The situational statistics after nine games show Fitz to be a better passer when leading or tied than when behind, and his best passing quarters are the 2nd and 3rd quarters.
What I found most interesting is his ability to succeed passing in three of the five sections of the field, the center, the right, and the left, with his worst stats by far this year being wide right, followed by wide left. The differences are stark.
Below, I have provided the numbers:
Section of Field QB Passer Rating
Wide Right 39.7
Wide Left 54.5
Fitz has an elite passer rating in three sections of the field, and failing in the other two sections of the field. His overall passer rating through nine games of 87.5 puts him in the top 15 of the league's starting QBs.
Only a handful of QBs in the NFL are still carrying 100 plus passer ratings at this stage of the season, including the usual suspects of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady.
In my view, Fitz's struggles in these sections of the field have less to do with arm strength and more to do with mechanics and confidence. It might also be the case that coverage tends to be tighter along the sidelines, as well as the fact that many of Fitz's sideline passes are deep routes, where he would normally connect at a lower rate than say, short crossing routes over the middle of the field.
When we think of the Bills offense, and see the success of Fitz throwing the ball, it has been because he is hitting his targets near or just inside the hash marks and not generally down the sidelines.
Perhaps the Bills should play a bit more to Fitz's strengths, and minimize throws to the sidelines. Yes, it hurts an offense to not have the sideline as a regular option, but these numbers indicate the payoff in doing so would appear to be higher than the alternative.
I look forward to investigating the rest of the NFL QBs, with a focus on the elites, to see if there are strong tendencies favoring one section of the field over another, such as is the case with Fitz.