Found September 06, 2013 on
September is finally here and you know what that means…the Bills are tied for the best record in the NFL!
The past few years for the Buffalo Bills have been anything but exciting. After going through a slew of less than average quarterbacks (Ryan Fitzpatrick, J.P. Losman, Alex Van Pelt, Kelly Holcomb), the Bills finally have a rookie quarterback that they can be excited about. The Bills also went out this season and got a rookie head coach, Doug Marrone, fresh off the campus of Syracuse. The Bills also drafted some talented rookie wide receivers in Marquise Goodwin and Robert Woods from Texas and USC respectively. With all this change happening in the offseason we can now look forward to Week 1 against the “Evil Empire” that is the New England Patriots.
The number of things Bills fans have to worry about this week is directly related to the number of times I typed the word “rookie” in my previous paragraph. If having a rookie head coach isn’t worrisome enough, that rookie head coach is coaching a rookie quarterback.
On the plus side, E.J. Manuel didn’t look half bad in his two preseason starts. Manuel was able to move the ball efficiently down the field with short accurate throws, throwing for 107 yards and 92 yards in his two games under center. Manuel went down with an injury half way through the first half in his second game against the Vikings and required minor knee surgery, sidelining him for the rest of the preseason, but Manuel was given the starting nod this past week by Marrone.
Missing the last two preseason games and all the practices in between slowed his development a little bit. Manuel is a smart guy, but 2 weeks of live NFL action may not be enough to have a great start. In order for Manuel to be successful this week against the Patriots, the Bills are going to have to give Manuel time to throw the football. Even though he is a very capable runner, he is more of a scrambler like Ben Roethlisberger than a running threat like RGIII. While I prefer a quarterback that scrambles to keep the play alive rather than risking injury, scrambling can also lead to inaccurate throws on the run. If the Bills want any chance this week, Manuel is going to have to limit his mistakes.
Spiller can have a big game against a suspect New England run defense
Two players that can take some pressure off E.J. are C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. This two-headed running back monster was the high point of an otherwise lowly offense last season. If these two can run the ball effectively it can open up some easy passing lanes for Manuel to throw.
Spiller is especially going to have to step up his game not only this week against the Pats but this season as a whole. In his career, Spiller has never been an every down back, eclipsing 200 carries just once in his career. Spiller had a coming out season last year and I feel he’ll be a focal point of the offense this season.
Fred Jackson has his own set of problems. Jackson has been plagued by injuries for the majority of his career, and has not played a full season since 2010. He can provide not only as a relief for Spiller, but his excellent pass catching ability out of the back field can be a useful check down option.
Now we move to the defensive side of the ball. Tom Brady is one of the league’s best quarterbacks and can shred apart just about any defense. Slowing Brady down this week will start with the front 7. If you remember back to the last two times the Patriots have been in the Super Bowl, the Giants seemed to figure out how to slow Brady down: get pressure on him early and often. Give him time to step up in the pocket and read the defense, and he puts up numbers.
For this to happen, Mario Williams and Marcell Dareus are going to have to have a much better year than they did last year. This tandem was supposed to be one of the best in NFL last year but proved to be a disappointment. They collectively are going to have to play at a Pro Bowl level to make Brady uncomfortable.
The secondary is going to be another area of question. Buffalo’s potential shut-down corner, Stephon Gilmore, will be out for a considerable amount of time due to a broken arm that he suffered during the preseason. Jarius Byrd, the Bills’ other above-average defender was reported by ESPN to be seeking a trade. This leaves a group of young inexperienced defensive backs to do what they can to shut down the Patriots passing game.
Luckily for the Bills, the Patriots wide receivers are also young and inexperienced. The Patriots lost all of Brady’s favorite toys during the offseason for one reason or another, leaving a group of rookie receivers. The Buffalo secondary is going to have to be physical to make these receivers uncomfortable in their first taste of NFL action.
