Charting Buffalo Bills' Ryan Fitzpatrick Since Week 1 Embarrassment

US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick currently leads the NFL in touchdown passes alongside Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan.

In general, Buffalo Bills fans have been down on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick through the first three games of the 2012 regular season. It didn't help that he had a horrendous three-quarter start in Week 1, of course - he threw three interceptions, including a pick-six, in that loss to the New York Jets - but he's also seen an early dip in completion percentage (58.1 percent) despite plenty of off-season rhetoric about supposedly improved mechanics.

The surprising stat that deserves a bit of discussion: Fitzpatrick is also the NFL's current leader in touchdown passes, with eight in three games. (Well, technically, he's tied with Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger at the top, but you get the point.)

At the moment that the Bills found themselves down 41-7 to Rex Ryan and the Jets in Week 1, Fitzpatrick was 8-of-15 (53.3 percent completions) for 75 yards (5.0 yards per attempt) with no touchdowns, three picks and a quarterback rating of 27.8. (Yeah, he was really, really bad.) Since that point - including most of the second half against the Jets and subsequent wins against the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns - Fitzpatrick is 45-of-71 (63.4 percent) for 506 yards (7.1 per attempt) with eight touchdowns, no picks and a rating of 122.2.

For two and a half games, Fitzpatrick has been what the team has needed him to be: a quarterback capable of moving the chains in key situations and putting the ball in the end zone. He has not put up huge numbers (aside from the very respectable touchdown total) and has had plenty of poor throws, but he's been efficient leading the offense and made plays when he's needed to make them.

It's just that occasional hideous half-game that's the problem, and it's stretches like that - sometimes lasting much, much longer - that have plagued Fitzpatrick in two-plus years under Chan Gailey. All he can do is play one game at a time; we'll see if he can stave off his next bad streak for at least one more week with the New England Patriots coming into town.

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