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New York Jets Throwback Thursday: Fitzmagic!

9 months ago, now Jets starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick put up a career day against the Tennessee Titans.

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3 of the preseason has come and gone which means the next time we will see most of the starters will be on opening day against the Cleveland Browns on September 13th. Starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a pretty impressive preseason considering where he started. His recovery from a broken leg suffered in December caused him to miss OTAs and voluntary workouts, forcing him to look up the depth chart at Geno Smith. Fitzpatrick worked with the second team offense for most of training camp until, well, we all know why. Once named the starting quarterback, Fitzpatrick quickly began to develop chemistry with his much improved wideouts, reportedly staying after practice with both Marshall and Decker to synchronize their timing and rhythm.

In the final tuneup game against the New York Giants last Saturday, Fitzpatrck went 9/14 for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns. He looked in control throughout the game, knowing when and where to go with the football. His aggregate preseason numbers were 24/36 for 261 yards and 2 touchdowns. We all know that the journey Harvard man is smart and experienced in the system. But just how high is Fitzpatrick's ceiling? A little more than 9 months ago, Fitzmagic threw for 358 yards and 6 touchdowns against the Titans in a blowout victory. Tennessee, of course, was dreadful last year, but a stat line like this one is impressive nonetheless. Let's take a look back at Ryan's career day with the Houston Texans.

If you've been keeping up with Hard Knocks, you've seen first hand how unbelievably quick, fast, and talented DeAndre Hopkins is. He would hold his own breakout party in this game, hauling in 9 passes for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns. This is a 58-yard touchdown pass on a pretty deep ball from Fitzpatrick to Hopkins.

This was Fitzpatrick's 3rd touchdown of the game. His first two touchdown throws both came in the first quarter, an 8-yard score to tight end Ryan Griffin and a 7-yard score to Arian Foster. The throw linked above was the first and only play of the Texans last drive of the first half, giving them a 24-0 to conclude the 2nd quarter. In the second half, Fitzpatrick would find Hopkins again on another deep ball for a 34-yard score before connecting with former superstar Andre Johnson on a 4-yard score. The most memorable play of the afternoon, however, would come late in the 4th quarter.

I swear HBO isn't paying me for these pitches, but if you have seen Hard Knocks this year, you've watched up close how unbelievably ridiculous J.J. Watt is (as if you didn't know that already). In camp, he seems to work on his catching more than you would think, perhaps because more plays like this one are in store for the Texans in 2015.

Can we expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to produce a 358 yard, 6 touchdown stat line for the Jets this year? No. But it is comforting knowing that he is capable of this type of performance, which, by the way happened only last November. Yes, it was against the Titans, but these are still NFL caliber players on defense. In Chan Gailey's system in Buffalo, Ryan's best game was in 2011 week 1 against the Chiefs, in which he went 17/25 for 208 yards and 4 touchdowns. From what we've seen from Fitzpatrick and Gailey so far, it seems we can expect more of this type of stat line; short, high completion throws across the field to possession receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. We have rarely seen Fitzpatrick in his career force a long ball down the field--check downs for positive yards are always better than incompletions or turnovers. It will be interesting to see if the offensive game plan is altered slightly once 2nd round pick Devin Smith returns to the lineup.