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Ryan Fitzpatrick: Brandon Spikes 'a punk sometimes'

By Tim Graham

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Is Brandon Spikes the 21st century Bryan Cox?

Spikes, the hard-hitting New England Patriots linebacker, has gotten under the Buffalo Bills' skin.

"He's a headhunter," Bills center Eric Wood said today after the Patriots beat the Bills, 37-31, in Gillette Stadium.

The NFL fined Spikes $21,000 for his blindside hit on Bills tight end Scott Chandler in Week Four, and Spikes might get zapped again for his helmet-removing hit of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter this afternoon.

Spikes was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness. Fitzpatrick popped off the ground and got into Spikes' face with some profanities.

"I'm not going to back down from anybody," Fitzpatrick said. "Spikes is an emotional player. I think he's a punk at times. He took a cheap shot at Scott in the first game and was doing a lot of jabbering and talking and hitting out there.

"He's not one of my favorite players, not high on my list. ... I think it's important to make sure you don't back down from anybody."

On the Bills' final drive, Spikes knocked running back Fred Jackson out of the game and forced a fumble with 75 seconds left. The Bills recovered the ball.

Spikes had 11 tackles -- four in the fourth quarter -- and a pass defensed.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |