Kyle Orton Replaces EJ Manuel As Bills Starting Quarterback

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Monday, September 29th, 2014 | 0

Kyle Orton

After throwing a game-ending interception in the Buffalo Bills’ 23-17 loss to the Houston Texans yesterday (Sun., September 28, 2014), second-year quarterback EJ Manuel has been benched in favor of veteran backup Kyle Orton.

Head coach Doug Marrone made the decision and the team officially confirmed it on Twitter:

The move come as little surprise given that Manuel has been less than effective in the Bills’ two straight losses. The team started out 2-0 with twins over Chicago and Miami, but since then, Manuel has completed a mere 58 percent of his passes.

The team must have known that would have been a possibility, as Orton was signed to a two-year deal for an astonishing $11 million this summer. Many believe the journeyman quarterback a much better option than the stagnating Manuel, who was drafted in the first round out of Florida State last year.

Many more believe that the Bills’ roster is a strong one, capable of both running the ball and stopping the run given the high level of talent that was seemingly held back by Manuel’s deficiencies.

Manuel was asked to be a game manager for a team whose offense funneled mainly through running backs Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller, but eventually a starting quarterback will have to win a game with his own skillset in the NFL, and Manuel simply didn’t have the accuracy to accomplish that.

Orton will be asked to manage the games in a similar fashion, and he could develop a decent rapport with rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who could blossom into a star as the No. 4 overall pick in this year’s draft.

With the New England Patriots nearing the end of their reign as a dominant force in the AFC East, Buffalo was considered an outside contender in the division this year. It’s clear that Manuel would not have lead them there, and while Orton isn’t flashy, his vast experience should at least result in far fewer mistakes with a chance to succeed on the ground.

The 24-year-old Manuel may end up as a backup for team, but his days in Buffalo could ultimately be numbered. It’s now Orton’s team, and we’ll quickly find out just how much Manuel was hiding Buffalo’s considerable talent on both sides of the ball.

Can Orton lead them to the Promised Land?

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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