KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Ryan Fitzpatrick has an interesting set of games from over the years when the veteran quarterback played against the Kansas City Chiefs. Fitzpatrick has started against the Chiefs with three teams and will make it four with the New York Jets on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
“Any time I see Kansas City on the schedule, especially when it’s an away game, you start to think about the experience of playing in Arrowhead and how difficult it is to come in and play with the noise and how great those fans are," Fitzpatrick said.
“I just know it’s always tough playing against the Chiefs because of their defense and especially in Arrowhead."
But Fitzpatrick had one of the best games of his 13-year NFL career against the Chiefs at Arrowhead. In 2011, Fitzpatrick and the Buffalo Bills opened the season in Kansas City. Fitzpatrick threw four touchdown passes in Buffalo’s 41-7 victory.
Fitzpatrick and the Bills also won in 2009 at Arrowhead, though against a dreadful Chiefs team. He’s 2-1 against the Chiefs in Kansas City and 4-2 overall.
His two best games against the Chiefs have come with Chan Gailey coaching his offense. Gailey coached the Bills in that 2011 game and again the next season, when Fitzpatrick threw a couple of touchdown passes in a 35-17 Buffalo victory.
Gailey is now the Jets’ offensive coordinator.
Fitzpatrick this season might have the best supporting cast he's ever had. The Jets are tied for sixth in the NFL in scoring and he’s the 11th-rated passer. He threw for 374 yards in last Thursday's victory over the Bills.
“The biggest thing with us is that it’s an experienced group," Fitzpatrick said. “We’ve got talent but we’ve got guys that are on the same page and understand what we’re trying to accomplish on every play. To me that’s the biggest difference this year from any other years that I’ve played."
Fitzpatrick’s most vivid memory against the Chiefs actually happened during the preseason in 2005, his rookie season. He threw a couple of touchdown passes, including the game-winner late in the fourth quarter, to help the St. Louis Rams beat the Chiefs.
“I was walking out after the game," he said. “I was thinking I’d played well enough to make the team and somebody yelled at me, ‘Hey that’s players only, you’re walking through the wrong exit. Players only!’
“My mom turned around at that point and said back, ‘He’s Ryan Fitzpatrick. He just won the game for the St. Louis Rams.’ That’s the only reason I remember one of those games. What a humbling experience, being an NFL quarterback."