Chiefs vs. Titans: Scouting Jake Locker’s Replacement, Ryan Fitzpatrick

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s talk about the Tennessee Titans.

In case you’ve been out of the loop, the Titans are indeed the Chiefs next opponent, and they are the boulder that stands in the way of a 5-0 season.

Tennessee is coming into this game with an impressive 3-1 record, but now former starting quarterback, Jake Locker, is out indefinitely with a hip injury.

That means Ryan Fitzpatrick, former Buffalo Bills quarterback, will be getting the start this Sunday in Nashville.

This certainly changes up the game plan a bit for Tennessee, and the Chiefs are going to have to prepare differently as well.

Just who is Fitzpatrick, and what will he be bringing to the table for the Titans?

Here’s a scouting report.


Name: Ryan Fitzpatrick

Position: QB

NFL Experience: 9 Seasons

Measurables: 6’2”, 223 pounds

College: Harvard

Draft: Drafted by the Rams in the 7th round of the 2005 draft.

Career Stats: 14,444 yards, 93 touchdowns, 81 interceptions, 23 fumbles, 59.4 completion percentage, 1,188 rush yards, 6 rushing touchdowns, 16 rushing fumbles, 6 rushing fumbles lost.


What The Film Says

Locker went down with about 11 minutes left in the third quarter, so let’s start scouting Fitzpatrick there. At that point, Tennessee led the New York Jets 24-6.

On his second snap, after handing the ball off to Chris Johnson to start out his series, Fitzpatrick found Kendall Wright for a 25 yard strike down the middle of the field. Fitzpatrick was poised in the pocket, and threw the ball into a tight window between two defenders, where only Wright could get it. Notice how he stood tall in the pocket, stepped into his throw and released the ball at it’s highest point:

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 6.38.45 PM



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Not bad for just coming off the bench, right? You can definitely tell that Fitzpatrick has started multiple games in the NFL during his career.

His next three  passes went incomplete, and well, they weren’t as pretty as the first one. For instance, in the play below, Nate Washington ran a very nice curl route. He fakes an outside release, cuts back inside and turns around, where the ball should be awaiting him:Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 10.36.00 PM

As you can see in the next two pictures though, Fitzpatrick’s throw was at his feet, and it bounced incomplete.

Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 10.35.00 PM


Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 10.35.06 PM


By NFL standards that’s an easy throw and it should have been completed.

Fitzpatrick finished the game 3-of-8 for 108 yards and one touchdown.


Overall, his good passes looked nice.

For instance, midway through the fourth quarter he threw a 77 yard touchdown pass to Washington that flew about 50 yards in the air, and dropped on a dime.

Other throws weren’t as pretty or accurate though, so he’ll most likely provide a little bit of bad with the good.

At the end of the day, he’s a capable quarterback, and one that the Chiefs are still going to have to really game plan for.

Note: Film via NFL Rewind. Markings are my own.

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Tags: Jake Locker Kansas City Chiefs Ryan Fitzpatrick Tennessee Titans

  • Jim Harper

    You make no mention of Fitzpatrick’s success against us in previous years when he was with the Bills where he had career days against us. In 2011 he beat us at home 41-7. The following year in 2012 he beat us 35-17 at Buffalo. Both times we were favored to win those games but he played like he was Tom Brady. Now the good news is that we have a much stronger defense than then and he won’t be able to sit back and pick us apart. Frankly we owe it to him to pick HIM apart. The point is that just because we are going against a backup QB we cannot let up even a little.

  • berttheclock

    If Fitzpatrick has a running attack to set up his play action passes, he can be dangerous. In 2011, he threw 4 TDs against the Chiefs, 3 of which were in the Red Zone and the longest one was from the 27. But, he had a running attack which set him up. Of course, Matt C throwing an INT which was returned for 30 yards and the Chiefs fumbling twice didn’t help. One thing about 2011, he, also, threw 23 interceptions, although, it should be said he didn’t have the finest receiving corps. In 2012, he beat the Chiefs again, but, strangely enough, the Chiefs threw for more yards. However, once, again, Buffalo out gained the Chiefs on the ground.

