Inside The Bills

Can Fitz improve his numbers vs. Ryan?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2016 – 4:44 pm

Much has been made about Ryan Fitzpatrick’s lack of success against Rex Ryan’s defense, and that trend continued in the two meetings between the Bills and Jets in 2015.

Fitz and the Jets took two losses at the hands of the Bills last year, and Fitzpatrick’s numbers were not all that productive. Here’s a look at the combined numbers he put up in the two games against Buffalo last season.

Fitz was 31-71 passing (43.7%) for 374 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions. He averaged 5.3 yards per attempt, was sacked twice and had a passer rating of 49.9.

Ironically, he performed marginally better in his last two games for the Bills against Ryan’s Jets defense in 2012, Fitz was 30-58 passing (51.7%) for 420 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. He averaged 7.2 yards per attempt, wasn’t sacked and had a passer rating of 76.8.

So will those struggles for Fitz continue? Rex Ryan wouldn’t mind it.

“Gee I hope that trend continues,” Ryan said.

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Fitz the fastest gunslinger in the NFL?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2016 – 12:24 pm

After one week of NFL action Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick ranks first in one area that has been the calling card for his career. Fitz doesn’t take many sacks because he gets rid of the ball so quickly. How quick? After last week’s game he had the quickest release in the NFL.

According to Pro Football Focus, Fitzpatrick led the league in fastest release time. The Jets QB got the ball out at an average of 2.11 seconds in Week 1.

That’s why hands in the passing lanes and disguising coverages will be critical for Buffalo’s defense Thursday night. When a quarterback gets the ball out that fast a defense is more likely to have more interceptions than sacks, and that’s what the Bills should bank on.

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Leodis went to school on past mistake

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2016 – 10:45 pm

Two weeks ago Leodis McKelvin got beat for a touchdown when Washington TE Jordan Reed from a slot position worked against him and widened his coverage before cutting inside and underneath him for an easy touchdown in a loss for the Bills. Two weeks later the New York Jets tried the same exact play hoping to be just as fortunate as Washington was. They weren’t.

Down 19-17 with just over 10 minutes to play, Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s pass intended for Eric Decker on a 2nd-and-10 from the 14-yard line was picked off by McKelvin for a crucial turnover.

“Yeah he made a really good play,” said Decker of McKelvin. “That was something we put in and we saw a previous team run and scored a touchdown and whether he picked it up from formation or just got a good jump. He got inside on a post route and made a big play.”

McKelvin admitted it was the same exact route Jordan Reed ran against him two weeks ago.

“Last time I widened out. This time I stayed straight, seeing it coming and jumped it and got the great reward for it,” said McKelvin. “When Decker tried to widen me out, if I widened out he could’ve gotten back up underneath me. It was pretty much the same thing that we did and noticed two weeks ago and I remembered. So you’ve got to remember what beat you two weeks ago or beat you in any other game and that is what you go with. They did it again and they paid for it.”

“I think Leodis made a nice play,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick. “He sort of read the route a little bit and Leodis did a nice job on that one. Obviously, a huge point of the game and I wish I had that one back.”

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Fitz struggling with costly loss for Jets

Posted by Chris Brown on January 3, 2016 – 10:25 pm

He was one of the main reasons that the Jets were in a position to go to the playoffs for the first time in 2010, but in the fourth quarter on Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three consecutive interceptions to help sink New York’s playoff hopes. And the Jets QB was taking it particularly hard in the minutes after the loss.

“There’s not a whole lot of talking in there right now,” said Fitzpatrick of the Jets locker room during his postgame press conference. “But it’s hard to come up with words just because we really came together as a team this year and I feel like we fought through a lot of adversity. We were on a nice little run there and we just couldn’t finish it off. I stand in front of them and I’m proud to be their teammate, I’m proud to be in that locker room, but also just feel bad for not being able to pull it out.”

For Fitzpatrick it was the best statistical season of his career, but after the loss to the Bills that eliminated their chance to advance to the playoffs, it was hard for the QB to appreciate the success he had.

It’s the hardest and most difficult end to a season I’ve ever had in terms of how I feel right now and how painful of a loss that was,” Fitzpatrick said. “At this point it doesn’t feel like a very great season.”

