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. Ryan Fitzpatrick having 60% accuracy doesn’t tell you any 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 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.
Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t why the Jets lost. I want him benched too, but he isn’t why they lost. He should be benched/cut because he’s not good and there’s no point of playing him, but i’ve seen people use the game ending sack fumble as a reason to say he’s why they lost. He isn’t.
Fitzpatrick actually played very well on Sunday. Visually, it’s as good as the Bills game from earlier in the season. However, that game was more high variance jump balls working in the Jets favor.
Just like the Bills game, the efficiency boost all comes from a better performance throwing deep. Being able to push the ball downfield is a necessary part of highly efficient Quarterbacking. Alex Smith is not an efficient QB. Roethlisberger is.
If you can’t throw deep, you are forcing your QB to be a consistent executioner from down to down, over and over again. Imagine having to run drives of 14-20 plays every single time you wanted to get a touchdown. Contextualize that by knowing that the average plays per drive is 5.98 and the highest scoring team in the NFL has a play per drive count of 6.91 (The Cowboys). The only quarterbacks capable of consistently orchestrating short play after short play to get touchdowns are the ones that don’t need to.