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Manuel keeps making case for starting job

Manuel Getty Images

A week after rookie quarterback EJ Manuel played well in one half of action with Kevin Kolb out, Manuel served as the No. 2 man in Buffalo — and played like he should be No. 1.

In the third quarter of Friday night’s preseason home opener against the Vikings, Manuel completed 10 of 12 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown.

On his first drive, Manuel completed all six throws as he led the Bills 80 yards to the end zone.

Starter (for tonight) Kevin Kolb completed 13 of 21 passes for 111 yards and an interception.

It’s unclear whether Kolb or Manuel will start the all-important (or least unimportant) third preseason game.  It should be Manuel, both next weekend and three weeks from now.

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65 Responses to “Manuel keeps making case for starting job”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Aug 16, 2013 9:47 PM

    Well good to see a team that has a working Manuel for success.

  2. gloryfromheaven says: Aug 16, 2013 9:54 PM

    The game doesn’t seem to big or to fast for him, he’s doing a great job so far…

  3. buffalobills716 says: Aug 16, 2013 9:54 PM

    As an die hard Bills fan,this is not a surprise… We all knows,EJ is the starter and the future of the Buffalo Bills. Period

  4. thegreatgabbert says: Aug 16, 2013 10:00 PM

    All the guys I was pimping before the draft, Manuel, D. Moore, D. Hopkins, are tearing it up so far. I don’t know whether to be happy or sad. All those evaluators earning six and seven figures per annum. My eye has been better and I don’t earn one figure per annum for it.

  5. kgun80 says: Aug 16, 2013 10:03 PM

    It’s pretty simple. Besides being more athletic and giving the offense a QB who can make plays with his feet EJ has had better pocket presence and been more accurate while making less mistakes. Throw the kid out there give him the experience. We have all seen what Kolb can do no point in putting him out there.

  6. tolan04 says: Aug 16, 2013 10:03 PM

    Get your clipboard ready Kolb

  7. blacknole08 says: Aug 16, 2013 10:04 PM

    Manuel is the front-runner. He definitely won the competition with the 2 minute drill vs the Colts. He seemed comfortable running the no-huddle throughout the first half.

    Kolb is really competing with Jeff Tuel for back-up. If he can’t beat him out cut him.

  8. wizwix says: Aug 16, 2013 10:05 PM

    It’s only preseason, but hats off to OC Hackett for his play calling – and understanding how to keep it simple for the rookie. Jeff Tuel also called that out in a local radio show interview – how Nathaniel has done a phenomenal job of creating an incredibly simple offense. It is just a shame that Kolb is the only QB on the roster who is having a hard time with it!

  9. buff80 says: Aug 16, 2013 10:05 PM

    Kolb is the 3rd nest QB on the roster. Tuel can play. Cut Kolb torrow…before you owe him an injury settlement.

  10. llcriticll says: Aug 16, 2013 10:05 PM

    EJ ALL THE WAY!

  11. mrcogburn says: Aug 16, 2013 10:07 PM

    Kolb is done.

  12. EJ says: Aug 16, 2013 10:11 PM

    Mike Florio says: And played like he should be No. 1.
    ================================================

    You’ve got to love hearing that!

  13. rjkilla says: Aug 16, 2013 10:12 PM

    he’s looking better than i thought he would

  14. dtjano says: Aug 16, 2013 10:29 PM

    Competition is over.

  15. jtchernak says: Aug 16, 2013 10:31 PM

    Wait wait wait. He played in the third quarter against second to third string defensive players. C’mon guys get back to reality this guy has done nothing but play well against second and third stringers! Talk to me when he plays well against starters

  16. ballboy48 says: Aug 16, 2013 10:33 PM

    He’s playing well. But, wait until he sees a first string defense for an entire game, that blitzes, shows all sorts of packages, etc. He should be the starter in Buffalo, though. He’s deserved it.

  17. collegefan69 says: Aug 16, 2013 10:33 PM

    Kolb #3
    Tuel #2
    Manuel #1

  18. dylanssongwriter says: Aug 16, 2013 10:36 PM

    Manuel keeps killing the 2nd and 3rd teams

  19. mancave001 says: Aug 16, 2013 10:37 PM

    Hilarious that you make that RIDICULOUS statement after one quarter of work against a third team defense.

  20. billsalldayaday says: Aug 16, 2013 10:38 PM

    Kolb has an issue with staring down his receivers. I always notice it in practice, Fitzy like. Brett Favre Wannabe Syndrome.

    I liked how much Nate Hackett was using the read-option with EJ. Teams have to respect it with him in there.

    I say let the kid start! It doesnt seem too big for him.