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Both of Jets RBs fail to practice

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2015 – 5:21 pm

New York’s top two running backs both sat out practice Wednesday. Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell were both spectators for the Jets.

Ivory has been dealing with a knee injury while Powell was listed with an ankle injury. Meanwhile QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was limited with his left thumb injury that required surgery a month and a half ago along with a right elbow and lower back ailment.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday

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McKelvin: Fitz succeeding with more options

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2015 – 4:25 pm

Leodis McKelvin knows he and his fellow defensive backs have their hands full this week with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, who have combined for 24 touchdowns this season and more than 2,300 receiving yards on 176 receptions come Sunday. McKelvin also believes the talents of those two receivers are the main reason why Ryan Fitzpatrick has enjoyed more success with the Jets than he did in his time with the Bills.

“He’s got more options. He’s got more players to throw the ball too instead of (just) Stevie Johnson,” said McKelvin. “When he was here he had Stevie Johnson and Scott Chandler, but other than that besides those two guys who else was he throwing the ball to?

“Now he’s got guys making plays for him. And not only are 87 and 15 making plays, you’ve got the tight end (Cumberland) who wasn’t there the first game making plays and you’ve got (Kenbrell) Thompkins who was with the Patriots making plays for him whenever he throws the ball to him. Fitz is Fitz. He’s getting the ball out of his hand and just throwing it to his receivers and they’re making plays for him.”

Quincy Enunwa has also emerged as more of a threat for the Jets. The former sixth-round pick is another big target at 6-2 and 225 pounds.

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Jets Marshall: playoffs will be dream come true

Posted by Chris Brown on December 30, 2015 – 10:16 am

Jets WR Brandon Marshall has had a monster season with over 100 receptions and 13 touchdowns, but in his 10 NFL seasons he has never made it to the playoffs. Marshall, who appeared on Inside the NFL this week, said if they can get a win over Buffalo to qualify for the postseason it would be the realization of a dream he’s held his entire career.

“I can’t imagine. I can’t imagine. I had goosebumps before this last game [Patriots vs. Jets],” Marshall said. “And I’m sure I’ll have goose bumps again for this game against Buffalo. It’s a big division rivalry game. Obviously, we understand the implications attached to it. If we win, we are in [the playoffs]. I just have to stay focused. But if we get in, I can’t imagine what you are talking about [to Phil]. It’ll be a dream come true.”

Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has never been to the playoffs either.

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Rex has had Chan and Fitz’s number

Posted by Chris Brown on November 11, 2015 – 4:01 pm

They squared off against one another as head coaches six times with Ryan Fitzpatrick in the lineup as Bills quarterback. Rex Ryan for the most part had Chan Gailey’s number posting a 5-1 record as the current Jets offensive coordinator. Will Ryan’s dominance over Gailey and Fitzpatrick continue?

Fitzpatrick believes he’s got different game breaking talent in New York with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, two huge receiving targets who have combined for 11 touchdowns in eight games. Fitzpatrick with Gailey calling the plays against Ryan averaged just 182.5 passing yards a game and a total of 16 turnovers in that span.

“He’s always a tough defense to go against and he does a great job,” said Fitzpatrick of Ryan. “They’re very creative in their schemes and what they do. I don’t know. I’m just going to rely on my experience, not just in the games I’ve played against him before, but everything that I’ve learned the last few years and how I’ve grown as a player. We’ve got a much different team here. The scheme is similar in that it’s Chan’s offense, but we’ve got a different set of personnel and we like to the run the ball, different talents so it is a much different offense in that regard. I think I’m a much better player than I was four years ago.”

In those six games against Ryan’s defense, Fitzpatrick started five of those games and completed just under 52 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions. He completed just 53.5 percent of his passes and was sacked six times. His passer rating was 81.7.

In the seven games in which Fitz has appeared against Rex Ryan defenses in his career the Jets QB has a completion percentage of just under 50 percent (49.8%) with 12 touchdowns and seven INTs. He’s got a passer rating of 75 and his team has a 3-5 record in that span. Only once in those eight games did he pass for more than 250 yards.

