EJ Manuel’s first victory at the helm of the Buffalo Bills offense had fans dancing in the aisles at Ralph Wilson Stadium and singing “The Shout Song” in Bills Backers bars across America.
As the first QB taken in this year’s NFL Draft, Manuel’s every move will be scrutinized across the league in 2013 and, for the second week in a row, he earned rave reviews.
From USA Today:
But there’s always gotta be a party-pooper. This week, it’s ESPN.com’s Mike Rodak.
Simply put, the defense bailed out the quarterback.
Up until his interception, the prevailing opinion was that Manuel provided the steady, reliable presence a team needs from a green passer. He wasn’t going to win the game, but he wouldn’t lose it, either.
That perception took a hit Sunday.
Following the Panthers’ head-scratching decision to kick a 39-yard field goal on fourth-and-1 with 1:38 remaining, Manuel led the Bills on a textbook two-minute drive. It put Buffalo in position to score until it almost happened again:
The bad interception.
On third-and-6 with 21 seconds left, Manuel uncorked a bullet over the middle, directly into the chest of Panthers safety Colin Jones. Bad decision. Awful turnover. Crushing loss. Game over, right?
Not quite. Flags flew and the Bills had new life after Kuechly was penalized for pass interference. Two plays later, the Panthers forgot to cover Bills receiver Steve Johnson. Touchdown. Comeback win. Fantastic finish. What a game by the rookie.
Again, not quite.
Given the choice between the Manuel of the season-opening loss to New England and the Manuel of Sunday’s comeback win, the Bills might well choose the former.
Rodak’s “coverage” of the Bills is aggravating. He’s got a pitying, almost elitist tone…as if “it’s not played the Patriots way, you suck” and he’s pissed that he has to cover the Bills. Granted, I don’t want homer coverage, but Rodak is the epitome of wet blanket on our long-starved parade. Add his name to the thousands of “fans” who have been cultured by losing (and I lived through the 2-14 years)…This team is finally a work in progress, mistakes will be made, but finally we’re growing as a team and we’re not just “being sold hope”. Marketing is cute, but ballers win games, and winning sells a lot more than t-shirts.
That’s what you get from a Pats fan that Wis for ESPN. They didn’t have any coverage of the win on their front page today, even though there were several other similar stories there.
Sure #3 did have his share of mistakes through the first 8 quarters of his NFL career. EJ has a lot to learn about playing QB professionally, but you can only grow with experience. Time will tell what kind of player EJ will become. So far after yesterdays game the future looks brighter behind center than it has for a long time.
They never gave up…overcame the mistakes. That’s all I ask for.
rodick is a punk. someday, if you get a Wikipedia page, people will take you seriously. #parentsbasementdweller