Monday, September 29, 2014

K.O.'ed: Marrone benches Manuel in favor of Orton


After only 14 career starts and back-to-back losses where he's continued to struggle with his accuracy, Buffalo Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel will officially be riding the pine Sunday in Detroit.

The roster move was reportedly made midday Monday, with coach Doug Marrone promoting veteran signal-caller Kyle Orton to the starting role.

Marrone was careful not to put the entire blame of the team's offensive under-production on the shoulders of the young quarterback, though he admitted that his performance has not been strong enough to lead the unit.

"When you make a change at quarterback, the one thing that I hope we all understand is that it’s not all E.J.’s fault, but we need to get better production out of that position,” Marrone said, via “We have to make adjustments and we have to make some changes because we can’t keep going in the direction that we’re going.

"The one thing I said is we need to get better every week. If we’re not, the onus goes on me as a leader to make changes that can help our team win.”

Manuel had statistically one of the worst games of his career in Sunday's loss to the Texans, completing less than 48 percent of his passes with two costly touchdowns that all but sealed his team's fate and aided in blowing a 10-0 halftime lead.

In his brief time at the helm, Manuel held a 58 percent completion rate, which put him near the bottom of the list of starting QBs the past two years. When he attempted more than 35 passes, that number dropped down to 55 percent.

According to our friends at ProFootballFocus, who tallied an accuracy percentage with dropped passes, throwaways and spikes factored in, Manuel ranked 24th out of 28 eligible quarterbacks in both seasons as a starter.

Orton, who makes his first start since last December with the Dallas Cowboys, holds a career record of 35-35 and a completion percentage of 58 percent. He'll face the Detroit Lions in his first game as a Bill, currently the league's No. 1 defense.

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