So, you think your team might be ready to get back to the playoffs but your QB led the league in interceptions last year? Let’s assess.

fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick

Getty Images

I’d like to say that I’m as optimistic as anyone about the 2012 Buffalo Bills and their quest to return to the playoffs for the first time since 1999.  But there’s a voice in the back of my head that keeps reminding me that Ryan Fitzpatrick LED THE LEAGUE in interceptions with 23.

In an attempt to explain away that startling total, we locked some Trending Buffalo staffers in the “film room” and wouldn’t let them out until they reached consensus on an explanation for each of the TWENTY THREE picks.

We fully recognize that without full knowledge of the offensive system and a playbook in hand, it’s impossible to pinpoint the exact cause of each interception…  but we decided to give it a shot nonetheless. We’re breaking “blame” into 4 categories:

  1. Fitz’s fault
  2. Receiver’s fault
  3. Situation
  4. Good D

WARNING:  You are about to watch TWENTY THREE interceptions, all thrown by the same man.  If you make it through, you’re unlikely to feel great about things regardless of where we place the blame.  Keep in mind, however, that Fitzpatrick also threw more touchdowns (24) than interceptions.  Our research ignores the TDs but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t happen.

INT # 1:  Week 2 vs OAK, Q2 (10:46), Down 7 – 0, 3rd and 10 at BUF20
Oakland blitz picked up.  Fitzpatrick throws 15 yards down the middle intended for Stevie Johnson.  Oakland DB Stanford Routt undercuts the route.

****************************

INT # 2:  Week 3 vs NE, Q1 (8:58) Down 7 – 0, 1st and 10 at NE47
Quick, accurate pass by Fitzpatrick to the right goes through the hands of Donald Jones and deflects directly to Kyle Arrington.

*****************************

INT # 3:  Week 3 vs NE, Q1 (:21) Down 14-0, 4th and 14 at NE35
Fitzpatrick stepped up in the pocket and tried to squeeze in a pass to David Nelson between defenders on 4th and 14.

*****************************

INT # 4:  Week 5 vs PHI, Q2 (:48) Up 21 – 7, 1st and 5 at PHI49
Up two scores with the ball at the end of the half, you’d like your QB to be a bit safer here.  Fitzpatrick throws a short pass to the right but doesn’t see LB Jamar Chaney.

*****************************

INT # 5:  Week 6 at NYG, Q3 (4:22) Down 21 – 14, 2nd and 4 at BUF41
Under no pressure, and off his back foot, Fitzpatrick underthrows Stevie Johnson deep down the left sideline and is intercepted by Corey Webster. 

*****************************

INT # 6:  Week 6 at NYG, Q4 (4:10) Tied 24 – 24, 1st and 10 at NYG27
Driving to take the lead late, Fitzpatrick throws the same exact interception that he did earlier in the game.  No pressure, bad footwork, underthrown.

*****************************

INT # 7:  Week 8 vs WAS, Q2 (2:00) Up 10 – 0, 3rd  and Goal at WAS8
Fitzpatrick throws a decent pass over the middle into the endzone but London Fletcher beats Stevie Johnson to the ball.

****************************

INT # 8:  Week 9 vs Jets, Q2 (1:37) Down 3 – 0, 1st and 5 at BUF43
Jets rush three. Fitzpatrick tries to hit a quick pass to David Nelson but doesn’t see LB Calvin Pace. Looks like good scouting by the defense.

*****************************

INT # 9:  Week 9 vs Jets, Q2 (1:00) Down 3 – 0, 2nd and 10 at BUF40
Fitzpatrick attempts another short pass to David Nelson. This time the route is undercut by LB David Harris. Once again, looks like good scouting by the defense.

 *****************************

INT # 10:  Week 10 at Dallas, Q3 (2:25) Down 31 – 7, 1st and 10 at BUF20
Some pressure in the face of Fitzpatrick, but he threads a beautiful pass deep left through the hands of Donald Jones which deflects to Terrance Newman.

*****************************

INT # 11:  Week 10 at Dallas, Q3 (5:03) Down 37 – 7, 1st and 10 at BUF33
Terrance Newman looks like he was in the Bills’ huddle and steps in front of Fitzpatrick’s pass to Stevie Johnson.

*****************************

INT # 12:  Week 10 at Dallas, Q4 (1:08) Down 44 – 7, 2nd and 6 at DAL7
Some pressure, Fitzpatrick throws to the left flat but there appears to be some miscommunication on the intended routes.

*****************************

INT # 13:  Week 11 at Miami, Q2 (15:00) Down 14 – 3, 3rd and 8 at BUF13
Fitzpatrick’s pass goes through the hands of Brad Smith.

*****************************

INT # 14:  Week 11 at Miami, Q2 (2:19) Down 21 – 3, 3rd and 10 at BUF18
Good pass by Fitzpatrick goes through the hands of David Nelson.

