If there's been one glimmer of hope amidst the 0-5 start of the Buffalo Bills, it's been the play of new starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Seriously. Don't tell me you predicted that prior to the start of the season, because if you do, I will laugh loudly in your face and call you a liar. Most fans didn't even think Fitzpatrick would make the team.
Fitzpatrick, elevated to the starting role before Week 3, has put up some very impressive numbers in his first three starts of the 2010 season. In those three starts, Fitzpatrick has completed 61.2% of his passes (52 completions in 85 attempts) for 595 yards, with seven touchdowns, two interceptions - zero in his last two outings - and a quarterback rating of 99.9.
It hasn't all been pretty. Fitzpatrick has been sacked seven times, and has had to do far more scrambling than he'd probably like to, having run for 96 yards (on 12 carries) in those games. He's made inaccurate throws; on two plays against Jacksonville, he threw two consecutive hideous receiver screens, one which sailed several yards over his receiver's head, and the other that double-hopped on the ground as a backward lateral, which Roscoe Parrish scooped up a la Derek Jeter and ran four yards with. Fitzpatrick is what he is; he'll always be limited by his well-defined physical shortcomings.
But let's not deny Fitzpatrick this fact: these last three weeks have, by a considerable margin, been the best three-game stretch in his career. The guy is a gamer; he exudes confidence, and his toughness is infectious to his teammates. He's on something of a roll, having thrown a touchdown pass in each of his last six starts. There's plenty to complain about with this winless Bills team; right now, Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't on that list. He might be the only Bills player meeting or exceeding expectations (in a good way).