  21. blanchonegro says: Aug 16, 2013 11:03 PM

    EJ “THE MAN”UEL

  22. casualcommenter says: Aug 16, 2013 11:06 PM

    When it comes to rookie versus veteran QB competitions:
    Rookie performing better of course leads to the rookie winning due to him giving the team the best chance to win.
    Tie goes in favor of the rookie due to upside.

    Kolb needs to dramatically outproduce Manuel to be the starter, and he’s nowhere near that so far.

  23. axespray says: Aug 16, 2013 11:18 PM

    Viking’s OC: “Yo – Ponder, on this play, we’re gonna have a fullback 1 on 1 block a 330 pound defensive end, oh – and AP won’t be in there tonight, good luck bro.”

  24. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Aug 16, 2013 11:22 PM

    You can tell that Manuel has a lot more going for him than Kolb. He’s not ready to step right in and be successful, though. He had one good drive against the second-team defense and not much else. He’ll probably be good, though.

  25. flakeybiscuits says: Aug 16, 2013 11:32 PM

    dude looks solid… for a rookie. cant help but be excited. Go Bills!

  26. gbmickey says: Aug 16, 2013 11:42 PM

    Dont jump the gun you were playing a 3rd tier team.

  27. bigblu73 says: Aug 17, 2013 12:04 AM

    Manuel is definitely outplaying Kolb. He seems more comfortable and in rhythm. Kolb still has that deer in the headlights look!!!

  28. austinbuffalofan says: Aug 17, 2013 12:06 AM

    The team is looking good even though it is still pre-season. EJ needs to start, go Bills beat the Pats!

  29. dirtysouthniner says: Aug 17, 2013 12:19 AM

    I remember watching sport science with a friend thinking, man he reminds me of kaep. I’m a huge seminole fan and thought he would be a great pro

  30. realfootballfan says: Aug 17, 2013 12:38 AM

    He’s the only choice. Manuel going from the start is the play. I have to say what’s been more impressive is what they’ve done with the defense. They were heating Ponder up in the first quarter.

  31. zn0rseman says: Aug 17, 2013 1:56 AM

    Yeah, he looked good but he did that against the Vikings 2’s and 3’s while Buffalo left in several starters… apparently determined to win another all important preseason game?

  32. 716buffalosoldier says: Aug 17, 2013 2:27 AM

    their is no way he shouldn’t be named the starter he has shown poise, confidence, leadership, runs the offense well, and has shown good vision. kolb on the other hand looked shaky, scared,lost,confused, and seemed a bit out of touch with the offense.

  33. ultichiva says: Aug 17, 2013 5:09 AM

    MANUEL should start ….. If he was cacauaisian this wouldn’t even be A topic . C

  34. dgoens3109 says: Aug 17, 2013 7:00 AM

    I can’t imagine a scenario, outside of an injury, that would result in Kolb starting. It just does not make any sense. Kevin Kolb is a backup QB and I think that’s pretty obvious at this point.

  35. whatjusthapped says: Aug 17, 2013 7:28 AM

    Before you nominate Manuel for the Hall of Fame, remember he posted those impressive numbers against the Vikings. Can we wait till he plays a real football team?

  36. officialgame says: Aug 17, 2013 7:31 AM

    Kolb was just brutal and I would be shocked if he starts. Manuel looked great in a very simplified small package of plays that he was given. He stills throws with poor mechanics but looks much improved from college. I liked him coming out and think he deserved to be the #1 QB off the board based on his talents.

  37. aaroncurryisbust says: Aug 17, 2013 7:32 AM

    More like EJ Automatic.

  38. luvnlfe says: Aug 17, 2013 7:32 AM

    Watching Kolb reminded me of watching Fitz….Manuel ran the team like a seasoned pro…and the defense was awesome…last year Ponder manhandled the Bills in preseason…this year he was manhandled…quite a turnaround…

  39. chuckchillout says: Aug 17, 2013 8:04 AM

    Why did Kolb start last night? Was “dog poop on a stick” injured, because that would have completed more passes than he did.

  40. oriolesvsravens says: Aug 17, 2013 8:20 AM

    He’ll be starting by week 6 if he doesn’t win the job by the end of camp.

  41. m3dman3 says: Aug 17, 2013 8:26 AM

    EJ3 showing why he was picked as high as he was. Kid is a beast.

  42. northpackalacky says: Aug 17, 2013 8:27 AM

    If only he could play the Vikings defense every week. . . .

  43. mclennon99 says: Aug 17, 2013 8:38 AM

    Holy crap….looks like the Buffalo Bills have their first legitimate Quarterback in E.J. Manuel since 1986 when they signed Jim Kelly. HOT DAMN!!

  44. stolendog23 says: Aug 17, 2013 9:00 AM

    Looked great last night. What I like about him so far is his composure in the pocket, making his progressions without panic and throwing it in the stands when it’s not there.