    Much of his getting cut by Buddy Nix in Buffalo was due to him not wanting to restructure his contract. As their HC was not enamored in him and there was a chance, they could gain a better QB in the draft, he was given his release. They had resigned Tavaris Jackson and Nix/Marrone thought he was expendable.

    But, the pickup by the Titans shows the wisdom of having a veteran QB as a backup. That said, take away the running attack of the Titans and force Fitz to pass and let Berry have a field day of INTs.

  • berttheclock

    BTW, from viewing those clips above, why wasn’t Chance Warmack, Number 70, flagged for holding? But, the same clips show how Michael Roos, Number 71, learned from letting Wilkerson slip past and plow into Locker. In the above clips, he owns Wilkerson.

  • Stacy D. Smith

    Fitzpatrick can be dangerous when he’s on. He’s got a gunslinger mentality though so he can be forced into making errors. We need to bring the pressure early and often. Tennessee is the best team we’ve played this season.

    • Chris Tarrants

      That has been the story of every QB we have played so far, pressure them and they will come unraveled. Manning, Vick, and Romo all made mental errors after being harrassed none stop so hopefully our defense stays status quo and repeats what has gotten us this far

      • Stacy D. Smith

        All four quarterbacks are the type to make questionable throws when pressured. There are quarterbacks in the league that aren’t as careless with the football under duress. It doesn’t end there though. The Titans have a good defense. I think we’ll need our best offensive game of the season to win.

        • berttheclock

          Hey, one thing I really appreciate about this new and improved format of AA is the number of stories posted concerning the new additions. Such as the one up on Marcus Cooper. Now, I had never checked his record at Rutgers, but, a quick Google and I found he had switched from wide out to DB over 2 and a half years ago. Great evaluation by Dorsey/Ballard. Cooper really was a sleeper.

  • titansfan

    The reality of the situation is that Fitz had just come off the bench after not playing for several weeks. Give the guy some credit. Throwing passes at receiver’s feet indicates he doesn’t get much playing time with the first team in practice. He’ll be ready and I can hardly wait to see how the Titans fare against Seattle.

    • BWrangler

      It should be a great game either way. I hope somebody can take the Seachickens down a peg or two.

  • Chris Tarrants

    Fitz may have gotten the better of us while he was a Bill but this is a vastly different defense with a relentless blood thirsty mentality. Mr Fitz meet Houston, and Hali. CJ2K may we introduce you to Mr Dontari Poe and Derrick Johnson! I can’t wait to see our defense do what they do against a real team and finally shut the critics up.

    • berttheclock

      Fitz met Mr Hali in 2011. However, what will make this upcoming game interesting is Fitz will be behind a better O-line than he had in Buffalo, while, the Chiefs will be far superior on defense to anything he faced before from them. I still believe the key to stopping him is to stop the running attack of the Titans.

      • Chris Tarrants

        Well lets take the time to get them reacquainted shall we? As far as the running game goes Johnson has some wheels on him but if our backers can keep him from turning the corner than he won’t do much, he isn’t that good running up the gut. If he tries then there is a 300+ lbs beast of a man waiting for him

      • Neal Woods

        Agreed. We’ve been gashed by the run and can’t afford to see CJ2K rise up – which opens Fitzy up to play-action. Titans are more a reflection of our own team than anyone we’ve faced this year – making this arguably the most fascinating test yet — especially on the road. Perhaps our special teams will also tip the balance.

  • berttheclock

    Hey, young Mr Kulha. Good luck tonight at Platte County.

  • pmo

    ummmmm. his TD pass was under thrown and a fluke. the ref picked the D back. Chiefs 24-13

  • John Sciarretta

    Titans fan here…this will be a good test for both teams. more so the chiefs as they have not faced a pass rushing defense like the Titans. The Titans faced that brutal front of the Jets so it’s kind of like a mirror image. I think this will be a good showcase to see what Alex Smith can do under pressure especially with Eric Fisher out. With Locker in I think the titans could win this game but if the run game gets shut down it’ll be a long day for both quarterbacks…especially Fitzpatrick who unlike Locker needs to set his body in order to delivery accurate throws. That means more time in the pocket which is not promised against this defense. Not having Shonn Greene hurts to help carry the load and wear out the defense for CJ. It should be interesting but I wish we had both teams at full strength. and if somehow we win with Fitz…this Titans team is no joke.