Breaking down Fitzpatrick’s first 6 games with the Texans


Oct 9, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) scrambles during the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. The Colts defeated the Texans 33-28. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Bill O’Brien was unequivocal in making it clear the Texans quarterback situation is settled. “He’s our starter. That’s what I was trying to say. Again, I’m trying to articulate this the right way.” was his reply to reporters when asked if Fitzpatrick was locked in as the starter. Many fans are not pleased, as they see the demons of 2013 hanging over the 2014 Texans. O’Brien went on to explain that “When you look at the film, the film never lies. What the film shows us is that everybody on offense has to play better. Everybody.” Perhaps so coach, let’s break down Fitzpatrick’s performance through the first 6 games of the year.

When you look at the film, the film never lies. -Bill O’Brien

The Stat that stands out so far, is completion percentage. Career wise, Fitzpatrick has held a near 60% rate since coming into the NFL back in 2005 with the St Louis Rams. This year, he’s had his best play yet with a solid 65% completed passes. 160 passes, 104 caught. Those are good numbers for him. He’s also throwing it less per game. Aside the 2009 season in Buffalo, where he only attempted 22.7 passes per game, Fitzpatrick sits for now at 26.7 passes each game.

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More impressive is that he average pass is 7.9 yards down field, highest by nearly a yard for his career. While that hasn’t translated to larger per game yards passed for, only 211.3 so far, it’s only 6 games in. His QBR is also at it’s highest, 86.1. He’s never had a season over 84, if this continues Fitzpatrick will have his best year of his career with Houston. In fact there are only two areas of concern, TD and INT. Through 6 games, Fitzpatrick is 1:1 ratio on TD to INT. Which, interestingly enough mimics his 2011 season which had 24 TD to 23 INT and was coincidentally also his best year in the NFL in terms of total passes, yards, and touchdowns. The Bills went 6-10 that year.

While it is impressive what Coach O’Brien has gotten out of Fitzpatrick so far, the Texans 3-3 record, the lack of productive offense in the first quarter of practically every game and the fact that for every touch down thrown, the other side is getting an interception does not bode well for a winning season.

No one can honestly doubt Fitzpatrick’s drive, his heart or desire to win. However, while coach might feel the film never lies, the numbers tell their own tale and it’s a hard one to read for Texans fans.

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