ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: Ryan Fitzpatrick #14 of the Buffalo Bills is hit as he throws late in the fourth quarter by Matt Shaughnessy #77 of the Oakland Raiders at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo won 38-35. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
In two games this season, the Buffalo Bills have produced 79 points on offense en route to a 2-0 start. Ryan Fitzpatrick has been lights out. The team's young receiving corps hasn't been perfect, but they're making plays when it counts. Fred Jackson has been the team's best player on either side of the ball.
Yet for whatever reason, the team's much-maligned offensive line has been mostly overlooked through those two games. No longer. Bills GM Buddy Nix said before the season that his line was better than most people realized, and so far, this group has proven him right.
Though we have not gotten top-line performances from any of the team's five starters, the line is keeping Fitzpatrick clean and opening up gaping running lanes. Fitzpatrick has been sacked once between Tamba Hali and a very strong Oakland front, and has only taken hits here and there. Jackson is averaging 6.5 yards per rush, while C.J. Spiller's average is up to 8.8.
Even when starting right guard Kraig Urbik went down on Sunday, the team didn't miss a beat inserting Chad Rinehart into the lineup. Again, the likes of Demetrius Bell, Andy Levitre, Eric Wood and Erik Pears aren't climbing anyone's "best lineman" rankings, but as a unit, they're more than getting the job done. Insofar as pleasant surprises go, aside from the 2-0 start, it's tough to rank anything above the play of the offensive line.