Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn't great in the Bills' 38-30 loss to New England, but he was far better than Trent Edwards was in his two losing starts against Miami and Green Bay.
"I thought he went out and executed some things very well," said coach Chan Gailey of Fitzpatrick, who threw for 247 yards and a touchdown, but also threw two damaging interceptions.
Fitzpatrick certainly isn't pretty in anything he does, but he possesses the one quality Edwards lacks the most: Moxie. Fitzpatrick was the beneficiary of better protection because the line played a bit better, and the Patriots aren't as stout in the pass rush as they once were. But when protection broke down, Fitzpatrick was able to avoid the rush and get rid of the ball.
"We talked about getting into a rhythm and keeping the offense on the field and I think we did a good job of that," said Fitzpatrick. "We had too many field goals, obviously, and the one play that killed me was the turnover in the red zone."
Actually, there were two. With the Bills down 31-23, Fitzpatrick threw a pick at the goal line that killed a scoring threat, and the Patriots marched the other way for a big touchdown.
The second came after Fitzpatrick had thrown a 37-yard touchdown pass to Steve Johnson, and then got the ball back at his own 35 with 3:04 left after the defense came up with a rare stop of Tom Brady. With a chance to perhaps drive for a tying touchdown, Fitzpatrick's first pass was intercepted, and the Patriots ran out the rest of the clock.
"He's always trying to make a play, and you've got to give him credit for that," said Gailey.
Unlike Edwards, who just dumps the ball off short or takes a sack when he gets in trouble. There was a report that surfaced before the New England game that the Bills talked to at least one team about a possible trade for Edwards. Gailey denied any knowledge and simply said "Buddy (Nix, the general manager) handles that stuff. I was too busy working up a game plan."
Unless Fitzpatrick were to get hurt, it seems likely that he'll be the starter the rest of the year and that Edwards' four-year tenure in Buffalo will be over. Even if Fitzpatrick were to miss time, the Bills might turn to Brian Brohm to see if he can get the job done. He has made just one start in his brief NFL career.
BY THE NUMBERS: 24 -- That's the number of games wide receiver Lee Evans has gone without topping 100 yards receiving. The last time occurred on Nov. 23, 2008, at Kansas City. He has only 13 such games in 99 career games. Evans' highest yardage total in that 24-game stretch came Nov. 30, 2008, when he had 80 against San Francisco.
LINEUP WATCH: Chris Kelsay is clearly struggling to switch over to linebacker in a 3-4 defense, so he actually caught a break against New England. The Bills spent much of the day playing nickel and dime defense to combat Tom Brady's passing, so they had Kelsay back at his more comfortable defensive end position in a four-man line. He was in on four tackles, and was not able to generate much pass rush against Brady.
THis report courtesy of The Sports Xchange
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