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Where motivation lies for Fitz facing Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on November 10, 2015 – 3:59 pm

Former Bills and current Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick admits that facing the Buffalo team he used to quarterback will bring some added motivation, much like it did last year when he faced them as quarterback of the Houston Texans. For Fitz the motivation lies in being moved off the roster a year and a half after signing a long term contract.

“Last year was an emotional win for me,” said Fitzpatrick of the Texans win over the Bills. “I think anytime you play against a team that told you you’re not good enough that carries some extra weight, so this one will definitely carry extra weight for me. But that being said, the more you’re removed from that, the more the faces have changed… I don’t know as many guys on the team anymore. There are a lot of things that have changed in a year.”

Fitzpatrick said when he signed the big money contract with the Bills as the starter here he thought at the time that he would finish his career in Buffalo.

“My plan wasn’t to have everything come crumbling down and have to move the next year,” said Fitzpatrick. “I signed that contract with that expectation, but things didn’t work out for a lot of reasons. Some of that I didn’t play up to expectations and I understand that and why they moved on. I just think the last few years that I’ve become a better quarterback. It’s made me a lot stronger and I’ve continued to grow through all my different teams and experiences.”

Fitz believes his accuracy has improved and that he’s a bit more restrained when it comes to taking risks. His touchdown to interception ratio has been an indication of that as he has 13 touchdowns against just seven interceptions.

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It sounds like Fitz time in NY with Jets

Posted by Chris Brown on August 11, 2015 – 1:35 pm

Jets QB Geno Smith was apparently the victim of a sucker punch in his own locker room and the injuries he sustained could keep him out of the lineup for 10 weeks.

That according to ESPN New York Jets reporter Rich Cimini.

If the timetable for Smith being sidelined is accurate, former Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is the likely starter for New York in Week 1. The Jets host the Browns in Week 1.

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Bills want Fitz to hit magic number of 25

Posted by Chris Brown on September 28, 2014 – 10:30 am

Bills fans have seen enough of Ryan Fitzpatrick to know that if too much of the burden to win is put on his shoulders it generally doesn’t lead to positive results. That same trend has continued with his new team in Houston.

Last week with the Texans down 14-0 at the half had to throw more to climb back into the game, and though Fitzpatrick had a pretty solid second half, he crossed a dreaded pass attempt threshold that has not been kind to him.

In his 10-year NFL career when Fitzpatrick throws more than 25 pass attempts he is 18-45-1 as a starter. When he throws 25 or less he’s 12-6.

When he attempts 30 or more passes his winning percentage drops even further (9-37 record – win pct. 19.5%).

According to in conjunction with Advanced Football Analytics, the Texans are averaging one interception for every 25 drop backs.

So it would behoove the Bills to really stuff Houston’s run game and put more of the game on Fitz’s shoulders knowing if he reaches the 25-pass attempt threshold the odds are in Buffalo’s favor to not only get an interception along the way, but a victory as well.

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Should Bills blitz Fitz?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 27, 2014 – 5:40 pm

Ryan Fitzpatrick is a quarterback who has always gotten the ball out quick, which is why he is a very difficult quarterback to sack even when under heavy pressure or facing a blitz. Buffalo has already faced two such quarterbacks in Jay Cutler and Philip Rivers, who deliver the ball quickly negating any aggressive attempt to take the QB down. So the question is do the Bills blitz Fitzpatrick?

Fitzpatrick has only been sacked twice in three games so far this season, which is a typical low number for the former Bills QB. However, blitzing Fitzpatrick has been effective in negatively affecting his passing game.

Fitzpatrick and the Texans rank 25th in the league in blitz passing situations. When facing the blitz Fitzpatrick’s passer rating drops from 91.8 to 68.9.

So while sacks may not be the end result when it comes to blitzing Fitzpatrick, there is evidence that blitzing to force hurried throws can be an effective approach against Fitz too. The key as Kyle Williams sees it is putting the Texans in longer down and distance on third down.

“He knows for the most part what the defense is trying to do and he can get rid of the ball,” said Williams of Fitzpatrick. “We’ve already seen that in two of our games this year with Chicago and San Diego. Veteran quarterbacks that know where they’re going with the ball and they get rid of it quickly. We have to win on first and second down and keep them behind the chains and make him hold the ball a little longer.”

