Fitzpatrick throws two TDs as Jets rout Bills
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Ryan Fitzpatrick, likely making his final appearance in a New York Jets uniform, threw a pair of short touchdown passes Sunday afternoon as the Jets routed the Buffalo Bills, 30-10, in the season finale at MetLife Stadium.
Fitzpatrick, who threw a franchise-record 31 touchdown passes last season but was benched twice this year, finished 20-of-30 for 210 yards with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Bilal Powell in the second quarter and a 6-yard TD pass to Jalin Marshall in the third quarter.
Fitzpatrick, an impending free agent, finished the year with just 12 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions. He was initially benched for Geno Smith after the Jets got off to a 1-5 start but regained his job when Smith suffered a season-ending knee injury in his first start. Fitzpatrick was benched again for Bryce Petty following week 13 but started the finale because Petty suffered a shoulder injury last week.
Powell rushed for 122 yards, kicker Nick Folk booted three field goals and Doug Middleton recovered a fumbled kickoff in the end zone for a touchdown for New York (5-11), which finished last in the AFC East a season after going 10-6 and remaining in playoff contention until a loss to the Bills in week 17.
Fitzpatrick fared far better in his Jets finale than his counterpart, E.J. Manuel, did in what will likely be his final game with Buffalo. Manuel went 9-for-20 for 86 yards before being benched for rookie Cardale Jones at the start of the fourth quarter.
Manuel, who is also scheduled to hit free agency in the spring, started in place of Tyrod Taylor, who was inactive due to a groin injury. The Bills must pay Taylor $30.75 million next season if he can't pass a physical by the first day of the new league year.
Kicker Dan Carpenter kicked a 34-yard field goal and Mike Gillislee rushed for a 1-yard touchdown with 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter for Buffalo (7-9), which missed the playoffs for the 17th straight season -- the longest drought amongst the four major American pro sports teams.
The Bills lost in the debut of interim head coach Anthony Lynn, who was promoted when Rex Ryan was fired Tuesday one game shy of completing the second year of a five-year deal.
Running back LeSean McCoy rushed for just 10 yards on five carries before suffering an ankle injury.
NOTES: The Jets and Bills each played a regular season game in January for the 11th time. ... Among the inactives for the Jets was WR Brandon Marshall (hip, shoulder), who didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday and was listed as questionable Friday. Marshall tried warming up but appeared to be in pain before heading off to the locker room. ... The Jets finished the season with 18 players on injured reserve. ... Among the inactives for the Bills was CB Stephon Gilmore, who suffered a concussion in last week's loss to the Miami Dolphins. ... Bills QB E.J. Manuel is the only quarterback selected in the 2013 draft who has started a game in each of the last four seasons.