The folks at Pro Football Focus have been providing timely and soothing fixes for the pro football addict in a typically dead month that the NFL lockout has turned into a barren wasteland of boredom. In their latest study, examining the frequency and effects of pressure on quarterbacks, Buffalo Bills starter Ryan Fitzpatrick didn't come out looking so great.
First and foremost, PFF notes that Fitzpatrick was pressured on 33.2 percent of his drop-backs, as middle-of-the-pack a finish as you'll get. 15 quarterbacks were pressured on a higher percentage of drops. To Fitzpatrick's credit, only eight quarterbacks had a lower sack percentage on pressure plays than Fitzpatrick's 14 percent, meaning that he did a pretty good job of getting rid of the ball in one way or another.
Here's where it gets bad: Fitzpatrick had the third-lowest completion percentage in the league against pressure, where his 39.2 percent rated just ahead of Jimmy Clausen and Mark Sanchez. Only four quarterbacks in the league saw their completion percentage dip more against pressure than Fitzpatrick. Coupled with his boom-or-bust tendencies against the blitz, it's not hard to see why teams are coming after Fitzpatrick with everything they've got.
Bottom line: either Buffalo's pass protection as a unit must improve dramatically, or Fitzpatrick must simply get better at dealing with pressure.