Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel gave fans of the Buffalo Bills plenty of reasons to be excited in Buffalo’s 24-23 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. He remained composed and confident throughout the game despite some crucial turnovers and displayed great leadership on the Bills’ final, game-sealing touchdown drive.
That being said, Manuel’s game was far from perfect, and for the Bills to return to dominance in the AFC East, EJ must correct some mental mistakes moving forward. Given the way the Bills’ defense was playing, the game really shouldn’t have been as close as it was. Mario Williams was absolutely dominant, and the Bills’ front four did about as good a job containing Cam Newton as any unit could realistically hope.
If it weren’t for Manuel’s fourth quarter interception and third quarter fumble, the Bills very well could have blown out the Panthers. Head coach Doug Marrone has said that Manuel doesn’t make the same mistake twice, and that theory will be tested moving forward. Bills fans can only hope it proves to be true.
Winning leads to amnesia, particularly as it relates to mistakes on the winning side. Nonetheless, if EJ Manuel continues to hand the football over to the other team, the Bills won’t find themselves winning many more games, especially against teams with more experience than the Panthers.
So far throughout his young career, EJ Manuel has displayed all the intangibles needed to reach a level of sustained success in the NFL. It’s his ‘tangibles’ that need work. Luckily for the Bills, those can always be improved upon.