I was reading another news site talking about the recent loss to the Colts, and they showed three long passes that Fitz attempted against Indy.
One missed to CJ Spiller. The ball was roughly a 30 yard downfield pass from the Bills 20 to about midfield. CJ had a few steps on his man but the ball was overthrown.
The next pass missed was also about from the 20 and was also overthrown and slightly inside over Jones' left shoulder, as he was running about five yards inside the left sideline from where Fitz was throwing. Some noted Fitz escaped a pressure from his right tackle before setting and releasing. Most critics have said those were two TD passes if they connect.
The third pass was also thrown from the same part of the field and was connected to Stevie, and he took it a total of 63 yards in total, getting caught after cutting back towards the middle of the field to escape what he felt was the closing corner he had run past with a fake seconds before.
So, three long passes, one completed, and two incompleted. Total yards gained, 63. Three plays, 1 for 3, 63 yards.
Fitz is averaging under 7 yards per pass attempt. These three throws helped raise his yards per throw average.
Which brings me to the Elephant in the Room: why did Fitz only throw three long passes all game long?
Remember, the Bills usually throw several screens over the course of the game, and many of those go for no or few or negative yardage. But some go for 10-25 yards or more. And the Bills throw these screens to everyone with the exception of the tight ends. The screens are thrown to both running backs as well as the three primary wide receivers.
So, why is it--if we look at this tape of the last game, when so many screens went nowhere, and yet 1 of 3 long passes connected, and we had guys open such that there was a decent chance to have three huge plays out of three-- there were no more than three long passes thrown?
I think part of Fitz's problem is he is not very effective throwing the long ball not because he cannot throw it, but because he throws so few of them by design.
We talk about how the long ball opens up the rest of the offense. Well, it would appear the long ball, even in a game like that of the Colts, is still, despite all the criticism, a pretty successful way to go....
Most teams would love to throw the long ball if they thought they could average over 20 yards per attempt.
There once was a QB known as the Mad Bomber, and his name was Daryle Lamonica, and the Bills traded their backup Lamonica (Kemp was the starter) to the Raiders, where he developed the reputation.
He threw it long over and over and over again, and I remember many of them missing, but some of them, enough of them did connect. The Mad Bomber was not considered good enough to be kept by the Bills at the time, but once he was liberated in Oakland and given some quality targets, his long ball and his career flourished.
Perhaps, as we head towards the end of what most likely will be another non playoff season, we should let Fitz really air it out, more than three or fewer times a game.
Keep sending CJ and Donald, Stevie and TJ deep, and keep telling Fitz to find the single coverage and heave it.
I think the rest of the offense might benefit from some Mad Bomber like performances, and I think perhaps it is just what the Fitz needs to break out of his mental funk.
Since we know Chan cannot stand to just Pound the Rock, perhaps the new chant for Chan should be: Just Heave the Rock!
Let the Mad Bomber makeover of Fitz begin now!