Fitzpatrick threw three fourth quarter interceptions in a crushing Jets’ 22–17 loss to the Rex Ryan-coached Buffalo Bills. The loss, coupled with a Pittsburgh Steelers win, eliminated the Jets from playoff contention. The defeat goes down as yet another frustrating finish for New York, who seemingly finds new ways to crush fans’ hopes year after year. In 2015, expectations were raised after a surprising run to 10 wins, only for the team to erase a season’s worth of promise by falling to a struggling division rival.
Each of Fitzpatrick’s interceptions in the fourth quarter came with the game within one score. His last pick came soon after Kenbrell Thompkins dropped a potential game-winning touchdown.
Tyrod Taylor was efficient if not spectacular for the Bills, throwing for 182 yards and running for 51 and a score. The win gives Ryan an 8–8 record in his first year in upstate New York.
The Jets still finish the season at a surprising 10–6, good for second place in the AFC East, but not good enough to play next week. Fitzpatrick wasn’t even expected to start this year, only jumping into the No. 1 spot after IK Enemkpali broke Geno Smith’s jaw during the preseason. Fitzpatrick ironically set the Jets’ single-season record for touchdown passes with 30 in the loss, but will likely only be remembered for his ill-timed interceptions.
Although Todd Bowles impressed in his first season at the helm of the Jets, the organization will undoubtedly be disappointed coming so close to a playoff berth, only to give away its final game. It's going to be a long offseason.