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Ryan Fitzpatrick Was A Pleasant Surprise As A Deep Passer In 2019

The Amish Rifle didn’t do half bad as a deep passer in 2019!

NFL: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

As promised, we’re back with the second part of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s deep passing analysis. If you remember the previous article from a few weeks back, I mentioned that the Amish Rifle’s deep accuracy this season would’ve been above average if it happened in 2018.

As it turns out, that’s exactly what happened in 2019.

On Friday I released the 2019-20 Deep Ball Project, which you can check out right here. It records all throws of 21+ air yards past the line of scrimmage (excluding intentional throwaways, most QB/WR miscommunications, passes affected just before being thrown (QB hits), and plays offset by penalties), and for this edition 32 quarterbacks were charted.

Here’s how Fitzpatrick looked overall.

John R. Kinsley

The main stat to pay attention to is Accuracy Percentage (ACC%), highlighted in black. Fitzpatrick finished 15th in deep accuracy, a major improvement from his ranking of 24th in 2018. Not only that, but he was also the most accurate deep passer to come out of the AFC East, just barely edging out Tom Brady for that honor.

You may have noticed Fitzpatrick’s Accuracy Percentage looks higher than his Completion Percentage. That’s because he threw six Accurate Incompletions (accurate throws that should’ve been caught but weren’t) and 1 Inaccurate Completion (plays where the receiver was forced to make an unnecessary adjustment for the ball), boosting his overall percentage.

You also might have noticed Fitzpatrick finished significantly higher than Ryan Tannehill in deep accuracy. Tannehill had a quality season with the Titans, but in terms of consistent deep accuracy he was surprisingly bad in that category, missing more throws than Fitzpatrick,

Below, here’s where Fitzpatrick ranked out of 32 quarterbacks in Accuracy splits (the numbers in parentheses symbolize his ranking out of 32 in each split).

John R. Kinsley

As you can see, Fitzpatrick did insanely well on throws of 41+ yards and in clean pockets, ranking in the top five in both categories. He also finish 9th in Tight Window Accuracy. Elsewhere he finished between above/below average in terms of Accuracy Percentage.

So in regards to where he was a year ago, Fitzpatrick’s placement on this year’s Deep Ball Project was a pleasant surprise. He wasn’t outstanding, but it’s nice to see that he did decently enough to rank in the top 15, impressive for a 37-year-old journeyman. Fitzpatrick also threw two dropped interceptions, but no dropped interceptions, so he took better care of the ball than some of his peers.

Just for fun, let’s see how Tannehill’s rankings from this season compare.

John R. Kinsley

Tannehill did better in a few categories (such as throws to the middle, where he was the league’s most accurate deep passer, and on throws of 31-35 and 36-40 air yards), but he was outclassed by Fitzpatrick this time. He was alarmingly bad throwing accurate into open and tight windows, and lacked the impressive accuracy he showcased in 2016 with Miami.

Needless to say, I expected Tannehill to rank much higher than he did considering the season he had. He was definitely successful throwing downfield on several plays, but incredibly not as much so as Fitzpatrick was, and with a worse offensive line as well.

With that said, what are your thoughts on the Ryan Fitzpatrick/Ryan Tannehill deep accuracy splits? Give us your thoughts in the comment section below!