They know they are pretty bad; so one thing Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey expects of his players is that they fight hard. It looks like things can't go anywhere but up in Buffalo, again, but they are starting to find sort of foundation for their future.
Having a quiet, yet progressive season worthy of recognition is quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills' faithful thought their gunslinger situation at the beginning of the season could not get any worse when Trent Edwards went down and Fitzpatrick had to fill in. But playing the typical underdog role on a typical underdog team, Fitzpatrick surprised a lot of people on a lot of levels.
Sure most of his good numbers come when the Bills are too far behind to do any significant damage; but hey, this field general has managed well when he needs to.
He needs just 116 yards to surpass the 2,500 yard mark. His 20 touchdowns mark a sense of legitimacy in the Bills offense. He has thrown for 250 plus yards in a game four times this year already; name the last Bills quarterback to do that...hmm? Silence; just as I expected. Trent Edwards never once threw for that many yards in a game for the entire 2009 season. It took him all 16 games to do that in 2008, yet Fitzpatrick still has four games to go.
Fitzpatrick was put out there to die when he touched the field in week three; and has responded remarkably well. But he could not have done it without the emergence of wide receiver Stevie Johnson. Although he will probably be remembered forever as the guy who "blamed God for dropping a pass" that would have given the Bills a win over the Steelers of all teams, Johnson will have plenty of opportunities to reconcile his spiritual images by making big plays on the field. He is only one touchdown shy of a double digit touchdown season. He'd be the first Bill to do so since Eric Moulds back in 2002. Johnson is on pace to compile well over 1,000 yards receiving and possibly, his first Pro-Bowl appearance.
One wouldn't be able to tell by watching Fred Jackson that he plays on a 2-10 team. An all-purpose, non drafted back, Jackson has gained around 850 total yards, making his presence felt in multiple offensive forms. He has great hands, and a great feel for the holes in the line that rarely are provided by his offensive line. His seven total touchdowns have helped Buffalo in the red zone and given them a go to guy. First year half tack C.J. Spiller, out of Clemson, has only carried the ball 48 times, and apparently is not ready for an NFL sized work load of carries. Jackson has stepped up and been their work horse.
The Bill's record may be ugly, but they are starting to figure things out. They should have been Pittsburgh two weeks ago, and less seven of their ten losses were decided by ten points or fewer.
So if they could fix a few things on defense, improve their offensive line, and get out of a fiercely competitive AFC East, they could have something for the future; because right now, event though they have a few pieces in place, they aren't going anywhere. No where, but into the top five in terms of draft picks.