Sunday, December 5, 2010
Ryan Fitzpatrick hopes to disrobe Vikings
By Tim Graham
Buffalo News columnist Jerry Sullivan has a very public bet riding on Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
A few weeks ago, while talking about Fitzpatrick's improbable season and a desperate fan base's kookiness over it, Sullivan blurted on Buffalo sports-radio station WGR he would run down Hertel Avenue in north Buffalo in his underwear if the career backup finished with 30 touchdowns.
Let's just say my boy Sully is squirming a little.
Fitzpatrick has 19 touchdown passes with five games to play. When you factor in the fact Fitzpatrick didn't become Buffalo's starter until Week 3, he's on pace to throw 30 touchdowns (29.6 actually, but too close for comfort).
That would rank second in Bills history to the 33 touchdowns Jim Kelly threw in 1991.
Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan (I'm sure with a smile on his face) writes Fitzpatrick should air it out Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, who rank fifth in run defense and 13th in pass defense. They've given up just six touchdowns on the ground, but 18 in the air.
Gaughan notes the Bills have thrown 61 percent of the time since Fitzpatrick took over for Trent Edwards and rank 12th in points and 13th in yards in that time span.
So look for Fitzpatrick to try to match arms with Brett Favre.
"They probably both got a little gunslinger in them," Bills coach Chan Gailey said Wednesday. "We know what Favre does and I think Fitz does. They both have some of that dash to them. They'll go out and try to put the ball in some spots that other people might not try to put it in. Brett’s been successful with that for a long time, and Fitz has done it for a short period of time and hopefully he'll do it for a long period of time."
Sully is hoping Fitzpatrick slows down just a tad but is having fun with his bet, which Fitzpatrick knows all about. He recently asked Fitzpatrick to join him. Fitzpatrick said he wouldn't, but that he would be there to watch. In a winter coat, I'm sure.
I'll poke my head out of a coffee shop or other such watering hole to snap a few photos.