Buffalo Bills: Quarterback play is causing problems


Buffalo Bills: Quarterback play is causing problems

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The Buffalo Bills came into the season with three quarterbacks that had some baggage with them. The quarterbacks causing problems is not a bad thing at this point.  They are making it difficult to make a selection because of the play that they have been displaying on the field.  This will not be an easy decision for Rex Ryan and staff to choose a starting quarterback for week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Lets break down their (the quarterbacks) preseason.

Matt Cassel, the veteran, has only had 2 good seasons, on two very good teams.  His interception/Touchdown ratio is not the greatest and is not one to protect the ball, but he can manage a game and coming into training camp he was the favorite, and really was the favorite for the first two weeks of preseason.  Cassel did not play in the second preseason game, against the Browns as Rex and company wanted to give Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel most of the reps.

Tyrod Taylor, came in to the Buffalo Bills as a free agent signing and playing behind Joe Flacco in Baltimore had only had 35 passes to his name.  A very small sample size.  He was a favorite of Rex’s, even in New York.  Taylor brings a two dimensional quarterback play to the field.  He is able to throw the ball and run the ball.  He can make plays with both aspects and is productive as well.  He has the arm to throw the deep ball and the accuracy to go with it.

EJ Manuel, all Bills fans know of.  Drafted in the 1st round, 16th overall in the 2013 draft.  He was injured for part of the 2013 season and only played in 10 games.  In 2014, he continued to have accuracy issues and was benched 4 games in for veteran QB Kyle Orton.  It has been debatable if Doug Marrone was a negative influence on EJ Manuel, or if he was just that bad.  I personally think that there was a combination effect going on and caused more problems than were fixed.

As for the preseason stats for these three, they have been nothing but impressive, as there was a major cloud hoovering over the group as to which one would actually emerge as the starter.  At this point, because all three have played well above what was expected, there still is not a true starter of the group.  This should cause a problem for Ryan to make a decision.

Matt Cassel has played in 2 games and thrown 15 passes completing 13 of them for 83 yards.  This gives him a 86.7 accuracy rating, what we expected from him.  His long throw was for 15 yards.  He was sacked once and has an 89.7 quarterback rating (QBR).

Tyrod Taylor has played in all 3 games.  He has thrown 31 times and completed 24 of them for 236 yards.  He has a 77.4 completion percentage.  His long throw was for 29 yards.  He had no touchdowns and no interceptions, as did Matt Cassel.  He was sacked once and has a QBR of 98.3.  Not too bad for three games of limited action.

EJ Manuel has been at the bottom of the barrel coming into training camp and the preseason.  So far to date, Manuel has attempted 30 passes and completed 20 of them giving him a 66.7 completion rating, pretty much par for the course for him.  He has a long ball of 67 yards, this past game to Charles Clay that was pure beauty.  He has the highest average pass attempt at 11.9 yards per completion.  He is the only QB to have a touchdown, he has 4 in the air.  He also is has 5 sacks as well, but none of the QBs have an interception.  Manuel’s QB rating for the 3 weeks is 146.9, now that was not expected, as well as him having the only TDs in the air.

All three QBs have rushing yards as well.  Taylor has an additional 108 yards on 11 carries and a TD on the ground.  Manuel has 13 yards on 4 carries and Cassel has 1 carry for 6 yards.

So EJ Manuel has done pretty well in the air and Taylor has been able to be productive on both facets.  Matt Cassel has been Matt Cassel, stay the course.  So who is the better quarterback for your for the Buffalo Bills?

There is more that goes into determining the starting quarterback.  A lot of us have not seen all of training camp and have only seen the preseason games, a small sample size.   The coaches have been able to see development from the OTAs and mini camps to now. It will not be an easy decision.

Next: Buffalo Bills: Fred Jackson makes his point against the Steelers

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