The Buffalo Bills touted Ryan Fitzpatrick as their quarterback of choice even before they decided not to take a signal-caller with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Early returns on their enthusiasm about the Harvard product have not been impressive, however, in his first NFL pre-season as an unquestioned starter.
Through two pre-season games, Fitzpatrick has completed 13-of-25 passes for a paltry 88 yards. He's thrown one interception - which, full disclosure, glanced off of the hands of receiver Marcus Easley directly into a defender - and is sporting a quarterback rating of 43.4. In six pre-season possessions, Buffalo's first-team offense has produced just six points under Fitzpatrick's guidance.
Yes, some caveats apply: the offensive line has been bad, the team is still feeling out a changed arsenal of skill players, and it is, in fact, just the pre-season. However, the lack of production remains alarming when taken in conjunction with Fitzpatrick's continued accuracy issues (specifically ball placement) and seeming regression from Week 1 to Week 2. As he's unlikely to see much playing time on September 1 against Detroit, pre-season game three - this Saturday against Jacksonville - will be a very important test for Fitzpatrick. He needs to pass it.