Ryan Anticipates Decision Tomorrow: Rex Ryan says he plans on making a decision on his starting quarterback for the season tomorrow. But he will not share it with the media or fans. He did say that Matt Simms will start on Thursday night against Detroit. He was very impressed with how the offense performed in this game and said this is what he wanted out of the QB battle. With all four playing very well including Simms.
All 3 QBs Helped Themselves: How about all three QBs? If this game was suppose to settle the QB battle it made it even more muddled but for a good reason. EJ Manuel, Tyrod Taylor, and Matt Cassel all performed very well. Manuel got the first two series and the team scored two touchdowns, Cassel got the next two series and he was efficient but penalties hurt him as the team did not score with him on the field. Taylor led the Bills to two touchdowns and a field goal in three possessions including a final minute field goal drive before halftime. Manuel came back in in the third quarter and threw another touchdown pass. They combined going 25 of 28 for 330 yards with Manuel throwing for two scores and Taylor running one in from 20 yards out. Manuel was 7 of 8 for 170 yards, Taylor was 12 of 13 for 122 while Cassel was 6 for 7 for 38 yards. This doesn't make it easier for Rex Ryan as EJ is now thoroughly in the discussion but Taylor's play, late in the first half and into the third quarter I think gives him the leg up. If anything EJ may have won the backup job. Fred Jackson didn't hurt his case with a 41 yard run on his first carry.
Who Hurt Themselves: We spoke about in our AFC East roundtable article that it was a big game for Ronald Darby and he failed. He was called for two pass interference penalties and was beaten on at least two other occassions including a bomb for a touchdown. Other than that nobody really hurt themselves.
Bills Beat Steelers 43-19: The Bills used a solid effort from all four quarterbacks to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 43-19 in an impressive offensive display that muddled the QB battle even more because of solid play from all four quarterbacks. Fred Jackson followed a 41 yard run with a one yard touchdown plunge to get the scoring barrage started. EJ Manuel than hit Charles Clay for a 67 yard bomb. An 11 play, 80 yard drive by Tyrod Taylor ended in a one yard plunge by Ricky Seale. He then made a couple of plays to allow Dan Carpenter to hit a 52 yard field goal as the first half expired. Taylor wasn't done yet leading the Bills to start the second half on a 78 yard, 10 play drive that ended with his 20 yard run for a score. Manuel returned and hit Tobais Palmer for a perfectly thrown 37 yard bomb for a score. Matt Simms got into the act of solid quarterback play by hitting Charles Gragg for a 14 yard score to finish off an 83 yard 13 play drive that he split with EJ. Several players got banged up in the game with Stephon Gilmore, Marquise Goodwin, Marcus Thigpen, and Austin Willis were among the players who could not finish the game. Injury Page.
Big Preseason Battle: This afternoon the entire nation gets to see the Bills QB battle in full display on the NFL Network at 4pm. The Bills battle the Steelers in what is normally the preseason game that most closely resembles a regular season game. It won't for the Bills however as they are missing three of their top four running backs and their top three wide receivers. All three QBs in the race will see time with the first team but really that means just the starting offensive line. It created a big stir on Thursday when Rex Ryan announced EJ Manuel will get the start but the question remains will he get as much time as Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor. There is high drama for Bills fans at least through the first possession of the third quarter as the QB battle could be decided today. We will have our usual blurbs about what players helped themselves and which hurt themselves after the game.
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Thursday August 27, 2015
EJ To Start: Rex Ryan announced after practice today that EJ Manuel will get the start on Saturday against Pittsburgh. All three quarterbacks will see time with the first team and the starters will play one series into the third quarter. Ryan said Manuel earned the start with his play the first two preseason games calling the winning drive against Cleveland impressive. The coach also stated he loves the competitiveness in him. Regardless of who starts Saturday afternoon's game will be very interesting as the QB job is on the line and very much up in the air.
Getting Healthy: The team practiced at One Bills Drive for the first time since leaving training camp and the players saw a renovated fieldhouse and locker room areas. The team also is getting healthier as Bryce Brown, Parcy Harvin, and Boobie Dixon returned to the field in some capacity while Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods were limited again. It is a longshot than any of these players will play on Saturday. LeSean McCoy was doing some more work on the side along with Watkins. Deonte Thompson left practice early with a foot injury.
Tuesday August 25, 2015
Camp Wraps Up: The Bills held their last practice of training camp today at St. Johns Fisher College. Percy Harvin was back on the field doing limited drills but didn't wear pads. The coach praised his desire and work to get back on the field. The injured running backs, with the exception of Karlos Williams, were all working on the side with the coaches, trainers, and conditioning staff. McCoy looked pretty good moving around. Aaron Williams took part in drills after coming off with tightness in his hamstring on Sunday. Charles Clay left practice early with a minor knee injury. He never left the field and he still may play Saturday against Pittsburgh. Marcell Dareus returned to action after sitting out on Sunday night. Rex Ryan said at his final camp press conference that barring anything unforseen Seantrel Henderson will be the starting right tackle. Matt Cassel got more first team reps today but the coach said the rotation for Saturday is still undecided saying all three QBs have performed at a high level in practice and in camp. Injury Page.
AFC East Preseason Update: Check out our latest edition of the AFC East roundtable where we look at the one starter on each side of the ball who needs to have a big game in the pivotal third preseason game. For the Bills we chose Matt Cassel who still likely has a slight lead in the QB battle and Ronald Darby who needs to be more consistent. Our friends from New York Jet Fuel, PatsFans.com, and Phin Maniacs gives their thoughts on their potential breakout players. Complete Story.
Camp Ends: Training camp comes to an end with a morning practice at St. Johns Fisher College today. The Bills will then had back to Buffalo to continue preparing for the season and Saturday's preseason matchup with the Steelers.
Monday August 24, 2015
Bills Top 60K: The Bills announced today that they have topped 60,000 season tickets for the first time ever. They announced they are at 60,102 season tickets for the coming season which is virually sold out. Russ Brandon released a statement that said, "Bills Season Ticket Members are the most loyal, faithful and passionate fans in the National Football League. We want to take this opportunity to celebrate this record-setting achievement and honor our Season Ticket Members publicly with the 60K club website and graphic. The organization and all Bills fans are excited for a great 2015 season."
Sunday August 23, 2015
Final Night Practice: The Bills held their final night practice of training camp and will wrap camp up with a morning practice on Tuesday. All three quarterbacks got reps with the first team but Matt Cassel got more of them. Rex Ryan indicated before practice that all three of the QBs will get reps with the first team on Saturday against Pittsburgh. Dezmin Lewis had his best night of camp as Aaron Williams left with tightness in his hamstring. Marcell Dareus sat out but was on the sidelines and seemed ok. Ross Cockrell returned to practice for the first time in a few weeks.
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