As Buffalo Bills fans talked themselves into being excited for the 2012 season, much of the rhetoric surrounding starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick centered on one idea (paraphrased): "If he can cut down on the turnovers and come close to the Fitz we saw in Weeks 1-8 last year, the Bills should contend for the playoffs."
That was obviously a big "if," and despite cutting down on his turnovers (he has 17 so far this season, down from his 25 in 16 games last year - so there's still time to fail here, as well), Fitzpatrick has not been the quarterback we saw during the team's hot start a year ago, nor have the Bills at any point this season been serious playoff contenders, for a variety of reasons that include quarterback play.
Yet there's evidence to suggest that this has been Fitzpatrick's best season yet as a three-year starter. He's got career highs in completion percentage (62.3 percent) and quarterback rating (85.8). He's on pace to to shave seven interceptions off of last year's league-leading 23 (he threw 15 in 13 games in 2010), and has thrown for 20 or more touchdowns for the third straight season. Still, the team is just 5-8 - and they're now 15-27 under Fitzpatrick in the last three seasons.
We have three questions for you to debate regarding Fitzpatrick this afternoon:
- Has Fitzpatrick met, exceeded or fallen short of your pre-season expectations for him?
- Did you set expectations for Fitzpatrick based on his skills, goals for the offense, or goals for the team?
- If you had been told in August what his stat line would look like in mid-December (62.3% completions, 2,718 yards, 21 TD, 13 INT), what would you have guessed Buffalo's record would be?
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