The Jets lost a nail biter to the Dolphins this past weekend, with the entire team looking discombobulated against a team they should have beaten. Leading the charge towards mediocrity was beloved leader Ryan Fitzpatrick, who played one of his worst games of the season, which is definitely saying something. We will start with the good news, and look at the good throws he made during this game first.
On this play, the Dolphins come out with press coverage with a single high safety look. Fitzpatrick looks at Robby Anderson, and makes a nice back shoulder throw towards him. This is the type of throws that will be open often with Anderson, because teams have to respect his deep speed, especially in press coverage situations. This is a veteran QB realizing that the Dolphins aren’t showing over the top safety help, and taking advantage of the good route running by Anderson.
As usual, if you look at the pre-snap read, you will realize that Robby Anderson lining up left of the formation has the best chance to be open on this play. However, Fitzpatrick ignores Anderson, and locks in on Brandon Marshall, who is essentially double covered on this play. However, the mental lapse by Fitzpatrick is made up by the placement of this football, because for the coverage that Marshall was facing, this is a perfect throw. It’s a dangerous throw nonetheless, but the result is a completion to Marshall. The pre-snap read is wrong, and locking in on Marshall is wrong, but Fitzpatrick makes up for it with the throw.
Single high safety with press coverage on Robby Anderson. Sound familiar? The Jets repeat the formula again, with a comeback route on this one. The throw is off a bit, but Anderson comes back towards the ball and makes a nice catch. If you are wondering why teams don’t go to press coverage more often, this is the reason why. The players have to match up physically in terms of strength and speed to be effective. If the defender isn’t strong, then the WR will overpower him, and if he isn’t fast, then they’ll run by him for the deep pass. It’s what made Darrelle Revis special, because he had top end speed, along with strength, and good techniques.
On this play, the Dolphins are actually in a 2 safety look, with press coverage to the right of the formation, and defenders playing off coverage to the left of the formation. So it’s easier to find someone open to the left of the formation, and Fitzpatrick makes the right read. He looks at Quincy Enunwa, who shows off great speed on this playing, running the seam route and crossing deep. It’s a great throw by Fitzpatrick as well, placing the ball perfectly so his WR could run after the catch.
Another pre-snap special, this time the Dolphins are playing off coverage to the right of the formation. This is a wonderful route combination from the WRs as well, and Fitzpatrick makes a great throw to Jalin Marshall for the TD. The whole set up of this play is exquisite because Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa cause Jalin Marshall to become open. If the middle linebacker decides to jump the lane towards Marshall, then Enunwa is open, and if he’s covered, the Anderson is open. This is a great look into the easy read system set up by Gailey, because Fitzpatrick really only has to read the middle LB in this case. He determines the target on this play, and Fitzpatrick found Marshall for the TD.
The shortest “Fitzmagic” article of the year most likely. These were the extent of his good throws that didn’t require great catches or drops in this game. It’s one of the worst throwing performances of this season for him because the team had ample opportunities during this game. Ryan Fitzpatrick just wasn’t right the entire game.
A) How would you defend Robby Anderson if you are a DC? How would you defend him differently if Bryce Petty or Christian Hackenberg is the QB?