Kelly's Call: Assessing one's play at season's end

Well last week's game against the Patriots is what you call unfortunate. Seven turnovers are going to kill any football team no matter who you're playing and when you're playing a team the caliber of New England it makes it even harder.

It's unfortunate for Ryan Fitzpatrick to have a five-turnover game this late in the season. He still auditioning to be the long term answer at the quarterback position and a game like that doesn't help. It's one of those games he has to put behind him and move on. I'm sure he's hoping that the coaches have seen enough to think about him being their future at the quarterback position.

He was auditioning through the course of the season so we shall see what the offseason holds. I'm sure it's not a lock that he'll be the guy moving forward, but I know he was certainly a pleasant surprise to the organization knowing that he did play better than everybody expected.

The problem for him is he may not have the chance to bounce back and play on Sunday because of the knee injury he suffered in last week's game. While that certainly has to be frustrating for him knowing how much he probably wants to redeem himself after his last outing, it could still benefit the Bills in terms of getting to know a little bit more about Brian Brohm if he's called upon to play this week.

I think it'd be good to get a longer look at Brohm. The organization knows what Fitzpatrick brings to the table and the team's decision makers really haven't seen Brohm play so I think it's a great opportunity for the organization to give Brohm a one-game look and see what he can do.

Granted he's not going to have all of the team's top receivers at his disposal, but for a good portion of the season Fitzpatrick hasn't had some of those receivers either. It can't hurt.

Brohm got the one start last year down in Atlanta, but that scheme was a lot different from Gailey's. Even though it's just one game, in this system you can make a real assessment because he's been immersed in this offense since the spring.

That wasn't the case for him last year when he was signed off the Packers practice squad and had to learn on the run. Even when he made that start in Week 16 they had to scale back the game plan for him because he didn't have enough time in that scheme.

This time around, if he has to play, he should be far more prepared to execute a full game plan. So I think the front office and coaching staff can still learn something about the guy in a one game audition to help determine his future within the organization.

It's nice to see that Fred Jackson has a shot of posting back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, despite getting what will be just his 12th start this season on Sunday. He did it in 11 starts last year.

I've always been a big Fred Jackson supporter. He's always been a north-south runner. He doesn't dance much, he knows how to get the tough yards. He has good enough speed to break it. He's a great all around running back and that's why I've always liked him.

His production in limited work just goes to show how much he's the real deal.

When playoffs are no longer in the picture you've got to look to other goals to shoot for. The Bills have a chance to have a winning record in the second half of the season. If they can beat the Jets they'll go 5-3 in the second half.

I think that means something to players. As a head coach you've got to pound those goals into your players so they know they did finish better than they started.

More importantly for the players as individuals they have to evaluate themselves and determine whether or not they improved as the year went on or did they take a step back and saw their production tail off.

The Bills coaching staff will handle all of that throughout postseason player evaluation, but it's beneficial for players to do the same so they have specific parts of their game to work on come the offseason. I think the coaches are going to be pretty pleased in their evaluations to see how many players did step up for the team this year.

There are a lot of players that stepped into starting roles and key supporting roles that were further down the depth chart at the start of the season. Some of them have performed to the point where they can arguably fight for some of those starting jobs next year.

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