QB situation still uncertain

Brian Brohm got his first shot at starting last weekend in Atlanta, struggling most of the way. Should the Bills start him again in the finale to see if he can compete for the job next year? Or should a healthier Ryan Fitzpatrick start? See what Perry Fewell had to say inside...

Perry Fewell's last big decision as interim head coach will be the same as his first: Who will start at quarterback?

With Ryan Fitzpatrick and Trent Edwards sidelined due to ankle injuries last week, Fewell's choice of quarterback to play against Atlanta was made for him. Third-stringer Brian Brohm made his NFL debut, completing 17 of 29 passes for 146 yards and two interceptions in a 31-3 loss.

Fitzpatrick is feeling much improved, however, and Fewell gave strong indications that he'll go back to him for Sunday's regular-season finale against the Colts at home.

"Fitzpatrick is still day-to-day," Fewell said. "We expect him to practice on Wednesday, but we'll just have to see him."

Fitzpatrick warmed up before the Falcons game, but his movements were limited.

"We just have to see him practice," Fewell said.

Fewell, 2-4 in place of the fired Dick Jauron, is trying to squeeze out every victory he can to improve his chances of earning the Bills head-coaching job on a full-time basis. Despite Fitzpatrick's uninspired play in five recent starts, Fewell still believes the veteran gives his team the best chance at winning. Edwards has already been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Colts.

Most fans and many in the front office want to see more of Brohm so a determination can be made about his chances of being a viable candidate for the starting job next season. The former Louisville star and second-round pick of the Packers was plucked off Green Bay's practice squad on Nov. 19 by Buffalo.

"I thought he got better as the game went on," Fewell said when asked to assess Brohm's play against the Falcons. "Obviously he was a little nervous to begin with, and then he started to hit his check-downs and started to take command of the offense. He led an 11-play drive, and we went down and kicked a field goal. I thought that was a good thing for him to move the team for 11 plays and distribute the ball around. So I thought he got better as the game went on."

The Bills ran a conservative game plan that called for short passes. One long pass to Terrell Owens was underthrown and intercepted when Owens didn't attempt to come back to the ball.

"I feel like I handled myself fine," Brohm said. "Even though the results weren't good, I walk out of here with more confidence in myself. For me, it is a good place to build from."

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, who posted a 2-3 record in five starts after replacing Trent Edwards, could return to the starting lineup for Sunday's season finale against the Colts depending on how he practices Wednesday. Fitzpatrick sat out last Sunday's loss to Atlanta. Coach Perry Fewell indicated Fitzpatrick would be his starter if he shows better movement and can take most of the first-team repetitions.

--QB Brian Brohm, who signed with the Bills on Nov. 19, earned his first NFL start against Atlanta last Sunday, a 31-3 loss. He could be relegated to the backup spot this Sunday against the Colts if Ryan Fitzpatrick's injured ankle is fully healed. A determination could come as early as Wednesday.

--RB Marshawn Lynch, who has 450 yards rushing, will finish far short of his third consecutive 1,000-yard season for the Bills. His drop in production makes him a candidate to be traded this offseason as Buffalo looks for help on its offensive line and at linebacker. He had just three carries for 3 yards in last Sunday's loss to Atlanta.

--RB Fred Jackson needs 150 rushing yards in Sunday's season finale against the Colts to reach the 1,000-yard milestone. His 204 carries for 850 yards rushing are personal single-season highs, and his 4.39-yards-per-carry average for his career ranks third all-time on the Bills.

--WR James Hardy, who spent most of 2009 recovering from ACL surgery, saw his first game action last Sunday against Atlanta and caught one pass for 9 yards. His workload could increase in Sunday's season finale against the Colts as the team looks forward to next season.

--WR Lee Evans is the only Bill with a catch in all 15 games this season, but that's little consolation. With just 40 catches for 564 yards, Evans is easily on pace to finish with the lowest numbers of his six-year NFL career. His previous low marks were 48-743 in 2005.

--WR Terrell Owens needs 114 yards receiving in Sunday's season finale against the Colts to reach 15,000 for his career. He passed the 1,000-catch milestone last Sunday against Atlanta. Owens isn't expected to re-sign with the Bills after a disappointing season overall.

--TE Shawn Nelson, the team's rookie fourth-round pick, was the target of just one pass in Sunday's loss to Atlanta, an incompletion. He'll hope to be more a part of the offense in Sunday's season finale against Indianapolis, particularly if second-year pro Brian Brohm earns his second start. Brohm will need a tight end outlet.

--LB Bryan Scott, who suffered a concussion against the Patriots two weeks ago and sat out the loss to Atlanta, has been ruled out of Sunday's season finale against Indianapolis. Nic Harris will take his place again.

--DE Aaron Schobel's three-sack performance against the Falcons last week should help convince him to return in 2010 after he told reporters he is contemplating retirement. Schobel tied his personal single-game high for sacks, and it was his first multi-sack game since 2006. He has 10 sacks on the year.

--PK Rian Lindell needs four points in Sunday's season finale against the Colts to post his sixth 100-point season and his fifth with Buffalo. Steve Christie holds the club record with eight 100-point seasons.


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