Step in the right direction
It doesn't matter how they got there. The Bills are 2-1. When the schedule came out, many fans were hoping this is where they'd be at this point. The Bills face one of the most difficult portions of the schedule over the next three weeks. The Patriots come to town Sunday, followed by a two week west coast road trip.
"We won on the road. We got that monkey off our back," said Ryan Fitzpatrick after his team snapped an eight game road losing streak. "I think that's something that was talked about outside the locker room more than inside. It's a new year and a new team.
"For us to really have a good win and feed off each other, these are the most satisfying I think. It's another step."
It's a building block that can help with such a tough stretch coming up.
"It's our second win of the year, but another step in the right direction," Fitzpatrick added. "We've got to stack up these wins and keep playing."
Fitzpatrick finished the game 22 of 35 for 208 yards and three touchdowns. He had an uncontested fumble in the second quarter and very nearly threw a pick six later in that frame, but luckily for the Bills, Dimitri Patterson couldn't hold on. Fitzpatrick started the game by completing six of seven, then completed only four of his next 11, but rebounded to finish with a 107.8 passer rating.
"He handled it like a starting quarterback, like a franchise quarterback should," said Stevie Johnson. "It's on us to try to help him. We don't want to put all the pressure on Fitz right now. He controlled the game, and we came up with the win. But we've got to help him out also and continue progressing from here on."
Defensively, the Bills had another solid afternoon with the pass rush. The team dropped Browns rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden for a loss four times. Mario Williams had a lot to do with that, posting 1.5 sacks.
One stat that is important not to overlook: the Browns sacked Fitzpatrick once. That marks the first time this season that the Bills offensive line has conceded a sack.
The news on C.J. Spiller is a shoulder injury. It's not expected to be long term. After the game, Chan Gailey told YNN's Andy Young that Spiller is expected to miss at least this coming week's game against New England.