Fitzpatrick's stature growing in Buffalo

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was asked Wednesday if he's ever executed a performance as impressive as Sunday's.

"Back in Pop Warner I had a couple of pretty big days," Fitzpatrick deadpanned.

Fitzpatrick, a career backup who has surfaced as a starter here or there in his six NFL seasons, posted a career afternoon in an overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens. His numbers actually got a tad better Wednesday.

An NFL statistical correction gave Fitzpatrick 8 more passing yards, nudging him that much closer to Peyton Manning for the league's best passer rating.

The play in question originally had been ruled a 17-yard loss on a completion to Roscoe Parrish. It was changed to a 9-yard loss because a review showed the ball had been batted.

Fitzpatrick's official stats for Sunday are now 29 of 43 for 382 yards and four touchdowns with three interceptions.

The 8-yard adjustment raised Fitzpatrick's season passer rating two-tenths of a point to 102.2, putting him 1.2 points behind Manning.

Monday afternoon on Buffalo sports-radio station WGR, I actually heard giddy callers compare Fitzpatrick to Drew Brees and Brett Favre. Some fans no longer want the Bills to draft a quarterback in the first round next spring.

In response to the euphoria, WGR reporter Joe Buscaglia put together "Find the Fitz," an inspired feature to keep Fitzpatrick in perspective.

Buscaglia compared Fitzpatrick after 33 career games to Favre, John Elway, Steve Young, Trent Edwards and J.P. Losman after a similar number of games. With the names removed, you must guess which quarterback belongs to which stat line.

Fitzpatrick wasn't about to make any declarations the Bills should expect to be prolific from here on out.

"I think certainly after last week's performance, we have a little bit of momentum just in terms of the enthusiasm and the confidence that we have right now," Fitzpatrick said. "That being said, this is the NFL, and that could change in an instant, week-to-week, but we want to continue to get better every week.

"I think right now we've got a good opportunity to do that, feeling good with the guys that I'm playing with, and I think the chemistry will only get better and better."