Baltimore Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson is a fantastic athlete, dynamic playmaker, and NFL MVP frontrunner. Dolphins signal-caller Ryan Fitzpatrick is an NFL journeyman closer to retirement than his prime years. Most football fans wouldn’t mistake one for the other, yet Jackson and Fitzpatrick shared a common trait in the 2019 season.
Lamar Jackson had a record-setting season
In December 2019, Lamar Jackson set some noteworthy NFL records. Jackson broke Michael Vick’s record for the most single-season rushing yards by a quarterback. He broke the record on a 5-yard run in the first quarter of the Ravens’ 42-21 win over the New York Jets. Jackson came into the game needing only 23 yards to exceed the 1,039 yards set by Vick back in 2006. He had 86 yards on eight carries at the end of the game.
Jackson also became the first quarterback in the history of the NFL to reach 1,000 rushing yards and 3,000 passing yards in the same season. He also tied with Vinny Testaverde for the Baltimore Ravens single-season passing touchdown record with 33 touchdowns. Jackson finished the regular season with 36 passing TDs.
Ryan Fitzpatrick deserves some love
In a year where Lamar Jackson is expected to be the league’s MVP, Ryan Fitzpatrick should still be recognized for his tenacity. The 37-year-old from Harvard has had a solid, well-rounded, 15-year career in the NFL. The 2019 season with the Dolphins was hardly the best of Fitzpatrick’s career, but it was notable for a couple of reasons.
First, Fitzpatrick was supposed to be the wise sage coming in to impart wisdom on potential franchise QB Josh Rosen. When Rosen struggled, Fitzpatrick took over as the starter.
Also, the Dolphins were supposed to be the worst team in the NFL. With Ryan Fitzpatrick leading the way, Miami outplayed expectations and finished 5-11 for the year.
What Lamar Jackson and Ryan Fitzpatrick have in common
The 2017 NFL season was the first time two quarterbacks led their teams in rushing yards in the same year. Cam Newton and Russell Wilson both led their teams in rushing yards as quarterbacks for their teams that year. Why mention that old fact? Because Lamar Jackson and Ryan Fitzpatrick did the same thing in 2019.
The superhuman Jackson led the Ravens with 1,206 rushing yards for the season, 118 yards more than running back Mark Ingram. Jackson was averaging around 75 yards per game. Fitzpatrick led the Miami Dolphins in rushing yards with 243 for the season, beating running back Mark Walton by 42 yards.
But that’s where the similarity in the two quarterbacks and the two teams end for the 2019 season.
Unlike the young, athletic Jackson, Ryan Fitzpatrick managed to get the rushing lead because of the year the Dolphins had. The roster struggled, and the depleted offense didn’t have many weapons, so it wasn’t that hard to do. Fitzpatrick also led his team with four rushing touchdowns.
While the older quarterback isn’t the dynamic player Jackson is, he still broke a record of his own. Fitzpatrick became the oldest player to lead his team in running yards and rushing touchdowns in a single season. He passed Hall of Famers Marcus Allen and Emmitt Smith by doing so at the age of 37.
Still, Fitzpatrick is one of the greatest journeyman quarterbacks of all time, and it’s nice to see him add to his resume. He may not be Lamar Jackson, but he still managed to go into Foxboro and defeat the Patriots, which impacted the AFC playoff picture.