, at home and on the road.
We start with an arbitrary definition of a good quarterback. I didn't want to set the bar too high, so I set an arbitrary cutoff of quarterbacks who finished the season in question with a passer rating of 85 or higher. I also didn't want to include tiny sample size, flash-in-the-pan type performances, so I limited it to quarterbacks with eight or more starts in the season in question. These are admittedly arbitrary definitions; if you think the picture would change with different definitions you of course can set your own cutoffs and run the results. Having gone through every game of Fitzpatrick's career, I don't think the picture changes much if you fiddle with the definitions. One thing to note is that the definition of a "good" quarterback here is limited to the specific season(s) in which Fitzgerald faced him. So, for example, a player like Eli Manning may have a season under 70 passer rating and another season over 90. For purposes of this study Eli would not have been considered a "good" quarterback in the season he finished with a sub-70 passer rating.
So how has Ryan Fitzpatrick fared in his career when facing good quarterbacks? Unfortunately, not so well.
Fitzpatrick has made 42 career starts against good quarterbacks. In those 42 career starts he has a record of 2-39-1. The tie was at home against Donovan McNabb and the Eagles in 2008. One of the wins came at home against Peyton Manning and the Colts in 2009. That looks great, right? Well, not so much. You see, that win came in the last game of the 2009 season. At that time the then 14-1 Colts had already clinched the first overall seed in the playoffs and had nothing to play for. Peyton Manning and most of the rest of the starters played only a few series in that game, after which Manning was replaced by Curtis Painter. So that win kind of comes with an asterisk attached.
Fitzpatrick's only other career win against a good quarterback came with the Bills in 2011. They faced the New England Patriots in Buffalo and came away with the win. Tom Brady threw a career high four interceptions that day.
For his career at home against good quarterbacks Fitzpatrick has a record of 2-14-1. On the road against good quarterbacks he is 0-25. He is also 0-5 for his career against Andrew Luck and the Colts.
Ryan Fitzpatrick has made 90 career starts. In those starts he has a record of 34-55-1. His record against good quarterbacks is 2-39-1. Against lesser quarterbacks he is 32-16. He has never beaten a good quarterback on the road. With quarterback being by far the most important position on the field, the quarterback matchup will often determine the outcome of the game. With Fitzpatrick in at quarterback, a good quarterback on the other side has for the most part meant game over.