Inside The Bills

Why it’s tough to sack Fitz

Posted by Chris Brown on November 2, 2011 – 9:15 am

There’s no question that the offensive line, the tight ends and Fred Jackson have had a big hand in why Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t been taken down all that much by opposing defenses for sacks this season. After facing the top three teams in sacks the last three games the Bills surrendered one against the Eagles, three against the Giants and two to the Redskins. The line has been good, but there’s something else at work here too.

Washington Examiner reporter John Keim helped break it down after reviewing the tape to see why the team that was tied for the league lead in sacks only got to Fitz twice. What he found, like every defender that plays against him, is how quickly he gets the ball out.

Why can’t anyone get to Fitzpatrick? Because of how quickly he delivers the ball. Part of it is the offensive system, but it’s one that’s tailored to his strengths. He really does do a good job of picking out targets in mismatches. Anyway, 16 of his throws were delivered in less than two seconds and every pass but one was thrown in less than three seconds.  Analyst Troy Aikman said Fitzpatrick told them it’s the most comfortable he’s ever been with receivers. It shows. And this is not a collection of high draft picks, either.

Getting the ball out in less than two seconds is insanely quick. Usain Bolt is not getting to Fitz for a sack if he’s getting it out in less than two seconds. What that says to me is Fitz knows where he’s going with the ball before the snap because he’s already diagnosed the best mismatch.

The Bills also ran five screens in the game and at times will use the bootleg, though they only did that once against Washington. Those kind of plays also make sacks hard to come by.


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