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Fitz Wins Third Straight Debut Start

Posted Nov 13, 2017

Stat Shots: For the third time in a row and the fourth time in his career, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has won his first start for a new team…Plus additional notable Buc achievements from Sunday

Ryan Fitzpatrick started at quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their 15-10 win over the New York Jets on Sunday, filling in for the injured Jameis Winston. Fitzpatrick was the first quarterback other than Winston to start for the Buccaneers since the 2014 season finale.

Fitzpatrick has now started at least one game for seven different NFL teams. Among all quarterbacks with at least 100 career starts, he is one of only two to have logged a start for that many teams.

QBs Who Started for the Most NFL Teams (minimum 100 career starts)

Career No. of
Quarterback Starts Teams Started for:
Ryan Fitzpatrick 117 7 BUF (53), NYJ (27), CIN (12),
HOU (12), TEN (9), STL (3), TB (1)
Chris Chandler 152 7 ATL (67), HOU (25), AZ (17),
IND (16), CHI (13), RAM (8), TB (6)
Steve Beuerlein 102 6 CAR (51), AZ (21), RAI (15),
JAX (6), DEN (5), DAL (4)
Kerry Collin 180 6 NYG (68), CAR (42), TEN (32),
OAK (28), NO (7), IND (3)
Steve DeBerg 140 6 KC (52), TB (37), SF (35),
DEN (11), MIA (4), ATL (1)
Earl Morrall 102 6 BAL (26), DET (26), NYG (21),
PIT (13), MIA (12), SF (4)
Vinny Testaverde* 214 6 TB (72), NYJ (61), CLE (31),
BAL (29), DAL (15), CAR (6)

(* Cleveland and Baltimore are considered two separate franchises, even though the Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens in 1996.)

Fitzpatrick's first Buccaneer start, as noted, was a victory, coincidentally over the team for which he had most recently played before coming to Tampa. He is now 4-3 in his respective "first starts" for his seven teams, having won three in a row.

Fitzpatrick's Team Date Start # Age Opponent Outcome
St. Louis 11/27/05 1 23 Washington L, 24-9
Cincinnati 9/28/08 4 25 Cleveland L, 35-21
Buffalo 10/25/09 16 26 Carolina W, 20-9
Tennessee 10/6/13 69 30 Kansas City L, 26-17
Houston 9/7/14 78 31 Washington W, 30-14
N.Y. Jets 9/13/15 90 32 Cleveland W, 31-10
Tampa Bay 11/12/17 117 34 N.Y. Jets W, 15-10


As Fitzpatrick noted several times in the week leading up to his first start, opportunities to go against his former teams have become increasingly numerous as he's continued to move around the league. In fact, Sunday's game against the Jets marked the 14th time that he has started against a team for which he had previously played. The Bucs' win over the Jets gave him an 8-6 record in such starts.

Ryan Fitzpatrick Starts vs. Former Teams

Started For Former Team Date Outcome
Tampa Bay N.Y. Jets 11/12/17 W, 15-10
N.Y. Jets Buffalo 1/1/17 W, 30-10
N.Y. Jets Buffalo 9/15/16 W, 37-31
N.Y. Jets Cincinnati 9/11/16 L, 23-22
N.Y. Jets Buffalo 1/3/16 L, 22-17
N.Y. Jets Tennessee 12/13/15 W, 30-8
N.Y. Jets Houston 11/22/15 L, 24-17
N.Y. Jets Buffalo 11/12/15 L, 22-17
Houston Tennessee 11/30/14 W, 45-21
Houston Tennessee 10/26/14 W, 30-16
Houston Buffalo 9/28/14 W, 23-17
Buffalo St. Louis 12/9/12 L, 15-12
Buffalo Cincinnati 10/2/11 L, 23-20
Buffalo Cincinnati 11/21/10 W, 49-31


Fitzpatrick is the 39th player to start at quarterback for the Buccaneers in the regular season and the 11th to win his starting debut.

Buccaneer QB Starting Debut Victories

Quarterback Start Date Opponent Outcome
Steve Young 11/24/85 Detroit W, 19-16
John Reaves* 10/4/87 Detroit W, 31-27
Jim Zorn* 10/18/87 Minnesota W, 20-10
Shaun King 12/6/99 Minnesota W, 24-17
Brad Johnson 9/9/01 Dallas W, 10-6
Rob Johnson 10/27/02 Carolina W, 12-9
Chris Simms 10/10/04 New Orleans W, 20-17
Tim Rattay 12/24/06 Cleveland W, 22-7
Luke McCown 12/2/07 New Orleans W, 27-23
Josh Freeman 11/8/09 Green Bay W, 38-28
Ryan Fitzpatrick 11/12/17 N.Y. Jets W, 15-10

(* Replacement players during 1987 players' strike.)

**

Odds and Ends

- Bernard Reedy's 44-yard punt return in the second quarter of Sunday's victory was his longest of the season and the longest by any Buccaneer since Bobby Rainey had a 58-yarder against Jacksonville on Oct. 11, 2015. Reedy also had a 50-yard kickoff return at Minnesota in Week Three of this season. He is the first Buccaneer with both a punt return and a kickoff return since 2013. Eric Page had a 52-yard punt return and a 44-yard kickoff return that season.

- Tampa Bay's defense allowed a season-low 20.0% conversion rate on third down to the Jets' offense on Sunday. New York converted on just three of 15 tries, in large part because the majority of those third downs were of the extra-long variety. On eight occasions, New York faced a third down of 11 or more yards, and only one of those were converted. The Buccaneers have third downs charted by distance needed back through the 1999 season; those eight tries of 11 or more yards by the Jets were the most Tampa Bay has forced in any game in that span.

- The New York Jets had 12 offensive possessions on Sunday, and every one of them started at their own 30-yard line or worse. The last time the Buccaneers made an opponent start every drive at least 70 yards away from the opposite end zone was Nov. 20 of last season, in a 19-17 win at Kansas City. Four of those 12 drives started 90 or more yards away from the Buccaneers' end zone, which is a season high for a Tampa Bay opponent. The last time the Bucs made an opposing team start four drives at its own 10-yard line or worse was on Nov. 11, 2013 in a Monday Night Football win over Miami.

- The Buccaneers beat the Jets by the somewhat unusual score of 15-10 on Sunday. That's actually the second game in team history to finish by that score, but the Bucs were on the losing end of the other one, at San Francisco on Oct. 30, 2005. Sunday's Bucs-Jets game was just the 19th one in NFL history to end in a 15-10 final. (This note courtesy of the very useful "Find a Score" tool on the Pro Football Reference website.)