Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick appeared on The Dan Patrick Show (full audio - he's on in the last segment) on Wednesday to discuss this weekend's conference championship games. Why might anyone be interested in Fitzpatrick's opinion on the matter, you ask? Why, because the Bills played all four teams involved in those games this season (and went 0-5 against them, by the way).
Fitzpatrick did not talk about the New York Jets much - mostly because he wasn't asked to - but did call them the most "exotic" defense remaining in this year's playoffs.
The Pittsburgh Steelers team that Fitzpatrick had dead to rights in Week 12 is, according to Fitzpatrick, the best remaining defense in the field. "The Steelers aren't necessarily as exotic, they're just very good in what they do, and their personnel is very good. They'll exploit matchups," Fitzpatrick told Patrick.
After the jump, we'll take a quick look at Fitzpatrick's analysis as he broke down how to attack the Steelers, as well as the Green Bay Packers (whom Fitzpatrick did not play against) and the Chicago Bears. Tip of the hat to BobHamis for bringing this to our attention.
Fitzpatrick on Green Bay's defense: "They're also going to have an exotic blitz package, where they've got a lot of talented linebackers that'll blitz. First of all, it's identifying who's gonna come, and that's not the hardest part - the hardest part is actually picking those guys up. But if you do, and you have some time, there's some stuff you can take advantage of in the secondary because they're blitzing those guys underneath. Mainly the crossing routes and in-breaking routes. As long as he gets time, which is a big if, they'll do a good job."
Fitzpatrick on Chicago's defense: "The Bears defense is definitely a bend-but-don't-break defense. I know Aaron (Rodgers) has a lot of experience playing against those guys. If you look at what he's done this year versus them, they haven't put up a lot of points, but he's thrown for a lot of yards. You have to be able to take advantage, possess the ball, be able to convert on third down, and then score touchdowns rather than field goals in the red zone versus them. They're very good at limiting you to the dink-and-dunk stuff, and it's just a matter of being patient and not turning the ball over."
Fitzpatrick on Pittsburgh's defense: "I know the Jets, in the first game they played against them, ran for over 100 yards on them - I think they might have been the only team in the league to do that this year. (Ed. note: New England did it, too.) But the Steelers aren't going to let you run the ball, so it's a matter of you being able to throw it. Now, Ike Taylor is probably one of the most talented corners in the league, a guy that doesn't maybe get as much credit as he deserves, but it's going to be hard to throw deep on him. Again, you have to be able to take the stuff underneath, be able to be efficient, and then also try to stay away from Troy Polamalu as much as you can."