3. Ryan Fitzpatrick will have a modest performance.
The Washington Football Team can expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to play like an average starting quarterback on Sunday afternoon. This won’t be a “Fitzmagic” performance, nor will it be a “Fitztragic” performance, but something in the middle.
The Chargers’ defense in 2020 performed admirably considering the injuries and below average coaching displayed last season.
Ranking sixth in dropback success rate, ninth passing yards per game, and improving by four spots in DVOA, the Chargers are coming into 2021 improved from both a schematic and personnel standpoint, looking to build off of a decent defensive showing in 2020.
In 16 games last year, the Chargers gave up averages in completion percentage of 62.6 (4th), passer rating of 91.4 (14th), while giving up only 186 first downs (8th) through the air.
Despite posting some of the fewest sack numbers in all of the NFL last season, Los Angeles provided a formidable passing defense that kept this unit afloat through the air. Which poses a threat for Washington’s pass offense, not only was this Chargers unit sound in the passing game, but they’re improved and coming in to week one at full-strength.
While Ryan Fitzpatrick is an upgrade under center in DC, make no mistake about it:
2020’s 14th ranked pass defense in Los Angeles has improved, with health on their side entering Week 1, it’s expected to see Fitzpatrick and company struggle in the passing game.
Combined with the fact that Washington’s starting offense didn’t score a single touchdown in pre-season, to expect the Football Team to come out “guns blazing” would be a reach. Expect a line similarly to Fitzpatrick’s average play over the last few seasons, a line that looks like this:
- Completions: 20/31 (64.5%)
- Yards: 226 (7.2 YPA)
- Touchdowns/Interceptions: 1 TD / 0 INT
Fitzpatrick plays a game that would place him in the late teens and early 20’s in terms of yards per attempt and completion percentage, turning the ball over once yet throwing two touchdown’s to his plethora of receiving options.
This won’t be a game from Fitzpatrick where we see your favorite highlights blasted on ESPN for the world to see, as this Chargers team last season gave up the seventh-fewest 20+ yard completions while their deepest pass given up was tied for seventh-shortest, the Chargers are unlikely to give up chunk plays after being improved throughout their entire defense.