E.J. Manuel will start on Sunday


Ever since they made him the first quarterback selected in the 2013 draft, people have wondered if the Bills would start E.J. Manuel at quarterback in Week One against the Patriots.

The route to Week One wasn’t the anticipated one, featuring knee surgery for Manuel and a concussion for his chief competition Kevin Kolb that made people do some quick learning about undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel. The Bills didn’t wind up keeping a third quarterback on their 53-man roster, however, and Manuel was back at practice on Sunday to set the stage for Wednesday’s announcement that Manuel will indeed be starting.

The Bills made the announcement Wednesday morning after coach Doug Marrone told the players at a team meeting. The biggest focus for the coaches and trainers was making sure Manuel’s knee was sound enough to allow him the mobility to avoid pressure in the pocket when it comes his way. Manuel did well enough to convince Marrone and, according to the team, will be the 13th quarterback drafted in the first round to start in Week One since 2000.

The Bills certainly hope Manuel will take after fellow members of the list Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III more than Kyle Boller or Mark Sanchez. We’ll start finding out on Sunday.

57 responses to “E.J. Manuel will start on Sunday

  1. This is crazy. The Bills are looking at 5-12 as a best case scenario this year, there’s absolutely nothing to be gained by rushing back their QB a week early. I was hoping the new regime would be capable of long-term thinking, but it doesn’t look that way.

  2. Unfortunately, the Pats have a habit of making first time or rookie quarterbacks look like a young Peyton or Tom their first time out against the Pat’s d-backs.

    Let’s hope the D comes to play, or it’s a shoot out on Sunday.

  3. He’s their best option this year, but not this week. Coming off an injury and being a rookie that needed the pre season reps, that’s going to be down by 30 points at some point in the game, he’s going to take too many hits week 1.

  4. .

    Expect the Bills to run the ball all day long. The Patriots run defense is unproven at this stage.


  5. Im sure he’ll follow in line with successful Florida State QBs to have great NFL careers….Charlie Ward, Chris Weinke, Danny Kanell, Ponder….I’m sure he’ll be different.

  6. “Patriots old & slow”

    I don’t think you have been paying attention to the rebuild

    14 rookies

    11th youngest 53 man roster in the league

  7. kgun87 says:

    Yeah who’s Brady throwing to ?

    Brady’s record against the Bills is 15-1, and that record says it doesn’t matter who his receivers are when he’s playing that sad little team.

    Nothing like a good ol’ fashioned Bills beat down to start the season.

    Manuel actually looks good though and it could be a closer game than most Pats fans expect. He looks much better than Geno Smith and the other QBs drafted this year so maybe the Bills will do ok this year.

  8. THIS IS GREAT. We can judge (for the first week anyway) who is the better QB; Geno Smith or E.J. Manuel.

  9. That is only good for the Bills if he is 100% healthy AND actually ready to be the starter. I like this kid and it would be a shame if he gets crushed (physically or mentally) by playing too early.

  10. I don’t believe he’s the answer for the Bills.

    I could be totally wrong but anytime a senior QB is drafted in the first round and the talk is about upside and development and not maturity and a developed skill set I have my worries.

    I’m a fan of the U so I’ve seen him play my share of times. He just never felt like “The guy” to me.

    You never know when a player and coach pair perfectly and I’m not hoping he fails by any means but I just don’t see him as a long term answer.

  11. This kid will be carted off the field because he isn’t gonna last – too many big hits and he isn’t playing against the 3rd stringers anymore.

  12. He better throw down field. Only having to play defense for 10 yards against a Dink and dunk offense is what got the last regime thrown out. In fact if you don’t make the defense play 30 yards you shouldn’t be in the NFL.

  13. I was actually looking forward to seeing Jeff Tuel start and giving Manuel time to get to 100%. Tuel has looked really good.

  14. For those of you who keep saying Manuel has looked good, keep in mind that he looked good against vanilla defenses and those were preseason games.

    Time to get real and expect Manuel to get schooled BIG TIME against first team defenses going at top speed and with all of the disguised coverages.

