In two seasons with the Buffalo Bills, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown for 382 completions, 4,422 yards and 32 touchdowns. Lee Evans, purportedly Fitzpatrick's top receiver in many of those contests, is responsible for 56 catches, 904 yards and eight touchdowns in that time frame.
Speaking of the last two seasons, Evans - in 29 total games - has caught 81 passes for 1,189 yards and 11 touchdowns. Stevie Johnson was able to replicate over 90 percent of that production in just 16 games last season (82 receptions, 1,073 yards, 10 touchdowns).
There's more to a good NFL passing attack than making sure a team's best receiver is consistently producing. The argument really should work in reverse: if a top receiver is consistently producing, then that team's passing attack is probably pretty efficient. That said, Buffalo's passing attack won't improve in 2011 unless Evans has a much better season.
Chan Gailey knows it. Fitzpatrick and Evans know it - and, in the interest of fairness, the pair are entering their first season together as members of the starting lineup. There really is nowhere to go but up, and getting Fitzpatrick and Evans to produce at a higher level is one of the Bills' biggest keys to a successful 2011 season.