Buffalo QB Fitzpatrick: Naivet helps Bills

Buffalo QB Fitzpatrick: Naivet helps Bills
September 20, 2011, 5:47 pm
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By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti
The Patriots hit the road this week to face an undefeated Bills team. Preparation will be Belichickianly thorough, per usual, but there's one weapon in Buffalo's arsenal that might be tough to plan for.

Inexperience.

As Peter King wrote in his Monday Morning Quarterback column, "Their most important offensive players are everymen, and they can really play."

Like undrafted wideout David Nelson, who caught last weekend's winning touchdown against Oakland; TD leader and waiver pickup from Dallas, Scott Chandler; starting running back and Coe College (huh?) alum Fred Jackson; and seventh round pick Steve Johnson, who is second behind Nelson in receptions this season (12 catches, 162 yards).

At the helm is another seventh rounder, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. You know, that novelty Harvard Guy. The Wonderlic Geek. This is Fitzpatrick's seventh season in the league, but just the first year he's gone into and come out of training camp as the Week 1 starter.

King cites Buffalo's band of NFL no-names as a reason for rooting interest. Fitzpatrick says the team is worth cheering because of something else.

These Bills have an edge.

"I think our guys don't know any better,'' the quarterback told King. "They're just out there playing. And them being naive, I think, really helps. They're gaining so much confidence right now because I think they're understanding, 'Hey, it's just football.' I just try to tell them they're good and I want to them to know they're definitely good enough.

"By the end of the Raiders game, the confidence we had in the huddle was just unbelievable. We knew we were going to score every time we had the ball. It almost felt like invincibility.''

Matching up against the star-powered Patriots will be the toughest test Fitzpatrick's team has taken this season. But, from the sounds of it, being ignorant to that very fact is part of the Bills' bliss.

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti