"I guess we weren't ready for it yet," Fitzpatrick said in an interview on Sirius XM NFL Radio. "We weren't ready to be able to accept the fact that we were playing well and playing as the team that was on the top (of the AFC East)."
Like his team, Fitzpatrick started the season on fire. He passed for 1,739 yards and 14 touchdowns while giving up just seven interceptions and compiling a passer rating of 97.8 during those first seven games. Then, as the team was peaking during October, Fitzpatrick signed a six-year, $60 million contract extension.
The Bills and Fitzpatrick both took a nosedive shortly after the deal was reached. During the ensuing seven-game losing streak, Fitzpatrick compiled a passer rating of 66.2 and was picked off 12 times while throwing for just eight scores.
Wide receiver Stevie Johnson, who is set to become a free agent, also made headlines for the wrong reasons when he was benched during the regular-season finale after a post-touchdown stunt earned a 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration. Coach Chan Gailey has seemed lukewarm about the prospect of bringing Johnson back.
"I think we take it as a learning experience and we try to move forward," Fitzpatrick said.
Still, the seven-year veteran has high hopes for next season.
"This is a team that I think is going to get better and better," Fitzgerald added. "We have some stability, just in terms of the coaches are there, with the systems in place for another year, and we've got a lot of the same players, so we're hoping that that stability really helps us."