Ryan Fitzpatrick Miami Dolphins #14 Jersey Wholesale

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Ryan Fitzpatrick Miami Dolphins #14 Jersey Wholesale

Post by admin » Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:37 am

Now hold on. Let’s go ahead and acknowledge that Tom Brady is the best quarterback in NFL history. His place near the top of every passing record and his championship exploits place little question to his overall greatness, whether Dolphins fans care to admit it or not. But 2019? It wasn’t Tom Brady’s best go-round. And as a matter of fact, the argument could be made that based strictly on the 2019 NFL season, Tom Brady wasn’t the best quarterback in the AFC East?

Who was? A pretty compelling case could be made for Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Hear us out. For the season, Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 3,529 yards and 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Along the way, Fitzpatrick was sacked 40 times (7.4% of his drop backs) behind the NFL’s worst offensive line and added 243 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground.

Fitzpatrick’s 85.5 passer rating was 2nd best in the division behind Brady’s 88.0 — but all of these numbers are bogged down by Miami’s abysmal start to the season. Through the first four games, Miami stumbled over their own feet as a team, desperately trying to find their footing after trading away Kenny Stills and Laremy Tunsil at the start of the season.

Over the course of the final 13 weeks of the NFL season (12 games for the Dolphins), Ryan Fitzpatrick posted the following stats:

3,226 passing yards (5th in the NFL, 1st in the AFCE)

19 passing touchdowns (12th in the NFL, 1st in the AFCE)

7.17 yards per attempt (14th in the NFL, 1st in the AFCE)

63.1% completion (T14th in the NFL, 1st in the AFCE)


And posted all of these numbers despite being sacked 34 times of that timespan, which was 5th most in the NFL and the most in the AFC East.

Pair the strong play after Miami’s bye week with some of Fitzpatrick’s more advanced stats courtesy of NFL’s Next Gen Stats and you can build a pretty fascinating argument.

Fitzpatrick was the NFL’s 4th most aggressive quarterback in 2019, with 20.9% of his pass attempts going to targets with a defender within 1-yard or less on the play. Brady (15.2%) and Buffalo’s Josh Allen (15.4%) found open targets much easier to come by. The average Ryan Fitzpatrick completion this season was 7.1 “air yards” downfield — the 5th highest average in the league and, you guessed it, tops in the AFC East. Josh Allen’s average air yards per completion was nearly a yard shorter at 6.2 yards downfield and Tom Brady’s was even shorter still at 5.6 — tied with the Jets’ Sam Darnold.

Say what you will about Pro Football Focus, but the company graded Brady out as the best AFC East quarterback with a season grade of 80.3. Fitzpatrick? His grade for the season finished at 76.5 — and that grade comes despite scoring grades of 64.2 and 49.6 in his first two starts of the year against Baltimore and New England.

New York’s Sam Darnold and Buffalo’s Josh Allen have scores that are lingering in the mid-60s.

And remember, Fitzpatrick is doing more with less in Miami. Each of the Jets, Bills and Patriots entered the season with the expectation to compete. The Dolphins? They’d stripped their roster down to the studs in preparations for a total rebuild.

One last stat to ponder over for Fitzpatrick’s 2019 resume: The Miami Dolphins scored 280 points over the final 12 games of the 2019 season, second most in the AFC.

New England: 298 points

Miami: 280 points

New York Jets: 243 points

Buffalo: 238 points


We’re not saying Ryan Fitzpatrick is a better overall quarterback than Tom Brady. But we’d definitely ponder a “yes” if you asked us if he had the best 2019 season of each of the AFC East quarterbacks.

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