    Sorry Bills fans, but it looks like another throw-away season that will hover and end up around 4-12 at the best.

  15. expatpatfan says: Sep 4, 2013 8:54 AM

    This is crazy. The Bills are looking at 5-12 as a best case scenario this year, there’s absolutely nothing to be gained by rushing back their QB a week early. I was hoping the new regime would be capable of long-term thinking, but it doesn’t look that way.

    Apparently not too good with the math are we? I am willing to wager that no team will go 5-12, given there is only a 16 game season you twit!

  16. Why start him for a game the Bills have zero chance of winning? He’s going to re-injure his knee before halftime and Coach Moron will be on the phone with the Giants begging to trade for Nassib before the game is even over.

  17. Enough with the Tuel stuff people, the guy looked really good in the second half of the first preseason game and then looked like an undrafted free agent after that. I’m really looking forward to seeing how E.J. performs in week one, I’m glad it’s against the pats, let’s see what he’s got.

  18. Marrone has no choice. Starting Tuel is a no-win situation. Tuel goes out and plays poorly, and Marrone will be criticized for wasting a game, if Tuel plays well (even in a loss) then he has a QB controversy among the fan base and a hit to EJ’s confidence. Starting EJ shows that Marrone and Management believe in the vision they’ve set for the team. And, no one is gonna fault Manuel for having a rough first start ever against a one of the best teams in the AFC. If he needed time to heal, he wouldn’t be throwing at practice.

  19. I don’t really know what to expect…but i do know i feel a lot better with Buffalo’s youth movement…game one against New England is just that…one game…it’s a retool year for the Bills…i expect effort and surprises…i do think a backfield of CJ FJ and EJ should result in some exciting football…one things for sure… it won’t be hard to beat national expectations….

  20. If he’s healthy it’s the right move. I don’t see the Bills pulling the upset but you can always hope. He needs to be mobile to run the style of offense Marrone is using. I will say this… If you have CJ or Freddie on your fantasy roster they are both going to see a lot of touches. As a Bills fan I’m going to be missing Gilmore he looked primed to make the leap this year!!

  21. Love the confident Pats fans. you lost to a Fitzpatrick led Bills team, and were headed down that road both times last season. Your TE duo is either on the mend, or in the pen, so lets check that off the list. Your dress rehersal game resulted in 9 points, against possibly the worst pass defense in the NFL, (Sorry Detroit, but it’s true.) and constant pressure in Mr. Bradys face. Sure, it’s the Pre-season, but I have never seen a BB led team get manhandled like that, and it is from a lack of talent on offense. Like I said, the Bills just need to stop the run, Brady and the inexperience at the pass catching positions will not beat the Bills on Sunday. Hang your hat on Amendola until he breaks something, I like the guy, but it will happen. I see no reason why the Bills can’t run all over the Pats, and with the threat of CJ piling up yardage, I can see Manuel getting opprotunities to disect that defense. I didn’t say he was going to now, but that the opprotunities will be there and thats where this game will be won or lost, if he can capitalize on them. The Bills offense has true speed now, and I honestly don’t think the Pats D can hang with it. And this circles back to my first point, the Bills have to stop the run. You can’t score points if you don’t have the Ball. I think we have another field goal finish, Bills 24-Pats 21.

  22. I love how everyone expects a rebuilding year to mean a lost year. The Pats have totally retooled their team since the Super Bow wins. They have exactly 2 players left from those seasons: Brady and Wilfork. Yet they keep winning, year in and year out. They have proven that you don’t have to suck when you start turning your roster over – if your coaching and management actually have a clue.

