EJ Manuel had his moments against the New England Patriots in the Bills’ 23-21 loss. Manuel never looked jumpy or out of place and threw several good passes to account for his two touchdown throws on 18 for 27 and 150 yards. Not quite up to Jim Kelly’s stats when he made his debut as a Bill in 1986 after being a first round pick in 83, but certainly a sign of an improvement at the position for the Bills.

Jim Kelly, by the way, was 20 of 33 for 292 yards and three touchdowns in his debut as a Bill against the Jets in 1986, but Kelly had played two record setting seasons in the USFL before becoming a Bill. Jim Kelly was also 26 by the time he had taken one NFL snap.

EJ Manuel nearly had two interceptions, but he also had a couple key drops by Chandler and Johnson. Manuel also showed good touch on his scoring strike to Johnson, something Fitzpatrick wasn’t very good at.

The postgame radio show on WGR was lit up with callers complaining about the Bills possession with about five remaining in the game. Doug Marrone was called to task for keeping Manuel in the hurry up and I agree. Manuel looked like a rookie on that possession as he threw out of bounds on second and 10 and then just a four yard throw to Chandler on 3rd and 10. The drive only ate up only 71 seconds, but more importantly the play selection was not indicative of the field position. Manuel seemed to ignore down and distance on both his second and third down throws.

EJ Manuel has the promise to be a good quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. Certainly he has the talent and work ethic and with seasoning he should end up on more winning sides of the ball than not. Perhaps Bill Belichick is already dreading what his next trip to Orchard Park will bring?

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