Regression to the Mean – Why Fitzpatrick is Sliding

Regression to the Mean – Why Fitzpatrick is Sliding

By: Dallas Soukup

Let’s start with the obvious – Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown nine interceptions in the previous two games and currently has a 6% interception rate on the season. Last season, Fitzy threw a total of 15 interceptions, yielding an acceptable 2.5% interception rate. Don’t let these figures fool you, they do not tell the full story, as eight of Fitzpatrick’s 2015 passes were dropped interceptions. Including these eight dropped interceptions, we are now looking at an interception rate of 4.1%. In short, he was extremely lucky to have the season he had last year. The three luckiest QB seasons since 2007 are: former Jets QB Mark Sanchez in 2010 (13 INT, 15 Dropped INT), Cowboys QB Tony Romo in 2009 (9 INT, 12 Dropped INT) and former Jaguars QB David Garrard in 2010 (10 INT, 11 Dropped INT). Let’s see how they fared in the following season, upon regression to the mean:

LUCKY QB INT Dropped INT INTs Next Year Team Record Next Year’s Team Record
2010 Sanchez 13 15 18 11-5 8-8
2009 Romo 9 12 7 11-5 1-5
2009 Garrard 10 11 15 7-9 8-8
2015 Fitzpatrick 15 8 10 10-6 1-3
(Note: Romo only played 6 games in 2010 due to injury – where he threw 7 INTs and went 1-5)

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