But the Patriots came up with key interceptions in the fourth quarter to prevent Fitzpatrick from becoming the second young quarterback to upstage Tom Brady and the Patriots in as many weeks. The Jets' second-year QB, Mark Sanchez, did just that last week.
To his credit, Fitzpatrick took little comfort in winning a few battles, but not the war.
"You can look at it as we put up points or whatever you want to look at -- the offense played better today -- but that's not what it's about, it's about winning and that's all those guys in the locker room want to do," Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick was installed as the Bills starter earlier in the week. Coach Chan Gailey benched Trent Edwards, under whom the Bills ranked last in total offense and passing offense, and were second-to-last in scoring in their first two games, losses to the Dolphins and Packers.
The Bills had scored a total of 17 points in those games, averaged only 89 yards passing and 87 on the ground.
Fitzpatrick had time to throw, unlike Edwards. Fitzpatrick was sacked only once, by Jerod Mayo. Edwards was sacked seven times for 63 yards in the Bills' first two games.
"I thought he went out and executed some things very well today. We had some guys working to get open, the protection was a little better, and he scrambled when it broke down," Gailey said.