After falling to 4-5 at the beginning of November, the Houston Texans benched Ryan Fitzpatrick and named Ryan Mallett the starter. Mallett had never started a game, and had only thrown five passes in his career.
Mallett’s first game was a solid, two-touchdown outing in a win over the Browns, but he was injured in his second game, a loss to the Bengals.
With Mallet still injured, Fitzpatrick started on Sunday against Titans, and he play lights out.
In a 45-21 win over the Titans, Fitzpatrick threw for a season-high 358 yards and a career-high 6 touchdowns, making it easily his best game in a Texans uniform.
Fitzpatrick and threw 9 complete passes for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns to DeAndre Hopkins. One completion was this 34-yard touchdown on 3rd and 8:
There was also this shor pass to J.J. Watt for his third offensive touchdown of the season:
After the game, Texans players had nothing but praise for Fitzpatrick.
Watt said, “It was an unreal throw by Fitz. He put it in a spot where nobody but me could get it and it was a perfect throw. He really couldn’t have put it in a better spot… All of the credit goes to him on that.”
Receiver Andre Johnson was happy to see Fitzpatrick back:
“It was great, great outing by him. He did a great job the way he commanded the offence. It was awesome. An awesome thing to watch. The guy still prepared as if he was going to play every week. You just have to be ready when your opportunity comes.”
Fitzpatrick seemed to have learned his lesson. He said on Sunday, “It was one of those things where I got sat down a few weeks ago, I didn’t know if I would have the chance to go out there again and play and be the starter… But it was eye-opening for me me, just to able to not take it for granted and embrace it.”
The Texans are still in the playoff race at 6-6, and will have a chance to sneak into the Wild Card if Fitzpatrick can keep up this level of play.
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