October 02, 2015
A week ago against the Jets, the Eagles only had one sack on Ryan Fitzpatrick. However, the Eagles generated all kinds of pressure on him, which led to other mistakes.
ProFootballFocus.com credited the Eagles with 16 pressures. Here were their pressure stats:
|Player||Pressures||Hits on QB||Batted passes|
On two of Fitzpatrick's interceptions, he faced pressure from the Eagles' pass rush. The Eagles rush each passer they face differently, according to defensive coordinator Bill Davis, who talked about how his pass rushers are coming along.
"It's looking solid and sound," said Davis. "The guys are doing a great job of executing the plan for the quarterback. What kind of quarterback are we dealing with? We knew Fitzpatrick had the shortest drop, a six‑yard launch point, and we also knew he got the ball out of his hands quicker than anybody in the NFL over the beginning of the season. So we were going to rush different than you would rush a deeper dropper.
"One of the things, and I say this over and over again, sacks and interceptions are attached, and it's the quarterback's choice. We are pressuring the quarterback and he either chooses to eat it and take the sack or he gets rid of it. Fitzpatrick was getting rid of it, and they were turning into interceptions. It won't be long until we have a five‑ or six‑sack game because the quarterback chooses to eat it instead of force it."
Looking ahead, Davis gave his thoughts on the Eagles' Week 4 opponent, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins.
"Cousins is solid," said Davis. "Cousins is a great decision maker. I know he's thrown a lot of interceptions so far -- and some of those, I think there were just some individual breakdowns -- but as far as running and executing the offense, he efficiently gets his drop, gets his reads and makes his decision."
The only thing that's definitive fact about that last statement is that Cousins has thrown a lot of interceptions. In fact, he has the worst career INT percentage of any Week 1 starter in the NFL. Here's a snapshot of the entire league (with first year starters Tyrod Taylor, Jameis Winston, and Marcus Mariota omitted), listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average number of pass attempts per interception:
|Rank||Player||Career attempts||INT||Avg attempt per INT|
To be clear, Cousins throws an interception, on average, every 22.3 pass attempts. That is awful. It's 6.3 fewer attempts than the next-closest quarterback on the list, which happens to be Fitzpatrick.
Meanwhile, Cousins is very difficult is sack. He has the third-best career sack percentage of any Week 1 starter in the NFL:
|Rank||Player||Career attempts||Sacks||Avg attempt per sack|
In other words, Cousins is far more apt to get rid of it and have bad things happen on the back end than he is to 'eat it.' Get some extra work in on the JUGS machine this week, defensive backs.
Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski
*ProFootballFocus credited Brandon Bair with 2 batted passes, but he had 3, so I fixed their error.