  45. tomcous says: Aug 17, 2013 10:12 AM

    Manuel has show the composure & skills to start.

    Tuel has also showed composure & skills to be #2 over Kolb!

    Kolb has no future in Buffalo send his contract out the door before the week 1 guarantees his salary.

    Anyone saying they’re pro-bowl material at this point would be crazy, but regardless of 2nd or 3rd strings they have outplayed Kolb!

    Save the $$$ & let the Future Of The Team start to learn & gel now!

  46. jpaq68 says: Aug 17, 2013 10:18 AM

    Why are Bills fans so quick to drink the Kool-Aid every single year? One more pre-season victory and the boys from WGR will be talking about how the road to the Super Bowl goes through Buffalo. Every year Bills fans do this and every year by week 6 they are angry, bitter, and drunk as skunks.

  47. buckethead1 says: Aug 17, 2013 10:36 AM

    The media says there’s also a rift between Manuel and Shanahan….For once in his life RG3 had no comment..

  48. filthymcnasty1 says: Aug 17, 2013 10:58 AM

    C’mon now. It was against that minor league team from MN.

  49. rrhess1529 says: Aug 17, 2013 11:00 AM

    Kolb an Tebow sitting on the bench…..

  50. billsfan1 says: Aug 17, 2013 11:14 AM

    For all those yapping about him playing against 3rd stringers well think of this: he has 3 or 4 rookie wrs, hasn’t played with Stevie once in a game , cj and Fred weren’t in all game and he was playing with many backups too…
    He has to start somewhere and like it or not, he is showing real signs if being a legit qb and not just snippets either.

    I’m pretty sure if this is what Tannehill and Wilson looked like last year those fans were thrilled…

  51. EJ says: Aug 17, 2013 11:24 AM

    whatjusthapped says:
    Aug 17, 2013 7:28 AM

    Before you nominate Manuel for the Hall of Fame, remember he posted those impressive numbers against the Vikings. Can we wait till he plays a real football team?

    He (Manuel) did the same thing against the Colts 1st team. Yes, numbers in the preseason mean pretty much nothing, but poise and leadership mean everything, and that is exactly what we have been seeing when he steps out on the field. Credit where credit is due, Nix and company were on the right track with drafting this kid. Hands down that EJ has already shown more potential than every QB drafted or picked up in free agency since Jim Kelly led this team. Who wouldn’t be excited toward the future seeing this after a decade + of garbage?

  52. reeggss says: Aug 17, 2013 11:31 AM

    He has looked really Good despite playing against second and third team defenses, this kid can definitely play in the NFL. I am hesitant to hand him the job right away with a week receiving corps and several new pieces on the o-line. The bills need to be sure they put him in position to be successful for years to come not just this year

  53. CKL says: Aug 17, 2013 11:31 AM

    I’m a Pats fan so I want all the Buffalo players to be terrible, but that’s just not reality. Look I get that it’s “only preseason”. And no it’s not always a perfect indicator of anything. That said, there are things one can judge that have nothing to do with the level of competition. Kolb looks like a rookie out there. He seems hesitant to pull the trigger and he’s not accurate. Manuel is the guy who looks like the veteran. He’s accurate and seems to be running the offense well and doesn’t make the big mistake. Could it change when the “lights come on”? Sure, but there’s only one way to judge who belongs out there starting when the lights do come on, and that’s how a guy performs in practice and preseason. Manuel looks like he belongs.

  54. casualcommenter says: Aug 17, 2013 11:32 AM

    The problem with commenter “TheGreatGabbert” claiming he has a great eye for talent is that his username completely undercuts the notion that he has a great eye for talent…

  55. mancave001 says: Aug 17, 2013 11:42 AM

    I’m going to tell you again: Anyone giving up on Kolb right now is a moron. His injuries have been freak things, and he’s never gotten a consistent chance to start on a team that even has half a shot at winning. Give him two solid seasons in Buffalo as you build. Stick with him through the ups and downs. You won’t be sorry. I’m not saying Manuel will fail long-term, but going with him is a huge mistake now.

    -An Eagles Fan

  56. EJ says: Aug 17, 2013 12:02 PM

    zn0rseman says:
    Aug 17, 2013 1:56 AM

    Yeah, he looked good but he did that against the Vikings 2′s and 3′s while Buffalo left in several starters… apparently determined to win another all important preseason game?
    ==================================================

    Its preseason, Its not the points, Its the experience they want him to have. If there is a chance of him becoming the full time starter, wouldn’t you have him work with the players that are going to start at the other positions, It only makes sense. Who the Viking choose to play is on them. They must have seen enough play from their first team. Besides, there is not much head to head competition for starting jobs in Minnesota. They seem to know most of their starters already.

