Trace your finger down the list of quarterbacks to play in every game for the team this year and when it stops on Ryan Fitzpatrick, note the sacks. Regarded as a mobile player, Fitz was sacked less than every one of the aforementioned 14 peers save for Matt Hasselbeck.
You may finger this as more me-led support of Ryan Fitzpatrick and to be sure the Amish One is a pocket-mobile guy working in a “get the ball the heck out” offense. That’s fine, but what quietly emerged from this season is an offensive line capable of actually protecting the quarterback.
Even after Eric Wood was lost for the season with an injury, the big uglies found consistency despite not having the same group of players starting each week (aside from Andy Levitre and Erik Pears). If you’re making a list of coaches that deserve to be booted out of Buffalo, offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris should be quite far from your mind.
It wasn’t just the passing game. Bills running backs (including Brad Smith for this piece’s sake) gained 1690 yards at an average of 5.1 yards-per-rush. Their two leading rushers, Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller, carried for a remarkable 5.5 and 5.2 ypc respectively. That’s good stuff.