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Bills could face 3 rookie QBs in 2014

Posted by Chris Brown on May 13, 2014 – 2:11 pm

The Bills 2014 regular season schedule could have Buffalo on a collision course with three of the top four quarterbacks taken in the 2014 NFL draft.

Buffalo will not face top quarterback Blake Bortles who went to Jacksonville, but they will face the Minnesota Vikings in Week 7, who took Teddy Bridgewater at the end of round one. Whether he beats out veteran Matt Cassel remains to be seen.

Buffalo also faces Cleveland in Week 13 where Johnny Manziel is expected to be the Week 1 starter. Then in Week 16 at Oakland they could square off against Derek Carr, who was taken by the Raiders in round two, especially if the season goes the wrong way for Oakland by that time.

It’s possible, but unlikely that they’ll face Houston fourth-round pick Tom Savage at quarterback in Week 4. It’s more likely they face their former quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

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Fitz wants a fit for him and his family

Posted by johnmurphyshow on March 13, 2013 – 8:15 pm

Just over a day after his release from the Buffalo Bills, Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has already started to think about his next move in the NFL.  And while he’d like to find a chance to compete for a starting spot in the league, Fitzpatrick says that’s not his only concern.

Fitzpatrick was a guest Wednesday night on The John Murphy Show.

“It’s a lot about the fit for me as a player,” he said on the radio show.   ” But it’s also about the fit for me and family, my wife and kids.  That’s why it was so hard to not be in Buffalo anymore.  We felt comfortable there, and really enjoyed living there.”

Fitzpatrick characterized the last 24 hours as “interesting,” saying he and his agent have already talked with a few different teams.  And he said as far as playing, his number one priority would be finding a team that would let hin compete for a starting spot, even though he’s willing to back up.

“I’m a competitor,” he said.  “I want to be out there on the field, I want to be  playing.  But I’m also a realist, and I’m a guy that understands the National Football League and my role as a quarterback.  If people want to throw me into that role, that’s something I’m willing to do.”

The entire interview with Ryan Fitzpatrick is available at

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Fitz looking for a fresh start

Posted by johnmurphyshow on March 13, 2013 – 7:50 pm

Ryan Fitzpatrick has had a day or so to ponder his future, after his release from the Buffalo Bills late Tuesday.  And the quarterback told The John Murphy Show Wednesday night, he’d like to land in a spot where he can compete for a starting spot.

“I’m kind of at an interesting point,” Fitzpatrick said.  “I think for me, Buffalo was probably the best opportunity for me to start.  Unfortunately, they didn’t want to make that happen.  So I’m kind of at a crossroads right now.  I don’t know if there’s going to be a starting job out there that I can compete for or contend for.  If there is, I’m certainly willing to do it.”

Fitzpatrick says he’s already heard from some NFL teams, and he’s believes he’s got something to offer his next employer in the league.

“I’m a guy who has been through a lot in my career–a seventh round draft choice , a guy that has been on three different teams, who has really learned from some great players and some great men.  So, if I need to shift into the role of a backup and a guy that’s going to mentor somebody, that’s maybe the point in my career where I’ve got to slip down into that role and swallow my pride a little bit.”

The entire interview with Fitzpatrick is available at

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Bills can split cap hit from Fitz release

Posted by Chris Brown on March 12, 2013 – 4:27 pm

The Bills released Ryan Fitzpatrick after 4 pm today to coincide with the start of the new league year. What that does is allow the Bills to make the quarterback a post June 1st designation.

By doing that the Bills have spread Fitzpatrick’s cap hit over 2013 and 2014 instead of absorbing all of it this year.

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Stevie breaks down where QB add comes from

Posted by Chris Brown on March 6, 2013 – 11:00 am

Stevie Johnson was asked a lot of questions in his appearance on NFL Network’s NFL AM program today including where the addition will come at quarterback for the Bills, free agency or the draft. This was Johnson’s response.

“I guess depending on how free agency goes if we need to get somebody that the guys upstairs like then I guess we wouldn’t have to draft a quarterback and go receiver or whatever,” said Johnson. “But if we do (draft one) I think it’ll be good and cool for our team. I know Fitz or any quarterback in the league wouldn’t want somebody coming in to compete, but it’s a business and hopefully it’s the right move whoever we pick number one.”

