Fitzpatrick gives Bills' O-line some love

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The first-place Buffalo Bills (3-0) began preparation for Sunday's road game against the Cincinnati Bengals (1-2).

Here are some notes Wednesday from the Bills' locker room:

  • Buffalo starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick knows how maligned his offense line was during the preseason. It was expected to be one of the weakest areas of the team. But the group has played well through three games. Buffalo's offensive line has only allowed just one sack and is opening a lot of holes for running back Fred Jackson. Fitzpatrick said it's time to give his linemen some credit. "These guys are playing really well up front," Fitzpatrick said. "It's not like I'm taking one step and throwing the ball. I've been able to sit back there, throw the ball and not take a lot of hits. ... They do deserve more credit than they're getting."

  • Bills head coach Chan Gailey said he isn't surprised Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton has taken over as a first-year starter. Buffalo and Cincinnati were the two coaching staffs in this year's Senior Bowl, and Dalton impressed both staffs. The Bengals later took Dalton in the second round this past April. Dalton has thrown for 570 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. It also looks like Dalton will have some help. Embattled running back Cedric Benson will play Sunday, according to Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.

  • The Bills also said they have a lot of respect for the Bengals' defense. "They're not third in the league for nothing," Gailey said. "They're good." Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has his group playing well. It will be a matchup of strengths. Buffalo is leading the league in scoring with 113 points.

  • Buffalo kicker Rian Lindell was awarded the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his game-winning kick against the New England Patriots. Lindell was 2-for-2 on field goals and made all four extra points. The Bills also promoted cornerback Terrence Wheatley to the 53-man roster and released backup tight end David Martin.

  • Bills veteran linebacker Shawne Merriman is impressed with how this young Buffalo team is handling success. Merriman has been on four playoff teams as a member of the San Diego Chargers. "I've been in a situation like that for a long time, and like I've said, these guys in this locker room handle it as well as anybody I've ever been around," Merriman said. "They're very mature and we got a bunch of guys who's focused right now."