Week 3 featured the battle of the Rookie QB’s as Geno Smith and EJ Manuel fought it out over who was the better of the two (for now). It was a close game but in the end Geno prevailed and has bragging rights (for now).
Geno played without question his best game of the season as he threw for 331 yards and 2 TDs. He looked confident in the beginning of the game throwing two big passes to Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley that put them in Buffalo territory. He also showed his running ability as he finished that drive with a 8-yard TD run. After that first drive he came back to earth a little but throughout the game he had success throwing the ball. He had a great connection with Stephen Hill and Santonio Holmes got in the fun too. Geno exploited a depleted secondary and threw a few nice deep bombs. He also threw two interceptions, but he didn’t them get to him. For Example after the first interception he came back and drove it all the way for a touchdown, a bomb to Hill. On the second one he drove it all the way down to Bills territory and if not for a bad challenge and play calling, would have more than likely led to more points.
Geno looked great and it really seemed like he has grown since the Pats game. He doesn’t hold the ball too long and did not get sacked at all in this game. His connection with his receivers has grown and Hill now looks to be on the way to be a good receiver in the NFL. The interceptions are concerning but he is still a rookie and he is asked to do a lot and hopefully those will end. The future looks bright for Geno and he looks like a good pick for the Jets.
EJ had a game that he wish never happened. He finished the day 19/42 for 243 yards and really did not look comfortable for the whole game. He started out his usual slow self and unlike other games where he would get hot, it never really materialized in this game. The Jets defense is really to blame for that, they pressured him the whole game, he never got any rhythm for the whole game. He got sacked 8 times and hit countless more and it was a miracle he was standing upright after that game. The Jets would not give him the short underneath routes and there were numerous short passes that were batted away by Jets players who were tightly covering the Bills receivers. This led to EJ throwing deep lobs, over and over again. The problem was he wasn’t having any connection with his receivers on these throws either, overthrowing them or the receivers giving up on their routes. This is a problem as defenses will exploit this weakness of the Bills passing game and force EJ to beat them deep.
If EJ can’t get on the same page with his receivers on those deep throws, this could lead to doom for the Bills offense. What I liked from EJ was his mobility and he made some plays with his feet and had a good connection with Stevie Johnson and Scott Chandler. That will be important as the younger receivers get adjusted to NFL speed.
This will most likely be the best defense EJ will play this year and it should not be such a hard knock on him. This defense shut down Tom Brady, one of the best QBs in the game, and made him look as uncomfortable as they did EJ. All that can be taken from this is there is now game tape of EJ playing against this complex defense and he can use it as a learning experience, he will do better the second time around. The bright side is, he did not turn it over, something that couldn’t be said from his Jets counterpart.
Written by ArcherNoles