It wasn’t pretty for Ryan Fitzpatrick in his Houston Texans preseason debut tonight, a point made by more than his stat line.
Head coach Bill O’Brien said before their exhibition opener against the Arizona Cardinals that how long Fitzpatrick played would depend on how well he played.
Fitzpatrick played the entire first half, going 6 for 14 for 55 yards with two interceptions — on 30 snaps.
That’s a lot. For anybody.
For reference, some notable starting quarterback snap counts in 2014 preseason openers:
Colin Kaepernick (SF vs. BAL): 7 snaps
Andy Dalton (CIN vs. KC): 8 snaps
Robert Griffin III (WAS vs. NE): 10 snaps
Ryan Tannehill (MIA vs. ATL) 10 snaps
Alex Smith (KC vs. CIN): 11 snaps
Joe Flacco (BAL vs. SF): 11 snaps
Andrew Luck (IND vs. NYJ): 13 snaps
Phillip Rivers (SD vs. DAL): 13 snaps
Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson each took 24 snaps for the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks in their teams’ meeting. Though each fared much better, and have won Super Bowls and stuff.
Matt Ryan played 18 snaps for the Atlanta Falcons against the Miami Dolphins, as he, Roddy White and Julio Jones tried to get on the same page after White and Jones injury-plagued 2013 seasons — how Fitzpatrick did with DeAndre Hopkins and the rest of his new teammates. But Ryan didn’t throw an incompletion, going 6 for 6.
Josh McCown, like Fitzpatrick, a newcomer to his team learning a new offense, took 18 snaps in his first game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Jacksonville Jaguars — in part because of how poorly he struggled. Yet, he took 13 fewer snaps.
No matter how you slice it, this was not the ideal first impression for Fitzpatrick — or O’Brien. How long Fitzpatrick played being the strongest bit of evidence.
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