Back when he was a perennial all star on his way to the Hall of Fame, Mike Schmidt of the Phillies had a great line about playing in his city. He would say "Only in Philadelphia can you have the thrill of victory and the agony of reading about it in the newspaper" Back in that time, the public critique of athletes was reserved for the ink stained guys in the press box. In the day and age of 24 hour sports radio and the Twitter dominated internet everyone has an opinion. It's a great thing for the fans but on Sunday night as I listened to post-game talk shows and read the twitter feeds I got a bit of a laugh.
Folks I have to break this to you. What you see is what you get with Ryan Fitzpatrick. He is a great guy and a solid football player. Just because the Bills gave him starter money and the top spot on the depth chart does not make him Tom Brady. I listened to fans and hosts critique Fitz 3 touchdown, no interception win over the Browns and I thought...yeah....so what is your point? Sure he was off on some open throws. Yes, Fitzpatrick got a few balls batted down at the line of scrimmage. Sure his receivers did most of the work on the TD grabs. Again, I ask, "what is the problem with that?" I agree with everything you are saying except Fitz pretty much has met my expectations the last couple weeks.
I get asked about Ryan Fitzpatrick more than any Bills quarterback since Doug Flutie. My answer is always the same. I believe he is good enough to win games in the league and with the right amount of help (and a relatively easy schedule) he can get the Bills into the playoffs. On Sunday in Cleveland he was good, but not special. He made some very good decisions, but at other times had you shielding your eyes for fear of something ugly showing up on the screen. But when I listen to fans and some media members say they want and expect much more from their quarterback, I want to tell them "it aint' happening" For right now this is the guy running the show and he gives you a chance to win. I am not telling you to be satisfied with that, but I am telling you to be realistic.
I will stick by my opinion that I think Ryan Fitzpatrick can get this franchise back to the playoffs. After that? I wouldn't expect much. But then again if anyone would have said to you a year ago that Alex Smith can win the Super Bowl for the 49ers you would have laughed. Until Sunday's clunker in Minnesota, the Niners were most people's pick as the league's best team. Now granted, San Francisco has a superior defense and a heck of a coach. But the best hope for Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills is not that he gets that much better, it's that the team around him improves to a championship level. They are getting there and they can actually win with their defense and running game. But to ask or expect star play out of Ryan Fitzpatrick is just setting yourself up for disappointment. Take a breath, enjoy the 2-1 start and hope that the worst you can say about your starting quarterback is that he isn't Tom Brady.