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Fitzpatrick named AFC Offensive Player of the Month

Posted Sep 29, 2011

It’s been an impressive start for the Bills out of the gate here in 2011 with Buffalo leading the league in scoring and their signal caller making all the right moves in a pair of unlikely comeback efforts against the Raiders and the Patriots. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s production through the first three weeks of the season has earned the Bills quarterback AFC Offensive Player of the Month honors for September.

“I think it is a tremendous honor," said Fitzpatrick. "Whenever you receive an award it’s not just because of one guy, it reflects on the whole team"

In leading the Bills to a 3-0 start Fitzpatrick and his teammates have the distinction of being the only undefeated team in the AFC. 

Fitzpatrick led comeback efforts in Week 2 vs. Oakland (18 pt. deficit) and Week 3 vs. New England (21 pt. deficit) making Buffalo the first team in NFL history to win consecutive games in which it trailed by at least 18 points in each contest.

“The way he manages the game and the accuracy he's throwing with right now… he's done an amazing job,” said Bills head coach Chan Gailey. “The highest compliment you can pay a quarterback is that he wins. It doesn't matter whether we're up or down or what, he keeps playing well. He's a winner, obviously.”

In Week 3’s victory over New England, Fitzpatrick completed 3-3 passes for 79 yards to move the Bills into position for a 28-yard game-winning FG by Rian Lindell.  

In Buffalo’s Week 2 victory over Oakland, Fitzpatrick connected with David Nelson on the game-winning six-yard touchdown pass with 14 seconds left.  Fitzpatrick threw three second half touchdown passes to overcome a 21-3 deficit at halftime. Fitzpatrick engineered touchdown drives on each of the team’s five possessions in the second half. 

In the season opener at Kansas City, Fitzpatrick tied a career-high with four touchdown passes. And produced the NFL’s highest passer rating of Week 1 (133.0), which was also a career high in a 41-7 victory.

He currently ranks second in the AFC in touchdown passes (9) and passer rating (103.5), and is third in the conference in fourth quarter passer rating (131.1).

Fitzpatrick has been especially sharp in the red zone where he helped put Buffalo’s offense in a tie for the conference lead with 11 red zone touchdowns. Buffalo’s 78.6 red zone touchdown percentage ranks second in the AFC. 

“The way he’s playing he’s taking advantage of his opportunities,” said Fred Jackson. “This is the first time he was able to come in and be named the starter. He’s relishing that role. He’s taking full advantage of making plays for his team, going in the right spots and I love playing with him.”

Fitzpatrick becomes the first Bills player to receive AFC Offensive Player of the Month honors since Drew Bledsoe in September 2002. He is the third Bills quarterback to receive the honor joining Bledsoe and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, who won it three times.