MIAMI FL - DECEMBER 19: Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Buffalo Bills throws against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on December 19 2010 in Miami Florida.The Bills defeated the Dolphins 17-14. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
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In defeating the Miami Dolphins 17-14 at Sun Life Stadium yesterday, no member of the Buffalo Bills was more important to the team's success than quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. As such, he gets our Sprint Game Ball of the Week for his Week 15 performance.
Fitzpatrick was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. He made several errant throws, threw an ugly interception late in the first half, and had another interception dropped by Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith in the third quarter. By now, we've seen enough of Fitzpatrick to expect these developments, and to know that he can overcome those mistakes. He certainly did that Sunday.
Playing with what essentially amounts to a talented scrap heap at wide receiver, Fitzpatrick completed 16 of 26 passes 223 yards and two scores in the victory. He also added 19 rushing yards on three carries. Fitzpatrick found rookie wideout David Nelson on third down for an 18-yard scoring strike in the second quarter, then extended Buffalo's lead to 17-7 when he hit Steve Johnson on a 15-yard scoring strike in a dominant third quarter performance.
They say that teams take on the personality of their leaders. These plucky, flawed, never-say-die, ultra-competitive Bills have most certainly done that with Fitzpatrick.