  57. gbmickey says: Aug 17, 2013 12:29 PM

    Dont listen to the excuse making viking trolls. He even looks better than Ponder already.

  58. lennydpocketqb says: Aug 17, 2013 12:53 PM

    Buffalo fans are standing erect for the first time in years, arms outstretched, and happy! Wo would have thought we would have ever of seen this again? You gotta love preseason!

  59. billsboy88 says: Aug 17, 2013 1:50 PM

    Watching the game last night, Kolb just looked bad. He was panicky in the pocket, wasn’t setting his feet and was missing receivers on short routes. It was very reminiscent of watching Fitzpatrick play.

    Everyone keeps talking about EJ playing against 2nd teamers, and he was, but it was such a difference when he was in the game.

    Basically, EJ is already roughly as good as a guy (Kolb) who has been in the league for several years, may as well go with the guy that has room to grow.

  60. stealthjunk says: Aug 17, 2013 2:23 PM

    Not sure why all the excitement — Bills fans must be willing to take anything at this point though I’m sure after all the misery. All the guy does is throw 3-5 yard passes against players who won’t even be in the league soon. Just look at the TD drive from yesterday, the only drive on which he racked up his numbers:

    E. Manuel pass short right
    E. Manuel pass short middle (a rarity)
    E. Manuel pass short right
    E. Manuel pass short right
    E. Manuel pass short right

    Only one of those resulted in more than 10 yards. Defenders are going to eat him for lunch if that’s the only trick he has up his sleeve and can’t get the ball down the field (or, more importantly, to his left). Look no further than the next drive, which shows E. Manuel pass incomplete short right and E. Manuel incomplete short middle for a quick 3 & out. Defenses will have no trouble adjusting — it only took them one drive yesterday.

  61. zn0rseman says: Aug 17, 2013 2:49 PM

    zn0rseman says:
    Aug 17, 2013 1:56 AM

    Yeah, he looked good but he did that against the Vikings 2′s and 3′s while Buffalo left in several starters… apparently determined to win another all important preseason game?
    ==================================================
    EJ says:
    Aug 17, 2013 12:02 PM

    Its preseason, Its not the points, Its the experience they want him to have. If there is a chance of him becoming the full time starter, wouldn’t you have him work with the players that are going to start at the other positions, It only makes sense. Who the Viking choose to play is on them. They must have seen enough play from their first team. Besides, there is not much head to head competition for starting jobs in Minnesota. They seem to know most of their starters already.

    ==================================================

    Oh, I agree with you but I just hate the misleading statements by the press and the coaches trying to manipulate fans into beleiving one thing or another by how they set ther lineups.

    Case in point, the Bills playing starters and 2’s against an a Vikings defense consisting strictly of 2’s, 3’s and even 4’s. Sure, Manuel looked good but he should have. What he faced defensively was drastically different than what Kolb faced. The coaches in Buffalo want it to look like Manuel earne the starting role and gives the club the best chance to win, that gets fans excited and buys time for the club as ther new starter develops. But ultimately right now Kolb is probably their best option to win this season, and anyone comparing the performances of the two QBs, or the two teams, based soley on preseason stats is not comparing apples to apples.

    It’s more like comparing apples to onions.

    The Vikings goals this preseason are to keep starters healthy, not gove regular season opponents any useful film, and evaluate backups, down in in the furthest depths of their roster.

    The Bills are trying to get the fans behind their new QB and generate some positive press.

    Mission accomplsihed for both teams.

  62. chazatlas says: Aug 17, 2013 3:21 PM

    Kolb had 2 good games as a backup in Philly and has utterly stunk ever since.

  63. chazatlas says: Aug 17, 2013 3:23 PM

    I’m a Panthers fan but happy to see Buffalo finally get some true hope on the field. Spiller & EJ = dangerous.

  64. kgun80 says: Aug 17, 2013 4:40 PM

    @zn0rseman
    I get it he didn’t play against the starters and Kolb did.but even when Kolb had time and space he wasn’t accurate over and under throwing receivers he was bad in and out of the pocket. He didn’t have any rhythm. This has been the case through most of training camp. I’m not crazy I’m not thinking EJ will step in and be all pro but he has a higher ceiling and provides more options for the offense. Kolb is immobile and has a noodle arm. I d rather see the rookie taking his lumps and learning on the job.

  65. jrcoop says: Aug 17, 2013 5:57 PM

    @jtchernak

    Wait wait wait. He played in the third quarter against second to third string defensive players. C’mon guys get back to reality this guy has done nothing but play well against second and third stringers! Talk to me when he plays well against starter.
    ====================================
    Judging from the number of thumbs down on your and other similar posts, this little dose of reality isn’t very popular. Even so, you are correct that it hasn’t yet been a realistic measure. This won’t be a very popular post either.

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