Ryan Fitzpatrick @ Colts Week 2 2015 Season NFL

Ryan Fitzpatrick @ IND – 22/34, 244 Yards, 2 TD, 1 INT

Going on the road against a heavily understaffed Indianapolis Colts team, the fate of this game was left in the air for the Jets. In a game where the New York defense had five turnovers, the last quarter came down to a final dagger drive at the hands of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Should it have ever reached that point though? Let’s take a look at all of Ryan Fitzpatrick plays leading up to and including that final drive that sealed this win.



Ryan Fitzpatrick – 22/34 for 244 yards, 7.18 YPA, 2 TDs, 1 INT

Passing Chart

Outside Left Numbers Left Middle Numbers Right Outside Right
30+ T B B
20-29 B BP C
10-19 CB XC N XCBC

C = Complete

X = Incmomplete

N = Not QB Fault

B = Bad Pass

P = Perfect

T = Potential Interception/Actual Interception

1-10-NYJ 20 (15:00) (Shotgun) 14-R.Fitzpatrick pass short right to 87-E.Decker pushed ob at NYJ 32 for 12 yards (93-E.Walden).

This is the Jets basic passing play. It’s a simple design meant to stretch out the field and leave big throwing lanes for the QB to the two slot receivers who are running out routes. It’s the kind of easy, rhythm building pass that we lacked under all of Rex Ryan’s coaching staffs. Bailey regularly sets up this play by having a player motion to the outside receiver (in this case Ivory) in order to set up a more favorable matchup with the inside receiver as well as cause confusion right before the snap. Here, Fitzpatrick is just asked to read the leverage of the inside CBs and if they’re shaded the wrong way (such as the one over Decker is shaded inside), that’s the man he’s looking to throw to. Easy read, easy play, simple.

1-10-IND 49 (14:09) (Shotgun) 14-R.Fitzpatrick pass short right to 17-C.Owusu to IND 44 for 5 yards (52-D.Jackson). PENALTY on NYJ-87-E.Decker, Offensive Pass Interference, 10 yards, enforced at IND 49 – No Play.

1-20-NYJ 41 (13:38) (Shotgun) 14-R.Fitzpatrick pass short left to 15-B.Marshall to NYJ 46 for 5 yards (21-V.Davis).

One of the things you’ll see in Fitzpatrick’s game are pre-determined throws, whether they’re deep or checkdowns. In this play it’s forgivable since a lot of coordinators would see no issue with getting a short ball into the hands of their most valuable playmaker, but even on a play like this there’s a much more obvious better throw available that Fitzpatrick opts to just ignore. At the top of the screen you can see the inside slot receiver is running a slant against a defender that is nearly 15 yards off of him, that’s an easy pre-snap read that he should’ve been aware of to take advantage of. You’ll see this again in some upcoming plays.

2-15-NYJ 46 (12:54) (Shotgun) 14-R.Fitzpatrick pass short left to 87-E.Decker pushed ob at IND 40 for 14 yards (58-T.Cole).

Here it is again, a player motions to the outside causing some confusion on defense and changing the coverage. It doesn’t matter on the play-side of this play, but it’s there. Notice the amount of space Decker has ahead of him and Fitzpatrick’s decision to throw it nearly behind him, but how it still looks good. That’s the spread play design and Decker’s speed giving a lot of room for error. Even with an off target throw, Decker still has the time to turn, reset , and head upfield. It’s likely that Fitzpatrick is trying to make up for being off time as he doesn’t enter his throwing motion until after Eric Decker is out of his break.

1-9-IND 9 (8:28) (Run formation) 14-R.Fitzpatrick pass incomplete short left to 87-E.Decker (21-V.Davis)

This is the weakest of the play designs for me, and in my opinion could’ve really used a delayed release by one of the tight ends into the flat. It looks like a run play, drawing all the defenders inside, and it creates 1v1 coverage for both receivers. It’s actually a Cover-1 and not a Cover-0 like it looks but the Colts have the safety very heavily shaded on Marshall’s side. That delayed release on the left side under Decker would’ve made for an easy additional touchdown target, while still keeping the integrity of the pocket.

Regardless, this is a bad throw by Fitzpatrick. Decker has vertical leverage on Vontae Davis at the moment Fitzpatrick releases the ball and about 10 yards of space to take advantage of vertically. Instead, he tries to bullet a pass at Decker, instead of ahead of Decker, giving Vontae the chance to make a play on this ball. If he wants to bullet this in there, it should be going well ahead into the middle of the field, to keep the leverage Decker has on Vontae.

