It hasn’t even been a full week since the Super Bowl and yet I’m already craving NFL Free Agency in March. But in the meantime I’ve been doing what I’ve normally been doing right as each NFL season ends; Charting quarterbacks throwing down the field.
Some of you guys are familiar with The Deep Ball Project, an annual study I’ve been conducting since 2014. which takes a look at the accuracy of quarterbacks throwing down the field on throws of at least 21 yards in the air. Every team gets to see at least one quarterback make the annual columns, and this will be the sixth edition.
And that’s where Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick comes in.
In terms of raw stats, Fitzpatrick completed 17 of 47 passes (36.17 completion percentage) for 572 yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 474 air yards, and 98 yards after the catch. While his completion percentage was low, Fitzpatrick threw six passes that weren’t caught by receivers (and 1 inaccurate pass that was caught), so he was actually accurate on 22 of his 47 deep attempts for an accuracy percentage of 46.81%, a fairly decent number.
Now, I’m waiting until I complete watching all of the quarterbacks that qualified to make the 2019-20 Deep Ball Project before charting all of the miscellaneous areas from the remaining quarterbacks (it sounds strange I know, but it’s a convenient strategy for me to use and saves time. I guess I’m weird.), so the distances, situations in clean pockets and pressure, and throws into open and tight windows are to be determined.
What I can say, however, is Fitzpatrick’s deep accuracy percentage of 46.81% is slightly above the average percentile from the 2018 season (46.60%). That’s not too bad for a 37-year-old journeyman quarterback on a supposedly tanking team!
So the data in the trenches is incomplete, but the combined numbers for Fitzpatrick have been added up. Once all charting is completed I plan to do a follow up piece so that all the context has been added up. Until then I’ll be sure to work as quickly (and efficiently) on the remaining quarterbacks so you guys will be able to see this long before free agency starts!