This was not just any game for Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The Texans quarterback was facing an old team in Week 4 at NRG Stadium, and it was the franchise with which he'd experienced the most success. The Bills let Fitzpatrick go in March of 2013, and Sunday was special for the 10-year veteran.
"It was really important to me," Fitzpatrick said after the 23-17 win. "Part of it was just because I spent four years of my life there raising my family."
His football family, though, is now the Houston Texans. And they were happy to see their leader triumph on such a meaningful day.
"He's got a lot of heart," linebacker Brian Cushing said. "When you see him laying it all on the line, it kind of sparks everyone else to play the same way. It's special to see someone in that kind of role playing that kind of way."
Fitzpatrick finished the day by completing 25-of-37 passes for 268 yards, with a touchdown and a pair of interceptions. He was credited with six rushes for 14 yards, and on a few separate runs he dove headfirst trying to gain extra yardage.
Cushing and defensive end J.J. Watt urged Fitzpatrick to give the team a pregame speech (video above) and head coach Bill O'Brien appreciated that.
"I'm glad he did that," O'Brien said. "I believe he's a leader."
As for his old teammates, the Fitzpatrick they saw on Sunday was the Fitzpatrick they played with from 2009 to 2012.
"He is the same guy," Buffalo cornerback Leodis McKelvin said. "He is a risk taker. He did a good job today and got the 'W' and that's all that matters."
The victory propelled the Texans to 3-1, and keeps the team alone in first place in the AFC South. Although it wasn't a perfect performance, Fitzpatrick said he and his teammates will savor the victory on Sunday night before working to correct mistakes on Monday.