ASHBURN -- Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn't played a single snap for the Washington Football Team, but he's already representing the franchise in a better fashion than his predecessors. Where does that have him among the top quarterbacks for the 2021 season?
Fitzpatrick was recently ranked 19th among 32 projected starting QB by PFF and former NFL QB Bruce Gradkowski.
"Fitzpatrick continues to play his best football the longer he stays in the league — the veteran ranks 15th in PFF passing grade since 2018. Last year in Miami, he had the team rolling until Brian Flores took the QB room for a rollercoaster ride. It's rare for a veteran quarterback “placeholder” to join a solid football team, but this will be the best team Fitzpatrick has been on in quite some time. Fitzpatrick brings energy, leadership and a wealth of knowledge to a locker room, but his Achilles heel is protecting the football. If he is able to play smart and deliver on explosive plays, Washington will be a playoff contender."
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Fitzpatrick ranked one spot ahead of New York Giants QB Daniel Jones, which is a little closer than we see it. He also ranks ahead of San Francisco's Jimmy Garoppolo and new Colts gunslinger Carson Wentz.
The new Washington quarterback came in just behind Cincinnati's Joe Burrow and Arizona's Kyler Murray. Burrow is coming off a major knee injury suffered last season at FedExField. Murray is still developing his craft but still is making some rookie errors over the last two years.
Last season, Fitzpatrick ranked No. 21 in PFF's calculated rankings while Haskins— who was released before the season's end — ranked 25th before the start of last year.
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By joining the D.C. franchise, Fitzpatrick now has his best chance to not only make the playoffs for the first time in his career, but also to win a game once he gets there. Both parties truly need a win as Washington is looking to move beyond the Wild Card round for the first time since 2005.
Making it and winning a bad division while losing in their opening game of the postseason at home is simply not enough for coach Ron Rivera and the revamped front office. The expectations should be higher and the belief in the building is that they are higher.
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Fitzpatrick figures to help them accomplish that, no matter where he's ranked in late May.
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