Posts Tagged ‘EJ Manuel’

Takeaways: Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 2014 NFL Preseason Week 2

Sunday, August 17th, 2014
EJ Manuel and the Bills offense controlled the ball Saturday night but had trouble finding the end zone. (Photo: Jason Bridge — USA Today Sports)

EJ Manuel and the Bills offense controlled the ball Saturday night but had trouble finding the end zone. (Photo: Jason Bridge — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

The Buffalo Bills fell to 1-2 in the preseason after dropping Saturday night’s contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 19-16. A lack of sound situational football, particularly on offense, kept the Bills from winning despite some positive play from their defense. The Bills only punted twice in 13 offensive series, while they controlled the ball for more than 35 minutes and ran 35 more plays on offense, but they only scored one touchdown.

The biggest positive of the game for the Bills came in escaping with no major injuries, including No. 4 overall pick Sammy Watkins, who left the game in the first quarter with a rib injury but was reported to be “fine” by NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

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Takeaways: Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers, 2014 NFL Preseason Week 1

Friday, August 8th, 2014
Sammy Watkins made his first three catches as a Buffalo Bill on Friday night as the Bills passing offense made progress. (Photo: Jeremy Brevard — USA Today Sports)

Sammy Watkins made his first three catches as a Buffalo Bill on Friday night as the Bills passing offense made progress. (Photo: Jeremy Brevard — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The Buffalo Bills went into Friday night’s preseason game against the Carolina Panthers with one distinct advantage: while the contest was the first game action of the year for the Panthers, the Bills had already strapped on the pads Sunday night for the Hall of Fame Game against the New York Giants. The Bills parlayed that advantage into a 20-18 victory.

The team can some pride in its win, but it shouldn’t take any time to celebrate. Preseason victories, though better than losses, are essentially meaningless. There are still many things the Bills need to be doing better to consistently win games in the regular season. However, there were some promising areas of progress in Friday’s game, especially in the play of quarterback EJ Manuel and the Bills offense.

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2014 NFL Preseason Week 1: Live Analysis of Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers

Friday, August 8th, 2014
After averting a disastrous interception with a pass interference penalty, EJ Manuel made two plays to lead the Buffalo Bills to their first victory of the season. (Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

EJ Manuel and the Buffalo Bills will take the field on Friday night to battle the Carolina Panthers in the preseason.(Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

The Buffalo Bills held on late to defeat the Carolina Panthers 20-18.

Buffalo has plenty to feel encouraged about following the game. First, EJ Manuel rebounded from his first preseason game and looked confident against Carolina. He finished 9-of-13 for 96 yards and looked to stretch the field. Manuel found Chris Hogan for a 32 yard gain and Mike Williams for a 28 yard pass. He wasn’t perfect as he did stare down his receivers at times, but it was a positive step in the right direction.

Buffalo’s running backs also performed well against the Panthers. Buffalo’s top four backs ran 28 times for 124 yards and a touchdown. Bryce Brown looked elusive but didn’t shy from contact. Anthony Dixon also looked very athletic and grinded forward for some tough yards.

Sammy Watkins also recorded his first three receptions against the Panthers. I’m guessing he won’t appear on “Overreaction Monday” on ESPN this week.

The starting defense also looked great against the run. It’s only the preseason, but it’s encouraging to see how strong Buffalo’s defense looks against the run based upon their struggles in 2013.

All in all, the Buffalo Bills looked solid on both sides of the ball.

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Standouts and Disappointments from the 2014 Hall of Fame Game

Monday, August 4th, 2014

EJ Manuel’s performance in the Hall of Fame Game left much to be desired. (Photo: Andrew Weber — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

An exciting weekend in Canton for the Buffalo Bills, highlighted by Andre Reed’s enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, has come to an end.

Sunday night’s Hall of Fame Game wasn’t quite as enthusing for the Bills, who lost 17-13 to the New York Giants, but the first preseason game should always come with its ups and downs. The good news for the Bills is that the loss, even though they tried to win, won’t matter at all when the regular-season games begin.

It’s important to remember that just one game into the preseason—there’s still four more exhibition games to go but the games that matter begin—it’s still way too early to jump to conclusions about any players. Young, inexperienced players are expected to have some hiccups early in the preseason.

With that being said, there were members of the Bills whose performances from Sunday night deserve praise, while there were others who need to be better to make positive contributions his fall.

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Sophomore Spotlight: EJ Manuel

Monday, July 28th, 2014

EJ Manuel finished his rookie season with a victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo: Melina Vastola — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

Playoffs? Not for the Buffalo Bills unless second-year quarterback EJ Manuel improves greatly upon his rookie season.

The Bills talked all offseason about building around Manuel, and they weren’t lying. The team added running back depth in Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon, two new wide receivers in Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams and upgrades to their offensive line.

Manuel has been given the weapons needed for his improvement. Buffalo’s 2014 season depends on his ability to deliver.

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