  23. @rabidbillsfan:

    Wow, just wow. The Pats were heading down that road against the Bills last yr? They beat them by a combined 30 pts, and averaged scoring 45. Yeah they lost to Fitzgerald. That was the 3rd loss for the Pats in the last 26gms against the Bills. The Lions blew out the Pays in the 3rd preseason game in 2011 too, and the Pats went to the Super Bowl. The Bills won’t be able to run on the Pats because they’ll take away the run and make a rookie QB, who was raw out of college, missed 2 preseason gms and a bunch of practices try to beat them. Good luck. If you think this team has no talent on offense and they’re not gonna ave close to 30 pts/gm for an unprecedented 4th yr in a row, all I can say is, ‘you’ll see’. People have been predicting the demise of the Pats for yrs. Maybe someday, but not this yr. Consensus SB contender again. Keep those rose colored glasses on for another few days, the Clowney derby is about to start. It’s a blowout, and the Bills don’t score more than 10 pts.

  24. um pats fan I think the bills split last year, and this team is better.

    wondering if u were a pats fan when the bills treated ur team like a toilet for 13 years? just wondering

  25. The knee injury Manuel was coming back from wasnt bad, it wasnt crushing. Its an injury he CANT re-injure. The issue with the injury is being able to put weight on the knee without pain. Apparently its subsided enough for him to manage it.

    He didnt tear an ACL people. He had a scope to fix his meniscus.

    As for people who say the team is going 5 wins max. We have a massively improved WR set. We have a HB who had a higher YPC than Adrian Peterson last season. We have (most) of an o line that has been among the highest rated in the league the past 3 seasons.

    There is nothing to say this O wont be good outside a rookie QB.

    In the mean time, the front 7 under Pettine is primed to wreck up Os the same way they did in the first half of every preseason game. The only questionable thing on this team is the secondary

  26. No, the Pats swept them last yr. Yeah, I’ve been a season ticket holder since ’85, so what. If history is important, the Pats lead the searies 62-41-1. JKelly was only 12-8 against them, hardly a beatdown.

    The new players, coaches and QBs(all rookies) will almost certainly end up being upgrades, it takes time. I would say the team the Bills put on the field for gm 1 last yr is better than the this yr, right now. Fitz was certainly a better QB than Manuel is, right now. He actually put up plenty of pts, the Bills just couldn’t stop them. By the end of the yr it could bre different.

  27. bills399 says:
    Sep 4, 2013 12:52 PM
    …….wondering if u were a pats fan when the bills treated ur team like a toilet for 13 years? just wondering


    yup. There were the OJ years, then the 4 SB loss Jim Kelly teams. In 2003, the Bills opened the season 31-0 over the Pats; losing by the same score the last day of the reg. season.
    Bruce Smith, Ted Washington…. 2 of my favorite D linemen of all time; especially Teddy – the most dominate NT to have ever played that position.

    BTW – the Bills did not split with the Pats last year, though one of the games was close.

  28. just reading these comments makes me laugh at the stupidity. Some examples:

    1. “Manuel is another Blane gabbert.” this clown of course offers no examples and after watching Manuel for 2 quarters of preseason
    2. “bills will finish 5-12. ” Think about that one and do the math.
    3. “Brady is 15-1 against buffalo.” The loss was last year and what does his record have to do with Sunday?
    4. “Coach Moron” Very clever….get it Marone…Moron…Of course no evidence to back up that the coach is stupid, actually to the contrary.

  29. I’m interested to see what this kid can do. He was a bit of a suprise, to be taken as high as he was in the draft, so the Bills saw something. If he’s good, then Johnson, Spiller and Manuel could be really fun to watch.

    I think it will be a situation where the Pats will win the game, but the Bills will see some hope out of the QB position.

  30. I like that the coaches have enough confidence in EJ to give him the reins from day one. Now its all on him to keep the Bills away from a top three draft pick and Teddy Bridgewater.

  31. I actually think this kid might pan out, but you’re absolutely crazy if you think playing him week 1 is a good idea. Then again, rooting for the Bills for more than half a season would drive me crazy.

  32. I watched probably 20 FSU games in Manuel’s time there. I learned, as everyone else did, that the way for a defense to handle Manuel is to keep the pressure on him. He gets rattled under pressure and after a couple sacks and an INT or two he seems to lose confidence and plays poorly. Give him a lot of time to find a receiver without anyone getting in his face and he’s pretty good. Keep the pressure on him, wait until he’s made a couple big mistakes, and he’s pretty bad.

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