E.J. Manuel Takes Control of Buffalo Bills’ Quarterback Competition

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Timothy T. Ludwig-USA Today Sports

Let’s take a look at the numbers. On Friday night against the Minnesota Vikings, Kevin Kolb completed just 13 of his 21 pass attempts for zero touchdowns and an interception. Meanwhile, rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel looked exactly like the franchise player the Buffalo Bills have been waiting for as he threw for 92 yards and a touchdown on 10-of-12 passing.

For the second-straight game, Manuel looked poised, confident and in control under center, as he once again delivered on a near-perfect touchdown drive that helped secure a victory for the Bills.

Stats aside, anyone watching the game Friday night could read the writing on the wall. Kolb played a shaky, ineffective half of football, while Manuel managed to be more effective in about half as much playing time.

Kolb missed his receivers on several occasions, and looked much less comfortable calling plays than a rookie who was hailed as raw and undeveloped just a few short months ago. Manuel made smart, conservative plays with the football and took what the defense gave him.

There is just no way that Doug Marrone names Kolb his week one starter this season. At this point, undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel has a better chance of beating out Manuel for the starting job. Kolb has never demonstrated that he can be more than an average quarterback, whereas Manuel has already flashed the potential to be a very special player.

This quarterback competition is over. Manuel is the future of the Bills, and the future is now.

Matt Ploss is a Buffalo Bills writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewPloss, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google


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