Ryan Fitzpatrick did not have a good game against the Cardinals, and was promptly benched in the fourth quarter. We have found out now that Geno Smith will be the starter for the next game against the Ravens. While Fitzpatrick did make some good throws, as we alluded to in the Fitzmagic article, he was not able to lead the offense to consistent points. Let’s examine some of the bad throws:
The defense comes out in a single high safety look, while the Jets counter with four receivers and a running back out of the backfield. The first problem of this play is that Fitzpatrick is staring down Charone Peake the entire time on this pass, The second aspect is that Fitzpatrick steps right into the defensive line causing him to get hit. By moving up, he ran right into the defensive line. It’s probably a good thing this throw is off line, because the line backer Deone Bucannon is reading Fitzpatrick’s eyes the whole way and waiting to jump the route. Notice Robby Anderson to the right of the formation running deep with a step on his defender as well, but he’s completely ignored.
If you felt Robby Anderson wasn’t open enough on the last play to take a shot down the field, he widened the gap this time. The only problem is that Fitzpatrick has decided to throw this ball to Brandon Marshall from the onset of this play. Marshall is well covered on this play, especially because the corner has safety help over the top, and the ball isn’t anywhere near Marshall to catch. This is just a horrible read and throw by Fitzpatrick. The Cardinals did switch to a two deep safety look at the last minute, so the read was correct in going to the right side of the formation. However, both Charone Peake (short) and Robby Anderson (deep) were open on this play, yet Fitzpatrick picked the worst option.
If the Steelers had drafted Robby Anderson, he might be a star by now. He gets behind the defense again, although this time it’s still decent coverage. However, this is a third and six play, so Fitzpatrick does choose wisely to take the shorter route for a completion and conversion. However, this is just a horrible throw on the run. Again, Fitzpatrick is locked into Marshall the entire way, but Brandon does a good job of getting open. Unfortunately, Fitzpatrick throws this pass at the ground essentially, leading to an incomplete pass. This is just a horrible throw, and on the outside, Charone Peake is open as well for a brief period.
The person most happy about the Fitzpatrick benching has to be Robby Anderson. The Cardinals are playing about seven yards off the line with Anderson on this play, and he still runs by the defender. He’s about to be two steps out in front of the defender, when Fitzpatrick under throws this pass to the defensive back’s helmet. While Anderson does get his hands on the ball, this is a pass that has to go further and lead the receiver. This is probably one of the biggest reasons why teams don’t respect the deep pass against the Jets this year because Fitzpatrick has consistently failed to connect on these passes.
This is a third and one play in the second quarter, and Fitzpatrick essentially gives away the audible by motioning to Brandon Marshall on this play. As soon as Fitzpatrick communicated with Marshall, the linebackers pointed it out, and then proceeded to run after Forte on this pass. Also, notice the cluster of defenders in the area, which means that getting someone open to the right of the formation has less probability. The pre-snap read on this play shows that the defender on Enunwa is a good six yards off the line of scrimmage, so a quick pass there is an almost guaranteed completion. This is just a bad job by Fitzpatrick reading the defense before the snap, and then a low throw as well from him. Forte doesn’t do him any favors by not catching this pass, but he wasn’t going anywhere even if he caught it. On most third down and short plays, the defense is expecting a run, so it’s understandable to go away from the play as a form of surprise. However, since the defense is expecting a run, they are most likely dedicating at least one person to defend the running back, which reduces the effectiveness of a screen pass.
This is a false start penalty on a QB from the shotgun. How often does it happen? 8 times total for false starts from the QB last year in the entire league? 5 times the year before. These numbers don’t differentiate between shotgun or under center snaps. Why is Fitzpatrick backing out before even getting the ball?
Fitzpatrick tries to get the ball to Robby Anderson, and fails again. This is another play, where the pass is just predetermined from the onset. While it looks like Anderson stopped on the play, he is going to be pushed out of bounds, so he slows down to stay on the field, but by then the ball is in the air. This is the drive before the half, trying to get into field goal range. The pass to Peake was available on this play with good timing, but Fitzpatrick goes for the deep pass and is lucky it’s not intercepted. This isn’t even a play where Fitzpatrick is pressured into making a quick decision as he has a clean pocket to work with. Unfortunately, this is one of the downsides of having a weak arm, because you have to make up your mind earlier about throwing this ball. For a stronger armed QB, they have the luxury of waiting to see if the route develops just a bit further.
This is another play, while trying to get into field goal range at the end of the half. This is just a wild throw, as it doesn’t matter if Peake makes a clean turn to the outside, because the ball is about seven foot above his head. The sad part about this play is that Brandon Marshall is working his way open across the middle but the Jets were out of time outs (partially because of the injury to Carpenter). This has to be a better throw from Fitzpatrick, because this gives no shot to the receiver on this play.
The Jets have five receivers and the Cardinals rush four guys on this play. Notice Brandon Marshall on the right side of the formation, and how far back the defender is playing him. Fitzpatrick exits the pocket to the side, has a wide open Brandon Marshall, and elects to try to throw it into traffic with Charone Peake, who proceeds to get lit up by one of the defenders. There was a wide open option, directly in the path of Fitzpatrick, and he decided to ignore it.
This is a good read, good anticipation, but a bad throw. For as open as Jalin Marshall is on this play, you have to complete this pass. Fitzpatrick throws this ball high and Marshall can’t bring it in. This is just a missed throw by Fitzpatrick.
Quite possibly the last pass of Fitzpatrick’s Jets career, and it is an interception. This is a third and seven play, so the Jets need to get to where Robby Anderson is standing wide open on this play to convert a first down. However, Fitzpatrick is locked into Marshall on this play and the safety reads his eyes. Notice how the safety jumps the route for Fitzpatrick even before Brandon Marshall runs the route. Even Jalin Marshall is open in the back of the end zone but Fitzpatrick decides to ignore the option for Brandon Marshall. This play pretty much captures Ryan Fitzpatrick, locking into receivers, safeties reading his eyes, and because his star wide receiver can’t bail him out, an interception.
Another bad performance by Ryan Fitzpatrick, and he was rightfully benched. The offense looked lost under his guidance and made far too many mistakes. If you go by pre-snap reads, there were plenty of opportunities to gain yardage in this game but the Jets refused to take advantage.
Fitzpatrick Grade: D
A) Since Geno Smith is starting now, what should the name for bad Geno plays be called, similar to Bad Magic?
B) How many yards does Robby Anderson have next week?
C) Why do you think Enunwa has regressed?