Let's get this out of the way shall we? Fitz was atrocious, but after reviewing the tape, it became obvious that all interceptions aren't created equal. Let's start with the first shall we?
This is probably the interception that could have been avoided if Fitz just took a sack. As it was, the pocket broke down, a solid defensive play was made, and not a single option got open.
Jets line up with 4 wide, 3 to the right of Fitzpatrick with a sole flanker on the left. The back is offset to the weak side. Jets run a flood concept with a deep route, short 5 yard out and a deep crossing route. On the other side, it's a comeback route. The back blocks.
The defense is cover one with man coverage underneath with a safety protecting deep. The Chiefs rush anyone that's not on a man, and the pocket immediately becomes smaller.
Fitz isn't able to step forward and throws just purely with arm strength. The defender on Marshall reads this perfectly and jumps in front.
Let's break this down: no one got open, Fitz couldn't step into a throw, and at best case scenario it might have been a sack. You have to credit the KC defense, they blanketed our wide outs and got pressure. I'd argue if I'm being impartial that the defense simply forced a turnover. But alas, we're a Jets blog so this pick is on Fitz for not just eating a sack and calling it a day.
Fitzpatrick managed to go 2 quarters before his next interception. This one is again on him and much credit has to go to the KC defense. On tape, they yet again completely had our options closed.
Jets line up with 4 wide, 2 to each side. On the left, they run a slant off a pick play. On the right, it's an inside slant with a deep fade and Forte running the flat route.
On defense the Chiefs play cover 4. It's interesting because cover 4 is usually used in 3rd and long or when you're trying to preserve a lead. Here, KC uses it in short yardage. The commentator mentioned the underneath man faking like he was going to the flat, on tape it's not true. He simply was checking off the running back, and took maybe a step outside.
Fitzpatrick none the less tries to throw it through the defender who tips it. In essence, the slant route is triple covered. Two deep men and a short underneath man. But check out the other routes, there's no one open.
Looking back on the tape, I learned a lot about how the Chiefs forced turnovers. Sometimes calling a different defense than you'd expect can totally fool an offense. Again credit the Chiefs defensive coordinator, and blame Fitz for not reading cover 4 and expecting man.
Number 3 was more of the same. Chiefs play cover 4 deep in the redzone and Jets simply have no one open. Add the pocket completely collapsing and it's another catastrophe. Fitzpatrick threw the ball to the WR with the best chance to catch it, only for it to take another deflection for an interception.
Jets show 4 wide, two on each side. It looks like another pick play deep in the redzone on the bottom. The slot WR runs towards the back pylon hoping to collect bodies. Decker runs a slant that goes nowhere while Forte runs a flat route. On the other side, it's a slant with a deep route over the top. As I'm typing this, I just realized something. It's nearly the exact same play as pick 2.
And guess what. The Chiefs are in the exact same defense ,although it's convoluted by the setup. It's still a zone defense and cover 4. Yet again no one is going to be open because the routes are designed to beat man coverage.
Check it out. No one is open. Fitzpatrick avoids taking a sack but throws to a blanketed Enunwa. The ball goes up and a defender says thank you again.
I now wonder if the Chiefs played zone knowing the Jets would run man coverage beaters. It seems like the defense had every answer on these picks, especially once the Jets got close to the goal line. I'm having serious concerns Chan Gailey has been figured out. There's not much Fitz can do if every route is covered other than eat a sack which he probably should have done... again.
Number 4 is on Marshall I think. He gives up on the route and allows a cheap interception. He was banged up so I'm not sure if he was able to go fully and probably took a bunch of plays off. My guess is he never anticipated getting a look here and stopped only for his route to be targeted.
The Jets trot out 4 WR, 2 split to each side. They are running deep routes that cross near the line of scrimmage. I've used the same play countless times in madden as it can beat zone or man defense.
The Chiefs are in cover 2 man coverage. Marshall runs to the outside and the Chiefs fail to switch on the play. Marshall's man ends up inside with Marshall running out the outside seam.
Fitzpatrick throws to where he thinks Marshall will end up, but Marshall either reading the play wrong, not being able to run it out, or for some other unknown reason pulls up. There's a definite opening there for this play, although it's debatable who would come down with the pass if Marshall kept running.
As it played out Marshall pulls up, the safety gets a cheap interception and the Jets turn it over yet again.
The next one is on Fitzpatrick again. Same exact concept as the last one, but the pass was garbage.
Jets line up with 3 left and 1 right as wide outs. Forte lines up to the right and will be running the sideline route. It's a straight pick play up top with the WR giving himself up to make a human shield.
The defender never quite gets picked and avoids 95 percent of the contact. (Guy in red box above is the man getting picked, the defender behind is on the pick man.)
Fitz throws an atrocious pass that was directly to the inside, right where the defender was. If he threw deep outside he might have had a window, but to be honest the coverage was pretty tight. He forces the pass, and it's hot garbage.
The last pick is a result of Fitzpatrick forcing a pass and Marshall being hampered. It's a jump ball and pretty poorly thrown, but if Marshall was fully healthy, I have a feeling this one doesn't go as a pick.
Jets run a 5 man route, with Marshall going deep, Forte coming out of the backfield, a route over the middle and a zone beater on the right. Marshall is the only one really looked at.
Meanwhile, it's cover 3 this time, with three deep and zone coverage underneath. Marshall puts a yard between himself and the defender but never really breaks away. Towards the end of the route, Marshall had lost all separation and the ball was under thrown allowing the defender to pick it off.
I'm not sure what I learned from this. Fitz made a lot of poor decisions when pressured, Gailey went back to the well twice on plays that were intercepted, and the defense absolutely stymied our game plan. It was just as ugly as you think it would look. I can't place all the blame on Fitz, the offense seemed to not have a plan B, and the Chiefs figured out how to beat plan A.