Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will be making the first opening-day start of his seven-year NFL career on Sunday. As inexperienced as he is being a team's starting quarterback from day one in a new season, Fitzpatrick is hardly inexperienced playing the Kansas City Chiefs on the road: he's done it with Buffalo in each of the past two seasons.
Here's the problem, though: he hasn't exactly played well in either game.
Sure, the Bills are 1-1 in those contests. In two full games plus an extensive overtime period, however, Fitzpatrick's Bills have produced just 26 points, and Fitzpatrick has been largely ineffective. He threw for just 86 yards in a 2009 win over a 4-12 team, then completed just 50 percent of his passes while producing 10 points in last year's overtime loss.
Combined, Fitzpatrick has completed 36 of 68 passes (52.9 percent completions) for 309 yards (a paltry 4.54 yards per attempt) with two touchdowns and two interceptions in those games. He's added 60 rushing yards on nine carries, but was also sacked five times and fumbled twice, losing one of those.
The NFL is all about quarterback play, and if the Bills want to be more than merely competitive at Arrowhead this Sunday, they'll need more out of Fitzpatrick.