It’s impossible to evaluate anything in the NFL without understanding the situation, responsibilities, and expectations of a player within the context of their surroundings. Otherwise, it’s too easy to credit them for things they don’t actually do or blame them for things that aren’t on them to do. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 2015 season came on one of the Jets most talented offensive rosters in their entire history…
Some of the best receivers to ever wear Jets uniforms took up the top roles of the 2015 offense. A depth of talent sits behind them that is able to gain separation using their athleticism and/or skills; all of whom are very good at adjusting to off-target throws. There’s an offensive line that is shaky but capable of what it is asked to do: stall rushers for enough time to give the quick passing game a clean release. All of this works under a coordinator that understands how to maximize the limitations of his players instead of pushing them outside of their comfort zone.
I’ve gone back into all of Fitzpatrick’s games last season (minus his short appearance in Oakland) and placed all of his season into multiple categories, breaking down Fitzpatrick’s performance within those. This is the first year I’ve ever done this, so we don’t have any players to compare these to but we can at least look in a vacuum to see what’s interesting about them.
Let’s explain how the stats work. The “%” column is not completion percentage but success. If the ball is dropped or there’s a defensive penalty, Fitz’s % does not get penalized for that. So 4/6 with 1 drop and 1 defensive penalty, is actually 4/4. YPA and QB rating don’t penalize for them either. INTable measures whether or not a pass was interceptable regardless of it being finished or not. This means some interceptions that were not on Fitzpatrick are not counted (such as the drop by Marshall vs the Eagles). INTable is counted inside the QB Rating, since this is measuring the QBs play and not their opponents ability to finish interceptions, which is outside of the QBs control. Drops also take account of difficulty to catch, so an off-target throw that the WR doesn’t finish didn’t get counted as a drop.
Not included in these stats are touchdowns lost. In total, Fitzpatrick lost two would-be touchdowns on the season due to drops. Fitzpatrick’s rushing isn’t quantified in here either, this is strictly focusing on his performance in the passing game.