Fitzpatrick threw for 277 yards and four touchdowns Sunday afternoon and wide receiver Brandon Marshall had nine catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns as the Jets solidified their standing in the AFC wild card race with a 38-20 win over the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium.
The Jets (6-5) won for just the second time in six games to ensure they would at least remain in a tie for the second AFC wild card spot with the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans, who also won Sunday.
"That's what you want - you want to be playing meaningful games in December, and that's kind of where we're at right now," said Fitzpatrick, who trimmed his omnipresent beard earlier in the week in hopes of changing the Jets' fortunes. "The season hasn't been perfect. A lot of bumps so far. But we're playing meaningful games."
The Jets got into that position by going back to the brand of old-fashioned football that helped them win four of their first five games, during which New York allowed more than 20 points just once.
Fitzpatrick (22-of-37) led an offense that didn't commit a turnover for just the second time this season. The Jets are 5-2 when turning the ball over one time or fewer.
"We turn the ball over, we don't fare very well," Jets coach Todd Bowles said. "We don't have any turnovers, we have a chance to win the game."
Running back Chris Ivory grinded out 87 yards, including a back-breaking 31-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run in which he broke five tackles, for New York, which finished with 137 yards on 34 carries.
The Jets limited the Dolphins to just 12 yards rushing - the fewest the Jets have ever allowed in a game. Miami had just 71 yards in two games against New York this season.
"We all knew coming in that they were a good rush defense," Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. "Honestly, I thought we'd get more than 12."
Safety Calvin Pryor set the tone for a defense that allowed at least 22 points in each of the last five games by knocking Dolphins wide receiver Rishard Matthews out of the game with a hard hit on Miami's first series.
"We're a tough-minded team, we're going to show up and fight," Bowles said. "I thought we played better situational football, better complimentary football today."
The Dolphins drove into the red zone on their next series, but cornerback Marcus Williams picked off Tannehill to set up the Jets' first score, a 17-yard touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to Marshall. Miami punted on its next four possessions, a stretch in which it recorded just three first downs.
Fitzpatrick ended the half by directing an 11-play, 92-yard drive that ended with his 16-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Devin Smith with eight seconds left.
The last-second score jump-started the Jets, who scored on four of five second half possessions prior to Fitzpatrick's kneel-down with five seconds left. Fitzpatrick connected with wide receiver Eric Decker for a 2-yard touchdown in the third quarter and with Marshall for a five-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter prior to Ivory's score. Kicker Randy Bullock added a 38-yard field goal with 2:43 remaining.
"I thought as a unit, especially from that last two-minute drive on into the second half, we played well," Fitzpatrick said.
The Dolphins (4-7), on the other hand, were left to wonder why they fared as poorly against the Jets on Sunday as they did the first time the teams faced off on Oct. 4, when New York cruised to a 27-14 win in London.
"We got whipped the first time," said interim Dolphins coach Dan Campbell, who was Miami's tight ends coach under the fired Joe Philbin in London. "We got whipped the second time. Those are the facts."
The loss all but ensured the Dolphins will miss the playoffs for the seventh straight season and for the 13th time in the last 14 seasons. Miami missed the playoffs just 15 times total from its inaugural season in 1966 through 2001.
"To see the season go the way it's been, it's tough - it hurts," Tannehill said "The talent we have, the guys that we have, it hurts. There's no way we should be sitting where we are. But we are. And that's on our shoulders."
Tannehill finished 33-of-58 for 351 yards and three touchdowns, all in the second half. He threw for just 83 yards in the first half.
Landry set career highs with 13 catches for 165 yards and got the Dolphins on the board with a five-yard touchdown catch with 2:30 left in the third. Tannehill threw a five-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Greg Jennings with 4:51 left in the game and a 33-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DeVante Parker with five seconds left.
NOTES: At halftime, the Jets inducted former RBs Emerson Boozer and Matt Snell, both of whom were on the Super Bowl III winning team, into their Ring of Honor. Snell, who scored the Jets' only touchdown in Super Bowl III, did not attend and has not communicated with the franchise in decades. ... Among the Jets' inactives was CB Darrelle Revis (concussion), who was sidelined by a head injury for the second time in his nine-year career. He was also concussed in 2012. ... In addition to WR Rishard Matthews (back, ribs), the Dolphins also lost C Mike Pouncey (foot) to a first-quarter injury. ... Dolphins DE Quinton Coples was active, five days after he was claimed off waivers from the Jets.