Confirmation of the quarterback race’s result isn’t as pleasant a distraction as hoped. Another tough loss in front of thousands on their side can’t be entirely pinned on EJ Manuel, anyway. The Buffalo Bills need to make use of their pass rushers, secondary, and blockers before wondering what their second-best quarterback can do better. This happens to be a convenient time to flee America. Since home fans seem to be a distraction, playing an ocean away might help.
Instead of a personnel controversy for the best reason, Bills backers feel disappointed over more than a .500 record. The chance to earn a bigger check and more playing time elsewhere or even possibly steal the job back remains a longterm goal for Manuel, who played as expected. It’s not entirely a compliment. But he got little help from a defense which wanted to be the best in the league. Meanwhile, they were the second-best in the stadium.
Manuel has an important role regardless of whether or not any particular fan thinks he’s going to reach potential. Many players in his position get at least one chance. Only half of teams’ quarterbacks started every game last season in a sign of how dangerous it is to receive the snap. The interim Buffalo starter redeemed his chance to play on account of Taylor putting himself at risk. The first stringer’s dashing style can lamentably lead to knees getting bent like shoulders. Their presently-immobilized mobile quarterback can only watch like the rest of us and have faith that the last start allowed Manuel to readjust to live conditions. Reports that Taylor is healing rapidly are nice. But, as with last week, I’ll believe his knee is back to playable condition when he’s behind center.
The Wheel of Injuries isn’t fun to spin. Losing that guy after getting this guy back is just the latest symbol of how nothing ever goes quite right for this franchise. Examples usually involve less physical pain. Most frustratingly, Sammy Watkins getting hurt while making an amazing play summarizes his career so far. But being on luck’s wrong side is no excuse. This roster’s depth was supposed to provide a cushion from injury. Instead, this club hits concrete.
This franchise wishes it could be less familiar with fate’s capriciousness. Taylor’s exciting play was taken from us as soon as we began to enjoy it. An instant change can affect a season. Even seemingly unstoppable trends can come to a quick stop. Ask Robert Griffin III, who has ample free time to reflect on the moment he was going to lead the Redskins to glory. We can at least remember what Taylor already displayed to sustain us through his temporary sidelining, as it wasn’t that long ago no matter how it seems. His understudy should get the chance to hand off more, as it’ll keep the Bills competitive until these gamers can find enough first aid kids. Hopefully, London’s souvenir shops stock them along with toy buses and Big Ben snow globes so Taylor can get back in there over there.
Those who’ve rebelled against home life now get to be visitors in six of their final 10 contests, so I hope they’re pleased with leaving town to explore the world. Losing three-quarters of the first half of the Ralph Wilson Stadium portion is some reward for fans who’ve packed the stadium betting this will be the team that finally offers relief. It takes discipline to keep attending these games, which players should appreciate and emulate.
The next road game is more figurative than usual, as they could literally travel on pavement to, say, Kansas City if they wished. But they had to power up the transporter to reach Wembley. Or perhaps they took some sort of winged motor coach if that technology hasn’t been invented yet. The only greater challenge than moving themselves is doing the same with the ball.
For once, the league forcing a team to study abroad may be beneficial. Buffalo should use their opportunity to be off their home continent to figure out how to best deploy their talent absent the usual distractions. The possibility of forgetting an electric razor adapter is a small price to pay for clarity. They may as well find advantages in a compulsory tour of a country where they’re forced to sell American football.
The only people allowed to see if the Bills can start pressuring passers as advertised this Sunday are all of them. Every single person on Earth will be watching the Bills face off against the Jaguars thanks to the miracle of streaming. Or maybe it’s just everyone with wifi. Either way, presume an audience of a few billion. It’s not to make this team nervous by thinking of how many will click on the broadcast link. But all of humanity outside of Northeast Florida wants to see them get to the quarterback.
The Bills should simply remember where they are, namely the home of that rucking and mauling game. This crazy Yankee take on running while holding a ball takes place the same weekend England hosts the Rugby World Cup semifinals. In honor of the native sport, Greg Roman should put forward passes out of mind. Buffalo will rebound if LeSean McCoy is the game’s highest try scorer. Unlike the All Blacks and Wallabies, they should still block.