Tonawanda News

October 26, 2012

PARRINO: Fitz inspires hopelessness in Bills fans

By Matt Parrino
The Tonawanda News

— It’s safe to say that Sunday’s implosion at One Bills Drive has all Bills fans (even the apologists) clamoring for change.

The defense is horrible, the offensive line no longer resembles the unit that had even the Bills’ harshest critics singing its praises in the first few weeks of the season and worst of all the most enigmatic quarterback that’s played the game in recent years is the only real option at the position.

It almost would be easier to watch a game if the team was just simply bad, but C.J. Spiller, Jairus Byrd, Eric Wood and Stevie Johnson remind us weekly about the potential of this team.

I’m not giving the defense a pass here, but my goal of the day is illustrate the obvious problem the Bills have at quarterback and how there is no point expecting anything until they find a competent general.

At times, it’s hard to stomach some of the decisions Ryan Fitzpatrick makes, and even more difficult are the absolute ducks he serves up to opposing defensive backs. We all remember the three interceptions — one a touchdown pass to a wide open Antonio Cromartie —he threw against the Jets defense in Week 1 to completely deflate an entire fan base that was ready to “Billieve” in this team for the first time in some time.

The balls that land at receivers’ feet, the overthrows and the untimely mistakes (Fitzpatrick is second in the league with nine interceptions) have clearly shown Fitz just isn’t an NFL-caliber quarterback. Not really a revelation if you think about it — he’s the same guy that was brought in to back up Trent Edwards. 

The real issue I have with Fitzpatrick is the little stretches where he’s actually really good. We all saw it last season when the Bills started 5-2 and Fitzpatrick was actually receiving MVP buzz. Reality quickly set in and he hasn’t been the same since.

I’ve been off the Fitzpatrick wagon for a while now — actually since the final whistle of the Jets game, but it’s going to be tough to watch this team win six or seven games and try to swallow another 15 interceptions.

Meanwhile, Peyton Manning is back in a big way. Thirty-six years old and on the wrong end of what was supposed to be career-ending neck survey, and Archie’s first-born is the second-best rated passer in the NFL and leading the AFC West-leading Broncos to a likely run to the playoffs and beyond.

Contact Sports Editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext 4117 and find him on Twitter @MATTPARRINO.




Contact Sports Editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext 4117 and find him on Twitter @MATTPARRINO.