The face hasn’t changed much, but the uniform has been swapped out constantly dating back to 2008. With Ryan Fitzpatrick slated to start next Monday for the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field against the Pittsburgh Steelers, it will be his seventh game against the black and gold. In those seven starts, the last six have each come with a different franchise.
Fitzpatrick has actually started games for eight different teams. Starting five games combined in the 2005 and 2006 seasons for the St. Louis Rams, the Steelers never faced Fitzpatrick in those seasons. Additionally, his one season with the Tennessee Titans in 2013 had Jake Locker as the starter when they faced off against the Steelers in Week 1. Other than those two franchises, Fitzpatrick has started against the Steelers in all of his other stops around the NFL.
Ryan Fitzpatrick’s first game against Pittsburgh came in Cincinnati as the starter for the Bengals in Week 7 of the 2008 season. The Steelers won the game 38-10 scoring three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put the game away. Fitzpatrick threw for 164 yards on 21 completions and had a 5 yard touchdown to Chad Johnson just before halftime. He was also sacked seven times in the game and lost a fumble late in the fourth quarter.
Five weeks later Fitzpatrick started again for the Bengals at Heinz Field in a Thursday night showdown. Although he jumped out to a 7–0 lead in the first quarter with a touchdown pass to Glenn Holt, the Steelers ultimately won the game 27-10. This time Fitzpatrick was only sacked once but did throw an interception while passing for 168 yards on 20 completions.
Two years later in 2010, Fitzpatrick started against the Steelers in Buffalo as a member of the Bills. Although he led a drive at the end of regulation to set up a 49-yard field goal, the Steelers were able to get the three point win in overtime 19-16.
After two more years in Buffalo and the aforementioned 2013 season with the Tennessee Titans, Fitzpatrick joined the Houston Texans in 2014 and traveled to Pittsburgh for a Monday night game at Heinz Field in Week 7. Fitzpatrick led his team to the first 13 points of the game before the Steelers rattled off 24 points in the final 3:13 of the half to take a 24–13 lead, ultimately winning the game 30-23. Although he passed for 262 yards with two touchdowns, it was Fitzpatrick‘s interception with just over a minute left in the first half which led to the Steelers third touchdown in the last 90 seconds of the second quarter.
In his second year with the New York Jets, Fitzpatrick started another game at Heinz Field in Week 5 of the 2016 season. While he played a decent game with 255 yards and a touchdown, this game was the lone highlight reel for Steelers wide receiver Sammie Coates as he caught six passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the 31-13 Steelers victory.
Last season, the Steelers traveled to Tampa Bay to take on “Fitz-magic” and the 2-0 Buccaneers in Week 3 on Monday Night Football. Known as the infamous “stiff arm heard round the world” by Vance McDonald, the Steelers jumped out to a 30–10 lead at halftime. Fitzpatrick ended up throwing for 411 yards on 30 completions with three touchdowns, two of which came in the fourth quarter. But his three interceptions were the biggest downfall as one was returned for a touchdown by Bud Dupree.
In case you weren’t tallying the results yourself, Ryan Fitzpatrick is 0-6 in his career starts against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Three of the losses came at Heinz Field by a combined 42 points. This will also be the fourth time Fitzpatrick will face the Steelers in prime time, and a third time specifically on Monday night.
Quarterbacking the Miami Dolphins, Fitzpatrick will come to Heinz Field Monday night looking to do the unthinkable. Not only would he get his first career win against the Steelers, it would be the first win for a Dolphins team who seems to be more interested in gaining top draft picks for the 2020 season then actually winning a football game. But on next Monday night, look for Ryan Fitzpatrick to give everything he’s got to take down the Steelers.