Teammates to Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: Less beard, more TDs

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said he already misses his big, bushy beard. His teammates don't.

"The beard should never, ever come back," Brandon Marshall said Sunday, smiling.

Five days after trimming his signature scruff, Fitzpatrick played his best game of the year, throwing a season-high four touchdown passes in the Jets' 38-20 win over the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Sound familiar?

The same story unfolded last November. Playing for the Houston Texans, Fitzpatrick threw six touchdowns the week he shaved his beard. Call him the anti-Samson.

So, if you're scoring at home, Fitzpatrick has 10 touchdown passes and zero interceptions in games immediately after his beard is trimmed. Maybe the folks at ESPN Stats & Information can cook up a facial hair/performance analysis.

Sunday's performance came one day shy of the one-year anniversary of his six-pack of touchdowns.


Eric Decker said the "young Fitz is back," adding that his quarterback should consider weekly trims.

"We'll pitch in to give it to him," Decker cracked.

Fitzpatrick, who turned 33 last week, said he's not superstitious but that he decided to clean up his look because he wanted to change his mojo after two bad games. It worked. Squashing any notion of a quarterback controversy, he completed 22 of 37 passes for 277 yards, throwing touchdowns to three receivers -- Marshall (two), Decker and rookie Devin Smith.

Fitzpatrick doesn't sound like he's in favor of weekly trims.

"No, I don't think so," he said. "It was just a little long. I need to grow it in a little more. I kind of miss it."

He might be the only one who feels that way.