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Bills' Fitzpatrick no surprise to Houshmandzadeh

When the Buffalo Bills visit M&T Bank Stadium for a showdown with the Ravens this Sunday, they will be led by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, whose 99.9 passer rating ranks as the fourth-best in the NFL.

That rating trails only those of the Philadelphia Eagles' Michael Vick (108.8), the Indianapolis Colts' Peyton Manning (103.4) and the San Diego Chargers' Philip Rivers (100.7).

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While that might be surprising to some, Ravens wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh isn't one of them.

"I liked him," said Houshmandzadeh, who spend two seasons with Fitzpatrick as members of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2007 and 2008. "He puts everything into every throw. That's what I remember the most. I caught a lot of balls with him as my quarterback in my last year there. So I have a great appreciation for him."

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One of the more interesting facets about Fitzpatrick is that he graduated from Harvard with a degree in economics.

Houshmandzadeh said Fitzpatrick's intellect lives up to the hype. Several Bengals players played a game on the iPhone in which the objective is to answer 20 yes-or-no math questions in the fastest time.

"I had the fastest time, and then he played it one time and beat it," Houshmandzadeh recalled. "My time was 8.7 seconds, and his was 8.2. … We were like, 'That's Harvard.' He doesn't come off as a brainiac, but you know he is. You would never think that by looking at him, but after you talk to him, you can see it."

On the field, Fitzpatrick possesses a strong arm, but he can also avoid the pass rush and gain yards with his feet. Since he was named the starter in Week 3, Fitzpatrick leads all NFL quarterbacks with 96 rushing yards on 12 carries.

That ability to use his arm and his feet is one of Fitzpatrick's strengths, according to Houshmandzadeh.

"He's able to keep plays alive," Houshmandzadeh said. "He doesn't really scramble to throw. He scrambles to run for the first down. He'll surprise you in the open field with some of the moves he'll put on you. I've seen him shake quite a few guys."

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