To win in the NFL, it’s no secret that a franchise quarterback is key, something the Buffalo Bills have lacked since 1996 when Jim Kelly retired. Doug Flutie wasn’t the guy, despite leading the Bills to their only playoff berth in 14 years. Drew Bledsoe wasn’t the guy. J.P. Losman and Trent Edwards had their moments, but they certainly weren’t the answers. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who the Bills once inked to a 6-year, $59 million contract didn’t pan out either.
Now Bills fans are hoping that 2013 first round pick E.J. Manuel is the answer. He showed some flashes in his rookie season, such as week two when Manuel orchestrated a game winning drive to beat the Panthers, a game that was the highlight of the Bills’ 2013 season. He struggled through injuries in his rookie season, playing 10 games, throwing for 11 touchdowns and 9 interceptions with a 58.8 completion percentage.
Doug Marrone has said that Manuel is the guy, and he deserves another shot this season. This second season for Manuel will likely make it or break it for him in Buffalo. Bills fans are hoping and praying that they have finally found their quarterback for the future—one that will get them back to the playoffs for starters.
Getting that franchise quarterback is so important. Just look at the Seahawks, 49ers, and Colts.
The Seahawks signed Matt Flynn to that big contract, drafted Russell Wilson the same year, then won the Super Bowl two years later.
The 49ers were a play away from the Super Bowl with Alex Smith, then he was replaced with Colin Kaepernick.
The Colts were 2-14 before Andrew Luck arrived in Indianapolis and he’s led them to the playoffs two seasons in a row. I’m not saying the Bills need to draft a quarterback this season.
If they aren’t sold on any in April’s draft, than they shouldn’t take one. They didn’t use a first round pick on EJ Manuel for no reason. If they are intrigued by someone such as Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, or Johnny Manziel, then why not roll the dice? Maybe it’s not fair to Manuel, but the NFL is a business. You need to win in this league to have any respect.
The Bills haven’t made the playoffs in 14 seasons; this organization clearly isn’t doing something right. For the Bills, it’s not just that they lose; it’s how they lose. They constantly find a way to rip your heart out. No team loses more painfully than the Buffalo Bills. Just ask Scott Norwood.
Is this the year that the Bills finally end their playoff draught? It all starts with the quarterback play. Bills fans deserve one. It’s been too long.