The Buffalo Bills don’t exactly have an enviable situation at quarterback. After losing their first round draft pick, EJ Manuel, to a knee injury, Buffalo is set to start Thad Lewis at QB on Sunday for the second week in a row. Behind Lewis on the depth chart is career-backup Matt Flynn, followed by undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel.
It goes without saying that none of these are ideal options to start for an NFL offense. Although Lewis had a surprisingly good game against the Cincinnati Bengals last weekend (19-for-32 passing, 216 yards and two touchdowns), it was only his second career start, and his inability to distinguish himself as more than a back-up over the course of his four-year career is worrisome. Lewis also sprained his ankle during Sunday’s loss, and although he is expected to play this week, it is unclear whether he will be 100 percent healthy.
Unfortunately for the Bills, it’s not as if Flynn represents a much more appealing option. Flynn has considerably more experience as an NFL starter, but has yielded mixed results with the chances he’s been given. Remarkably, Lewis and Flynn’s career passer ratings are almost identical, at 91.9 and 90.4, respectively. However, given the fact that Lewis has only started two games, those numbers aren’t exactly indicative of either players’ overall potential.
At this point, it seems like the right call by the Bills to continue rolling with Lewis. Not only has he been with the team longer (albeit as a member of the practice squad), his skill set as a dual-threat QB is better suited to run Buffalo’s offense in Manuel’s absence. Despite these advantages, if Lewis stumbles in Week 7, the situation may get a lot more interesting.