Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is looking to avoid starting a trend in his team's regular season finale against the New England Patriots. That trend is similar to one the Bills have experienced as a team: performing well in the first annual game against New England, and performing poorly in the second.
In his first start in 2010, Fitzpatrick threw two critical interceptions, but also completed 20-of-28 passes for 247 yards and two scores in a 38-30 loss. In a Week 15 matchup with the Pats, however, he went 18-of-37 for 251 yards with three interceptions in a 34-3 loss in Buffalo.
This season, Fitzpatrick went 27-of-40 for 369 yards with two scores and two picks as the Bills shocked the Pats 34-31 in Week 3. That was a good performance - one that helped him lock up AFC Offensive Player of the Month in September, in fact.
That aforementioned Week 3 win ended a 15-game losing streak to the Pats. In a span that includes this year's win, as well as their previous win (31-0 in Week 1 of the 2003 season), the Bills have played 17 games against the Patriots. New England's average margin of victory in the first matchup of the year in that span is just four points. That margin skyrockets to 25 points in the second meeting of each season, however. Ergo, Fitzpatrick is looking to avoid a trend, while the Bills as a team are looking to buck one.