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
NFL Experience: 9 Seasons
Measurables: 6’2”, 223 pounds
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:
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:
As you can see in the next two pictures though, Fitzpatrick’s throw was at his feet, and it bounced incomplete.
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.