Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Return 'Home' Strictly Business Trip for Fitzpatrick

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Return 'Home' Strictly Business Trip for Fitzpatrick

Article excerpt

Ryan Fitzpatrick acknowledges that, to some degree, he will be coming home Sunday.

But what is most important for the Jets quarterback is making sure he and his teammates aren't staying home during the upcoming playoffs.

Fitzpatrick will be playing in Buffalo for the first time since his four-year NFL tour of duty there ended after the 2012 season. But that aspect, while present, certainly is dwarfed by the fact he will be guiding the Jets' offense in a win-and-you're-in game.

And Fitzpatrick knows it.

"It'll be the first time that I've been back there in a different jersey, playing in front of those fans," Fitzpatrick said Monday on a conference call. "I mean, it's got some extra meaning to me, just because I was there for four years and the fans were so great to me and my family. There's a little bit of extra meaning there but I don't think there needs to be with just the significance and importance of this game in terms of what's at stake for us."

The Jets need only to beat the Bills to obtain an AFC wild-card spot. If they lose, they still could qualify if Pittsburgh is upset by Cleveland or if the Broncos lose out, including Monday night's game against the Bengals.

Fitzpatrick played for the Bills from 2009-12. During his tenure, he threw for 11,654 yards and 80 touchdowns with 64 interceptions. He was released March 12, 2013. He has faced Buffalo twice since then, but both times at home, winning with Houston last season and losing with the Jets on Nov. 12.

"I look back on those four years as a great learning experience for me," Fitzpatrick said of his time in Buffalo. "There's a lot of things I think I've learned since then, but I loved living there, loved the city, the fans, the organization, and the players. I mean everything there was top-notch, so I look back on those four years very fondly. …

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