Buffalo definitely has a lot to overcome in the opening weekend. With a lot of young talent it’s up to a rookie head coach to put together a game plan that can kind of hide some of the inexperience by executing an efficient game plan. In the recent past, the Bills have played New England well, even stealing a few wins despite being a significantly less talented team. I can see the Bills doing just that this week and not making it easy for the Pats.
As Chris Berman would say, no one circles the wagons, like the Buffalo Bills.
BEST OF MAXIM
Camp Kesem, is a national organization that has pledged to support kids whose parents have been affected by cancer. EJ Manuel is a person that is truly affected by this and wants to give back. The rookie quarterback is one of the main players behind, Scoring For Good. Scoring For Good is a novel fundraising […]
The Buffalo Bills announced this morning that rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel will get the start in week one against the New England Patriots. The question is at this point, will it matter. Many pundits thought that the Bills really reached to select Manuel in the first round and his performance in the preseason came with mixed reviews. Manuel has the physical tools that NFL teams...
“Have we forgotten, in this rush to be excited about E.J. Manuel, that the Bills allowed 89...
Twenty of the NFL's 32 starting quarterbacks are younger than 30 years old and seven of them were drafted in either 2012 or 2013, so we've become used to seeing green signal callers under center league-wide. However, only two rookies will start in Week 1 this season, and circumstances such as injuries were factors for both EJ Manuel and the Buffalo Bills and Geno Smith and...
The Buffalo Bills host the New England Patriots Sunday
afternoon. Who is in? Who is out?
Find out, in your Buffalo Bills Week 1 injury report.
The Bills have three players listed as out for Sunday’s game
and none of them participated in practice all week. They are defensive back Stephon Gilmore
(wrist), kicker Dustin Hopkins (right groin) and offensive lineman Doug
BY NICK ST. DENISE.J. Manuel is a rookie. He's going to make some bad reads, he's going to throw interceptions and he's going to take plenty of the inevitable lumps first-year signal-callers do.The key for Manuel will be to not let one hiccup snowball into three or four of them. At least one of his teammates doesn't think that will be an issue."He repeats mistakes...
Between Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill, New England's defense last season had its hands full trying to defend rookie quarterbacks.
They don't have to wait very long to see if that experience will pay off.
The Patriots will once again be tested by a first-year signal caller Sunday when Buffalo's EJ Manuel makes his debut in the season opener.
With only one day left until the beginning of the NFL season, teams are putting the finishing touches on their starting lineups. EJ Manuel of the Buffalo Bills and Geno Smith of the New York Jets were both named starting quarterbacks. Manuel and Smith were the first two quarterbacks taken in the 2013 NFL Draft. The both of them were put in very similar situations. They both had...
Hello all! Thanks for entering The Fake Football Emergency Room and let’s discuss some heavily started players who are on the injury report this week.
EJ Manuel- Buffalo Bills- Probable
Prediction: Manuel has already been named the starter this Sunday by head coach Doug Marrone. There are no more worries about him not suiting up tomorrow. However, his first NFL...
New England Patriots (0-0) at Buffalo Bills (0-0)
A few weeks ago, this line was at -7.5 in favor of New England. However, EJ Manuel got hurt and the line shot up as it looked like undrafted free agent backup Jeff Tuel (originally the 3rd stringer before Kevin Kolb’s season ending injury) would become the first undrafted free agent to start week 1 since 1967. That put the line...
FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots have a tremendous track record against rookie quarterbacks during the Bill Belichick era, which doesn’t bode well for Bills starter EJ Manuel.
Manuel’s NFL debut on Sunday will mark the 18th time a rookie quarterback has started against the Patriots since 2000. In 17 previous starts, rookie quarterbacks have bested the Patriots just four times...
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Welcome to Cadence Call, your weekly game preview where I
give you a bootleg breakdown for each team in the AFC East & AFC North
divisions. I can say with 100% certainty
that two things are going to happen this Sunday. One, my wife is going to bellow at me for guzzling
too much beer, doing too many shots of Patron and smoking too many cigars and
two, the New England Patriots...