Ryan Fitzpatrick has not had much success against Rex Ryan's defenses over the years and that's putting it nicely. Fitzpatrick is 2-8 (when playing a full game) against Rex Ryan with a completion percentage of 47 percent, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Those are not good numbers, but in Fitzpatrick's defense most of those games came when the talent was clearly in Rex's favor. Except of course last year, there's no defending/excusing Fitzpatrick's performance against Rex last year.
"(The) previous history before last year, it was with different teams. Last year, Jets versus a Rex Ryan led Bills team, (I) just didn't play as well as I wanted to in either game. I know I've got to do better," Fitzpatrick said. "We want to come out and win the game, obviously, but there's just a lot of stuff in terms of thought process and terms of making the right throws that I've got to come out and do. I don't know if it's necessarily his defense versus my quarterback play. It's just me going out there and making smart decisions and good throws."
Of course it will come down to Fitzpatrick making smart decisions and good throws, something he failed to do not only in the matchups against the Bills last year but also for the most part last Sunday against the Bengals. After a short week Fitzpatrick will have his hands full facing this defense. One piece of good news is the coaching staff started game planning for this game months ago so but even that might not be enough because of how Rex is able to confuse so many quarterbacks.
"Rex's defenses over the years, the thing about them is they're so multiple, so it's changed a little bit," Fitzpatrick said. "It's gotten a little bit different based on personnel. When he's here versus when he's there, and year to year, you see differences too. I just think he's a smart coach. He does a good job."
The Jets know how big the two losses to the Bills were last year, but they're professional athletes and being able to turn the page after a tough loss — whether it was last week, last year or both — is part of their job description and it's important that the Jets have their focus set on not digging themselves an 0-2 hole to start the season.
"It's a new year. It's an important one for us. It always is, but it's a division game, we're 0-1, and we're trying to get that bad taste out of our month from Sunday," Fitzpatrick said. "Thursday nights are exciting to play on because you have all of your peers watching you, and you just want to go out there and show everybody what kind of team we have."
Chris Nimbley is the Editor-in-chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)