(7:39) (Shotgun) 14-R.Fitzpatrick pass incomplete short right. PENALTY on IND-21-V.Davis, Defensive Holding, 4 yards, enforced at IND 8 – No Play.

This play is so close to being a beautiful piece of chemistry that gives legitimate credence to Fitzpatrick being a significantly better option than our alternatives but instead it becomes a lucky break. Fitzpatrick begins reading the left side of the field where he has a Decker/Owusu stack, hoping that Owusu’s defender gets picked off or can’t reach him. That doesn’t happen, and it closes the potential for that play to happen. With pressure coming into the pocket, Fitzpatrick is forced to slide outside to his right and looks at Marshall’s direction. Marshall, continues heading inside at this point until he’s created enough space for himself to turn back around and head back into the corner. Fitzpatrick realizes what Marshall’s doing as he enters his spin, and releases the ball just as he’s coming out. Unfortunately, it’s completely uncatchable.

The flag saves what should’ve actually been a highlight reel touchdown.

2-6-IND 6 (6:49) (Shotgun) 14-R.Fitzpatrick pass short middle to 87-E.Decker for 6 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

More of Chan Gailey’s work on this play. Decker is motioned to the inside just before the snap in order to mess with the coverage. By moving Decker from the outside to the inside, it forces the DB on him to back off (so he doesn’t risk getting picked off) and then allows Decker to have a clean release, and clean route. On top of that, he has the TE run a snag above Decker’s slant which forces him to keep his distance so he doesn’t get caught in traffic.

1-10-NYJ 20 (4:02) (Shotgun) 14-R.Fitzpatrick pass incomplete short left to 87-E.Decker.

Reads are easy here too, Decker’s coverage is way shaded inside and has no chance of beating him. Fitzpatrick makes a horribly inaccurate throw behind Decker. Look at the amount of space around Decker to understand why that’s a horrible decision.

2-10-NYJ 20 (3:58) (Shotgun) 14-R.Fitzpatrick sacked at NYJ 19 for -1 yards (96-H.Anderson).

Jets run a few different plays from this same look. With this one, it looks like the idea is to play with the left side by switching the roles of the receivers (outside breaks short, inside goes deep) in order to see if they get too aggressive/keep them in check on future plays. It’s a concept of putting constraints on the defense so they don’t get too comfortable. The right side keeps it’s vertical while having a man break inside.

There’s really nothing open here and Fitzpatrick is forced to run when his checkdown is picked up in man coverage, and that’s fine but his decision to try and cut behind a contain defender while having a S chasing him is insanely dangerous from your own 20 yard line. This should have been a throwaway.

3-11-NYJ 19 (3:12) (Shotgun) 14-R.Fitzpatrick pass incomplete deep left to 17-C.Owusu [98-R.Mathis].

So here’s the first of Fitzpatrick’s weird decisions to throw at double coverage (kinda) and it shows one of Fitzpatrick’s big flaws, he’s afraid of looking around the field and breaking the confines of the play call. It’s a simple high-low read that Fitzpatrick is afraid to break out of. on the left side the Jets have 3 receivers all running into essentially the same area at different depths. Enunwa (or at least i’m pretty sure that’s Enunwa) runs the out from the inside slot, Decker runs a corner from the outside slot and Owusu runs a vertical. The defense is now “stretched” out forced to cover 3 routes in a space that usually only have two defenders. Instead, the Colts have 4 in the area so there’s nothing here. Fitzpatrick throws it up to Owusu, and it’s a throwaway. It’s still in the field of play so it’s a weird throwaway, but that is what it is.

What Fitzpatrick should’ve done is noticed the amount of bodies in the area and either looked back at Marshall (whom might’ve had a better shot on a deep attempt down the hash) or back to Powell underneath, who actually might’ve been able to get this first down if he could beat the LB.

3-2-NYJ 16 (:14) (Shotgun) 14-R.Fitzpatrick pass short left to 15-B.Marshall to IND 42 for 42 yards (29-M.Adams).

Bilal Powell going into motion scares the hell out of Vontae apparently and he leaves Marshall to go attack the flat to try and cut the flat for an interception. Which is a crazy thing to do because Fitzpatrick is staring at Marshall the entire play.

Continued on the next page.

Edward Gorelik

Upon being contracted with the New York Jets Fandom Virus (NYJV), Edward plunged head first into the fountain of misery and comedy provided by the team on and off the field. A student by day, and professional couch General Manager at night, he brings his completely biased wisdom to NFLBreakdowns.

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