The Houston Texans rebounded in 2014 with a season-ending record of 9-7 after winning only two games the year prior. And a majority of those games were won with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick under center last season. So why was the franchise so quick to move on from the 32-year old veteran?
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Statistically, Fitz had his best season ever in Houston last year. He recorded 2483 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His completion percentage of 63.1% and quarterback rating of 95.3 were both career highs.
The highlight of Fitzpatrick’s season actually came after he was replaced mid-season by quarterback Ryan Mallett. In a Week 13 matchup against the Tennessee Titans, the veteran threw for 358 yards and six touchdowns. It his best performance by far, earning a quarterback rating of 147.5.
In fact, Fitzpatrick performed well enough last season that ESPN Insider Tom Gower believes the Houston Texans need to fall in love with him in 2015:
"“The Texans do not really need a quarterback for 2015, though. They already have Ryan Fitzpatrick. It is easy to scorn Fitzpatrick. His limitations, like below-average arm strength and a tendency to make more mistakes the longer he holds onto the ball, are apparent to even a casual observer. That makes it easy to overlook his strengths, like an ability to diagnose defenses before the snap and good placement on short throws.”"
Gower’s argument is there aren’t very many better options than Fitzpatrick available this offseason. And he appears to be right. But Gower also supports the re-signing of Mallett and further development of 2014 fourth round pick, Tom Savage, by the Texans.
In the meantime, having a player like Fitzpatrick under center isn’t the worst thing in the world. Especially if the veteran can build on his positives from last season.