Here’s Johnson’s full appearance from Wednesday.

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Fitz took open competition news well

Posted by Chris Brown on February 22, 2013 – 6:30 pm


Bills head coach Doug Marrone announced that the starting QB job was open to competition last week when the team announced they had re-signed Tarvaris Jackson. At the NFL Combine he explained how each of the top two competitors in that forthcoming battle took the news.

“I’ve talked to Tarvaris on the phone, I’ve spoken to Ryan on the phone,” said Marrone. “Really my conversations between the players are private. I think that Ryan… and I really hate speaking for the players, but I think that (Ryan’s) good. I think we’re all competitors. When I was interviewing for the job there were other people interviewing for the job and I’m okay with that. I’m competing. When I was a player myself we were always with competition whether it was from someone else or competition within. I know in my experience I’ve never really seen a player that wasn’t open to competition.”

Marrone said with both players having NFL experience and NFL starts under their belt an open competition was “natural.”

“I think that players whether  they’re competitive with themselves to be the best they can be or competitive going against people at their position to prove that they should be on our roster is in all of us,” he said. “So for us to come in we’re all being competitive in what we’re doing.”

Buffalo’s head coach also said he’s conducted an evaluation of Fitzpatrick and Jackson on tape, but he’s not going to share his conclusions with the media or the public without talking to the quarterbacks themselves first. That won’t happen until April 2nd when players can report for the offseason conditioning program.

“I’m a big believer is watching the tape is part of the process,” said Marrone. “If I was going to talk to evaluation of a player I would want to do it face to face with the player first. I can’t do that until the players report. So I have to wait until I start working with the players on the field and even when we do that we’re in t-shirts and shorts and the game is a contact sport.”

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Stevie on 2013: “Playoffs, that’s it”

Posted by Chris Brown on February 4, 2013 – 2:48 pm

Stevie Johnson made his share of interview stops during Super Bowl week in New Orleans. In an interview with NBC Sports Network, Johnson was asked for his thoughts on the Bills for the 2013 campaign and what he wants.

“Playoffs that’s it,” said Johnson. “For players to be accountable when things go wrong. That way we bounce back faster. I want everybody to compete with each other. I don’t want anybody to be comfortable. How could you be comfortable when it’s been 12 or 13 seasons without playoffs. I want everybody to be accountable for their actions good and bad and we get to the playoffs.”

As noteworthy as his playoff comment might be it’s perhaps even more telling that the next thing out of his mouth was that players are accountable when things go wrong. He also gave indication that players in the locker room got comfortable with the team’s situation of not being a playoff team. It’s encouraging that he’s out to change that.

Johnson also said that Ryan Fitzpatrick is still his guy, but some competition at the position would do nothing but help Fitz.

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Gailey will stick with Fitz for Jets game

Posted by johnmurphyshow on December 24, 2012 – 3:00 pm

Just one game left in the season for the Bills, and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will get the start for the finale.

Head Coach Chan Gailey said Monday he won’t use the Jets game this Sunday to take a look at either of the other two QBs on the roster, Tyler Thigpen or Tarvaris Jackson.

Speaking of Fitzpatrick, Gailey said simply, “He gives us the best chance to win.”

And the Head Coach pointed out that Fitzpatrick had a good day throwing the ball in a losing effort at Miami.

“I  still have a great deal of confidence in Fitz,” Gailey said.  “Really, he threw the ball extremely well yesterday. If we had just hung onto it and catch them, the game’s totally different to me.  I thought he did some great things yesterday and he  competed his rear end off.  I have a lot of confidence in Fitz. ”

Gailey was asked specifically why he would not want to give backup Tarvaris Jackson a shot to play this week.  Jackson’s been on the inactive list since he was acquired in a trade with Seattle four months ago.

“I try to win every game,” he answered.  “I don’t care what the situation is, I’m trying to win every game.  Who gives us the best chance to win?  That’s what I’m about.”

In fact, the Head Coach said he would not use Sunday’s season finale as a chance to give playing time to little-used backups.

“The best players are going to play,” Gailey said.  “They’ve earned the right to play.  They want to play in the games, that’s what they want to do—they want to play in the games.  They’ve earned the right to play, and if they’re ready to go, the best players are going to play.”

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