The blame can be evenly passed around, from an offensive line that has failed to overcome some key injuries to Fitzpatrick’s suddenly erratic throws. The slip-up has caught top receiver Stevie Johnson off guard.
“Yeah, it has because when you could move the ball so easy and when you feel like everything’s sharp, and the past few weeks it’s like, `How can we get a first down?’” said Johnson, who has been held to seven receptions over the past three games after compiling 39 catches in the first seven contests. “I can’t say it hasn’t shocked me, because it has.”
Fitzpatrick also acknowledged the slide has come as a surprise.
“It’s something that we’re looking to stop,” he said. “We’re trying to figure out some answers, and looking to see some results this week. We’re going to have to have some guys break some tackles, and we have to have some of those superhuman plays in order to get some big plays.”
But the task will be daunting without Jackson, who ranks third in the league in rushing with 934 yards.
NOTES: Johnson (shoulder), Nelson (illness), receiver Naaman Roosevelt (shoulder) and starting safety George Wilson (neck) didn’t practice Wednesday. … Fitzpatrick has had little success in his career against the Jets. He’s completed just 47.5 percent of his passes, and thrown four touchdowns and four interceptions in going 1-4 against them since 2008. … After Andy Levitre struggled replacing the injured Eric Wood at center against the Dolphins, Kraig Urbik will be moved to center this week. Levitre will be back at his normal left guard position. … The Bills and Jets have split the season series seven times since 2000. New York’s win in the first meeting this year launched Buffalo’s current three-game losing streak.