Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel left the game in the third quarter after taking a hit to his knee. (Photo: Ron Schwane — USA Today Sports)
BBD Staff Writer: Ryan Talbot
FINAL THOUGHTS: The Cleveland Browns defeated the Buffalo Bills to move to 3-2 on the season. Buffalo lost 37-24, but the real story is Buffalo losing EJ Manuel to a right knee injury.
Once Manuel was out of the game, Cleveland’s defense was able to handle the Bills, minus a one yard Fred Jackson touchdown. Jeff Tuel came in and played to the best of his ability, but finished the game 8/20 for 80 yards and one interception. Based upon Tuel’s play, I’d be shocked if the Bills didn’t call the recently released Josh Freeman. In fact, don’t be surprised if Freeman is a Buffalo Bill by the time you wake up tomorrow. That’s only my opinion of course.
Defensively, the Bills played decently. They flustered Brandon Weeden throughout the game, but Weeden didn’t force many passes. The lack of turnovers hurt the Bills as did some big plays from Brandon Weeden and Willis McGahee. Late in the game, Buffalo gave up a 3rd and 18 that allowed the Browns to get into field goal range to extend their lead to six.
The Bills get some extra time off before playing the Cincinnati Bengals on October 13th. The extra time should help the Bills get some key players back into the secondary, and let those who are playing banged up, heal a bit.The season’s not over, but Buffalo needs to have some healthy additions to their lineup next week.
While it’s disappointing that the Bills are 2-3, they’ve competed in every game this season despite a laundry list of injuries. The future looks bright for Buffalo, but the team may not be able to overcome their early season injuries. No one should give up on the season yet, but the Bills have a tough four game stretch coming up with the Bengals, Dolphins, Saints and Chiefs on the horizon.