Is Manuel a better starter for Bills than Taylor?
Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan has named EJ Manuel the starter for Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh, but it’s anyone’s guess if this means Manuel is the front-runner for the Week 1 starting gig, as the Bills have had a different starter for each preseason game. It seems Rex is giving each QB game-time reps with the first team before making a final decision.
While Matt Cassel looks like he is out of the race by virtue of being a below-average NFL QB his entire career, Tyrod Taylor and Manuel are works in progress with unknown potential.
Taylor was given the start against Cleveland and didn’t disappoint against a stout Browns defense. While he was at fault for a sack, Taylor was poised when facing pressure overall, just as he was against Carolina. He actually graded better against pressure than he did without it.
Manuel showed some late-game heroics in Cleveland, as he completed a 4th-and-long TD pass with under two minutes left in the game. While Manuel has graded better overall and has posted a better QB rating than Taylor, he has done so against second-, third-, and fourth-string players, whereas Taylor has played primarily against starters and second-stringers.
Manuel has performed worse when facing pressure, especially against the Browns, where he was sacked three times, posted a 68.8 QB rating, and graded at -0.9.
We’ll see how he does in a starting role against the Steelers. It will likely determine who starts Week 1 versus the Colts.