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Ryan Fitzpatrick went 0-5 in fourth-quarter comeback chances

By Tim Graham

FitzpatrickMugOne of the more aggravating phrases Buffalo Bills fans heard from Chan Gailey and Buddy Nix in regard to faith in Ryan Fitzpatrick was "We've seen him do it before."

Yeah, we've seen Fitzpatrick do a lot of things.

What we saw him do this year more than all but one full-time starting quarterback was fail to bring his team back to victory in the fourth quarter.

Football analyst Scott Kacsmar is known for his research on fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives. In his season review for, he writes Fitzpatrick had five opportunities to win a game in the fourth quarter and lost them all.

A winning drive is defined as one that begins in the fourth quarter with the quarterback's team trailing by eight points or less -- a one-score game.

The San Diego Chargers, at 0-6, were the only other team that failed to record a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter this year.

The Bills did win in overtime, beating the Arizona Cardinals in Week Six, giving them a 1-5 mark in overall comebacks. The Chargers lost one overtime game, making them 0-7.

Last year, the Bills went 2-5 in games when they had a chance to win or tie the game in the fourth quarter. They lost another game, against the Cincinnati Bengals, that was tied in the fourth quarter and they had a chance to win.

That makes Fitzpatrick 2-11 with a chance to win a game in the fourth quarter or overtime the past two seasons.

General Manager Buddy Nix stated the Bills will draft a quarterback in April but was noncommittal on Fitzpatrick at Tuesday's news conference.

"The new coach'll make a lot of that determination by looking at tape and that kind of thing," Nix said. "We'll let him be in on the decision.

"If he'll be here, it'll be up to the next coach, and we'll decide and evaluate. I'm not going to predict that."

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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 |