Context Stats – Ryan Fitzpatrick vs The Chiefs

Edward Gorelik breaks down Ryan Fitzpatrick’s context stats against the Kansas City Chiefs…

Statistics let us remove emotional stimuli and focus on the hard truth of what happens. But we need to place statistics into their environment to gain context and understand what’s really happening. Fitzpatrick having 60% accuracy doesn’t tell you any real information, but 60% accuracy throwing against man coverage gives you something to work with. That’s the purpose of this season-long project.

Let’s get this out of the way, these numbers aren’t completely objective. There’s a lot of subjectivity involved with interceptables, drops, single vs full reads, and even what the coverage faced is. This is still a subjective analysis. It’s just adding numbers to that subjective analysis.

Quarterbacks put on the green and white uniform and then put together disastrous performance art. We’ve seen it again and again. Sometimes there are good excuses for them, but not always. I obsess about recognizing the context of every detail of events because everything that occurs builds off previous occurrences that were far outside the control of those involved. That’s how life works, that’s how football works.

Ryan Fitzpatrick is on one of the most talented Jets offenses that has ever been assembled. The receivers contain three technically skilled and athletically gifted monsters. They separate easily, create yards all on their own, and make spectacular catches. In the backfield sits one of the leagues best receiving backs and best complimentary players, although their skillsets are redundant. The tight ends are a burning building. But the offensive line has held together well in their three games together. Inside of the Jets quick passing scheme they’re not a liability. That passing scheme is designed by an incredible coordinator who has gotten nearly every subpar player under his reign to play up to a capable level.

There is a lack of reasonable excuses for what happened in this game, and the context stats support that.

Ryan Fitzpatrick Context Stats vs Kansas City Chiefs Week 3 - Pressured
Attempts and Completions include runs and sacks. Both count as attempts, but completions only count runs.

Fitz threw 8 potential interceptions without ever being under pressure. He reached a rate of throwing 1 pass that was turnover worthy every 4 plays without resistance against him. Entirely through his own will, he made 8 different decisions that could’ve led to an interception. This doesn’t even include his random fumble that occurred early in the game, which is another potential turnover he was very lucky to recover.

But there’s so much else that went wrong in this game. Let’s hold off on the interceptions for now and talk about the other issues Fitzpatrick had.

Ryan Fitzpatrick Context Stats vs Kansas City Chiefs Week 3 - Distance

Fitzpatrick went 4/17 throwing passes between 10-19 yards with three of those successes taking form of a penalty and two drops. He only gathered 18 yards while having 5 interceptable passes and that’s almost entirely on him. Between poor reads and poor execution, Fitzpatrick was trusting his receivers to make plays they weren’t in position to win on or he took away a play from them they had already won.

Ryan Fitzpatrick consistently found a way to take an open receiver and make catching harder for them. When looking at that video and realizing that the throws are practically pre-determined, failure to get the ball at a target you already know you’re throwing at is a huge issue. To summarize them quickly:

  • A popular play in our playbook is the playaction post/In option. The playaction grabs the attention of the linebackers while a slot or outside receiver crosses the deep middle, creating an easy throwing lane into the 10-19 yard range. Marshall runs an In because there is a single high safety in the way of the post. This is the pre-determined read on this play for the progression and Fitzpatrick is completely off target.
  • The same play but with a slightly different set up. It doesn’t need a lot of theatrics to work, the quick playaction holds the linebackers and they’re not able to get deep enough to disrupt the passing lane to Enunwa. Fitz not only throws this near the ground, but he throws it behind Enunwa when he had a wide open lane ahead of him.
  • Fitz sees single high coverage and knows he’s heading for Robby Anderson at the pre-snap. A quick glance to the right puts the safety off balance and Fitz turns and throws to Anderson immediately. Because he sets up his throw blindly with the glance instead of just holding the safety with a more controlled move, he’s underthrowing Anderson on an easy touchdown.
  • Just underthrown again. Another potential touchdown lost. The pre-snap motion shows the safety come down closer to the box which opens the opportunity for a huge gain from Marshall and Fitz can’t take advantage.

These inaccuracies are already problematic within an offense that puts so much effort into making Ryan Fitzpatrick’s job easier through focused single-side reads and a heavy dose of designed passes. Lacking execution on top of that is horrible.

Ryan Fitzpatrick Context Stats vs Kansas City Chiefs Week 3 - Reads

If you can look past Fitzpatrick’s performance, you’ll notice there were also 6 drops in the game from receivers. Enunwa was the biggest culprit, but that doesn’t save Fitzpatrick’s performance at all.

Fitzpatrick threw an interceptable pass once every 4.7 attempts in this game. That’s incredible. What’s most surprising is that he did it against a defense that wasn’t even confusing him. The Chiefs were in man coverage for nearly the entire game.

Ryan Fitzpatrick Context Stats vs Kansas City Chiefs Week 3 - Coverage

Betting on Jets receivers beating up the opponents corners for a troublesome Quarterback is the bread and butter of this team. Instead, Fitzpatrick was ruining the opportunities handed to him and forcing the ball into places it shouldn’t have gone into.

For the third week in a row, Fitzpatrick found a time to unnecessarily force a pass to Marshall. Before the ball is ever snapped, there’s already a double coverage over Marshall. Fitzpatrick still looks in that direction immediately, and despite facing only a three man rush that is well blocked and beaten; he forces the ball in there. There is plenty of time to look around or extend the play, but Fitzpatrick’s decision is pre-determined and unwilling to change. Then he did it again later on.

Again, Marshall has a safety and a corner against him on the solo side. Meanwhile, the opposite safety is sitting on the hash while Eric Decker gets completely open on a corner route and Enunwa gets wide open underneath. Although seeing Decker’s opening would’ve taken some post-snap reading, Enunwa being open was a given on the pre-snap which had his corner 7 yards off the line against a 2 yard deep route.

Before we get into the interceptables, the last point to bring up is an interception that wasn’t on Fitzpatrick.

Although he plays some part in this, this interception falls into bad luck. The pre-snap shows a cover-1 with all 11 players in view. The single high safety is heavily shaded towards the right side of the field. The Chiefs only rush four and one of them is unblocked off the edge because of an error by the RT. Instead of giving up on the play, Fitzpatrick goes into hero mode and throws at Enunwa with an extremely unfavorable placement. However, Enunwa’s own technique issues stop him from catching this ball.

When Enunwa turns around to face Fitzpatrick, his hands are pointing towards the ground and below his hips. Whenever a player turns on a break towards the QB, it’s vital that their hands are pointing at the QB and preferably at or above hip level. Because they’re not here, Enunwa can’t get his hands up to catch the ball quick enough and only tips it. This is an issue that doesn’t come up often but when it does, it shows.

Interceptables

Oh yeah, we’re going to go through each and every one. Interceptables are a subjective analysis because even passes that are intercepted aren’t always interceptable. If you want to argue against one, you’re welcome to in the comments.

Chiefs have man coverage across the board paired with a blitz. The Jets run a modified sail concept with a vertical/curl/out on the same side of the field and not in the order that’s expected from the WRs. Fitz, feeling the pocket collapsing on him, rushes to throw the curl at Jalin. Peters sits on the route, sees Jalin’s break and drives down on the ball.

This one was already shown, but here it is in the interceptables section too. Fitzpatrick underthrows Marshall who is running two steps ahead of his corner with no safety anywhere near the area. The ball lands on the corners back, which makes this a better pass at the cornerback than Marshall. The only thing stopping it from being intercepted is that he’s not looking.

Jets have trips left vs the Chiefs man coverage. Eric Berry starts at the hash and then moves over Decker before the snap. That’s all Fitz needs to know that this throw isn’t available; but Fitzpatrick already decided that’s where the ball will go. He throws into double coverage in the end zone, and although Berry makes a great play to knock this ball down; the decision to throw this here is what makes it interceptable.

Jets start with stacked receivers against cover-1 man look but motion Jalin into the slot. Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson sees motion and waves at his teammate to alert them of Powell, who he assumes will get a designed pick play. Instead, Fitz stares at Jalin from the snap and although Johnson is in the throwing lane from the start, he still forces the ball in there. Johnson isn’t able to finish the interception, but it’s interceptable on him regardless; and Berry finishes it for him.

Chiefs are in cover-2 man. From start of the play, Fitzpatrick is staring down Decker and to make matters worse, he’s way too late throwing the ball to him. The safety on the right is over Decker immediately and watching his route the entire time, waiting for this throw. Also, Decker’s route is heading towards the sideline and Fitzpatrick forces him back inside. The safety fails to secure this interception for himself when a stared down and misplaced late throw lands in his hands.

Only one play separates this throw from the last. More cover-2 man as the Chiefs play conservatively. Fitzpatrick looks over the sail concept on the left side and believes Decker is going to run a corner when he’s running an out. However, there’s a safety directly over the route so the corner shouldn’t be the play. Decker is fully covered and there’s nowhere for this ball to go; meanwhile Enunwa is directly underneath, open, and the next step in this progression. Fitzpatrick is lucky the safety drops this one.

This is the very next play. Still playing against conservative defenses, the Jets try to use a scissors concept to get Marshall open. The outside receiver and slot receiver on the right side cross paths early, and Marshall is in a lot of space with the CB trying to catch up (but still being over him). A safety is also sitting over the top. Marshall turns around expecting a fade because he sees the leverage isn’t there above him but Fitzpatrick forces it there anyway. Easy interception.

Another play by Derrick Johnson. Running a no-huddle, the Chiefs show man again. Johnson lines up in the B gap on the right side of the line, faking a blitz. He’s going to be in man coverage against Forte. The play is designed as a wheel route for Forte where Marshall will pick off the linebacker that chases after him. Marshall misses the pick on Johnson, who is recovering from his blitzing position, and Fitz throws it directly at Johnson. This is an issue with trusting the scheme instead of confirming that the design is working. Forte is open on this play, whether the pick hits or not, because the ball could thrown over Johnson and into Forte’s arms as he runs up the field; but Fitzpatrick tried to throw it on a line into him instead. That causes the interception.

At this point there’s really nothing to say. Fitzpatrick throws blindly into a double covered Marshall after cycling through the field.

Extra Stats

Ryan Fitzpatrick Context Stats vs Kansas City Chiefs Week 3 - Map
10-19 in the outside left had three of Fitzpatricks nine interceptable passes.

Fitzpatrick lost 6 receptions to drops that would’ve accounted for 47 yards and a touchdown. He also had 8 inaccurate passes, 1 of which was caught for 26 yards.

Ryan Fitzpatrick Context Stats vs Kansas City Chiefs Week 3 - Player
Enunwa had 3 drops, hurting offensive production immensely.

On top of having his worst game overall, Fitzpatrick had trouble bouncing back after mistakes in this game. On non-screen passes following a bad play (INTable or Fumble) he went 3 for 7, had 20 yards, and threw two interceptables.

Ryan Fitzpatrick Context Stats vs Kansas City Chiefs Week 3 - Defense
Fitzpatrick surprisingly converted 7/11 third downs in this game.

Photo Credit: NewYorkJets.com 

Author: Edward Gorelik

My cat is a better analyst than me, that's why he ghostwrites my posts.