News & Analysis

Ryan Fitzpatrick earned the lowest game grade ever by a QB in loss to Chiefs

New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick landed on PFF’s Team of the Week for his excellent performance in Week 2 in a Thursday night win over the Buffalo Bills, but he followed that up with a six-interception disaster against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3.

That earned him a PFF grade of 21.4, a catastrophic score that isn’t just the worst single-game grade of the season, but is the worst single-game grade we have ever seen from a QB over the past decade of grading.

To put it in even harsher perspective: PFF has graded 2,717 games of NFL regular and postseason play, and Fitzpatrick just posted the worst single-game performance we have ever seen.

By our system it was worse than the Peyton Manning dumpster fire from a year ago against the Chiefs that saw him benched after four interceptions for his own sake. It was worse than any game Jamarcus Russell managed, or the trainwreck performance Josh Freeman had for the Vikings that seemed to have effectively ended his NFL career.

Check out the full list of the worst-ever QB performances below:

 

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What’s truly remarkable about Fitzpatrick’s performance is that it wasn’t a product of overwhelming pressure. Fitzpatrick was pressured on just 10 of 47 dropbacks, which was one of the lowest rates in the league this week. Only the Broncos’ Trevor Siemian and the Giants’ Eli Manning were pressured less often than the 21.3 percent of dropbacks that Fitzpatrick felt heat on, and he was actually a little better when he was pressured than when he was just allowed to implode all by his own from a clean pocket.

This is one of those performances where all of the numbers speak for themselves — and all of them are entirely damning.

When under no pressure at all, Fitzpatrick had a passer rating of 10.5, and completed 40 percent of his passes. He completed as many passes to Kansas City defenders as he did to his own receivers on balls that traveled 10 or more yards downfield.

You may never see again a player show so completely the two extremes of their play from one week to the next. Fitzpatrick is the archetypal gunslinger, who will put the ball in the air and let his receivers try to make a play. He doesn’t have the same physical gifts as a guy like Brett Favre (maybe the ultimate “gunslinger”), so it will always get him into more trouble over the long term, but with the receiving corps he has it at his disposal, with Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and the emerging Quincy Enunwa, it will result in some big games when he gets it right.

When that happens, like last week against Buffalo, Fitzpatrick can put up big numbers and be one of the biggest reasons his team wins games. But the wheels can just as quickly fall off and things swing the other way. When it goes wrong, Fitzpatrick just keeps firing, putting the ball into the air with wanton abandon and little regard for who is going to come down with it.

You may never see a bigger QB implosion than Fitzpatrick had on Sunday against the Chiefs, and as things stand currently, it was the worst QB performance PFF has ever seen in a decade of grading.

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