*****************************

INT # 15:  Week 14 at SD, Q1 (5:05) Down 7 – 0, 3rd and 2 at SD47
Fitzpatrick throws deep down the middle to David Nelson off back foot and in between three defenders–  picked off by Eric Weddle.

*****************************

INT # 16:  Week 14 at SD, Q3(4:11) Down 23 – 10, 1st and 10 at BUF20
Some pressure in Fitzpatrick’s face as he rolls to the right. A lazy throw into a crowd is intercepted and returned for a TD by DB Steve Gregory.

*****************************

INT # 17:  Week 15 v Mia, Q2(7:51) Down 10 – 7, 2nd and 4 at BUF26
Miami safety blitz brings pressure and Vontae Davis jumps the quick slant/hot read by Stevie Johnson.  Nice play by the defense.  Defense outsmarted the offense.

*****************************

INT # 18:  Week 15 v Mia, Q3 (10:45) Down 20 – 7, 3 and 12 at BUF49
Fitzpatrick has to take a chance to convert on 3rd and 12. Pass over the middle to Brad Smith is deflected and caught by DB Rashad Jones.

*****************************

INT # 19:  Week 15 v Mia, Q3 (8:59) Down 20 – 7, 1 and 10 at BUF20
No pressure.  Fitzpatrick throws off back foot and under throws Stevie Johnson down the left sideline just like his two picks against the NYG.

*****************************

INT # 20:  Week 17 at NE, Q3 (4:01) UP 21 – 20, 2 and 7 at BUF23
Fitzpatrick throws short left for Ruvell Martin intercepted by Sterling Moore. Bad throw. Ball was about four feet to the right of where it needed to be.

*****************************

INT # 21:  Week 17 at NE, Q3(12:16) Down 28 – 21, 1st and 10 at NE32
Perfect pass by Fitzpatrick deflects off of Spiller’s hands directly to Devon McCourty.

*****************************

INT # 22:  Week 17 at NE, Q4 (3:02) Down 42 – 21, 1st and 10 at BUF20
Sterling Moore jumps a short out route. OK throw by Fitzpatrick, better play by Moore.

*****************************

INT # 23:  Week 17 at NE, Q4 (1:41) Down 49 – 21, 1 and 10 at NE44
Fitzpatrick heaves the ball down the right sideline to Derek Hagan.  Badly underthrown.

*****************************

So, what have we learned?

  1. Of the 23 picks, we’re going to pin 11 directly on Ryan Fitzpatrick. 6 fall on the receiver and 6 more get chalked up to circumstance (situation and/or opponent.)
  2. The number 11 is much more palatable than TWENTY THREE.  That said, if we looked at Drew Brees’ 14 interceptions or Alex Smith’s 5, it’s likely we’d be able to explain away a sizable portion of them as well.  23 is still TWENTY THREE.
  3. You can find ANYTHING online.  Seriously, we live in an era where it’s possible to call up footage of each and every slightly meaningful play from last football season?

 

Rock the hard jams, treat it like a seminar. Reach the bourgeois and rock the boulevard. Some say I'm negative, but they're not positive.

Website:
  • Social Links:

11 Comments

  1. Definitely beat me to the point in proving that this might not be all of his fault, other qbs in the league might not have been responsible for all of their picks (see Brady against us this year)

  2. Can you explain the rationale behind blaming the situation over Fitz, the WR, or crediting the defense? Specifically with reference to INT’s 3, and 18?

  3. #3 Down 14-0 in late first quarter, stuck in no man’s land with 4th and 12 at NE 35 yard line. Punting is cowardly. FG makes it 14-3 at best or gives NE ball at it’s own 42. Time for QB to go out there and try to make something happen on a day that clearly hasn’t been going the team’s way so far.

  4. #18 Down 13 early 3rd Q, 3rd and 12. Only 2 receivers appear to be in position to pick up first down (Nelson and Johnson.) Both are covered well but throwing to anyone else will lead to a punt on the next play. Again, QB trying to spark team and start off the 2nd half better than the first. Also, on most balls that pop way up in the air like that, there’s going to be an element of luck (good or bad) involved in the outcome of the play.

  5. I find it interesting that on 19 of the 23 interceptions the bills were down on the scoreboard. On the other 4 they were up or tied. Maybe some of the problem is Fitz forcing the ball and trying to make something happen.

    • I don’t find that interesting, just because the Bills spend the great majority of the season last year behind on the scoreboard, due to their inability to either score or stop anybody in the first quarter.

      And being behind isn’t an excuse for risky play. Being far behind is. Or being behind with very little time left on the clock. But being six or nine points down in the second quarter isn’t. An awful lot of those INTs came at times when we were behind, but not far enough behind to get desperate.

  6. O.K. 11 of 23 are Fitzpatrick’s fault. That’s almost 50% How does that figure compare to Tom Brady or Drew Brees?

  7. Pingback: I Must Have Recorded The Wrong Bills Game - Trending Buffalo

  8. Pingback: Bills Reality Check- Week 1 - Trending Buffalo

Leave a Reply