With a new quarterback in command, the Buffalo Bills look to get back to the winning path when they visit the NFC North leaders, the Detroit Lions, this Sunday at 1 PM ET at Ford Field, in the NFL week 5.
The Bills registered their second loss in a row last weekend against the Texans and Houston, and decided to bench second year QB EJ Manuel and give a shot to veteran Kyle Orton, who has played only two games in the last two seasons.
Manuel led the second last passing offense in the NFL as the Bills average 198.5 yards through the air in four weeks, and what drove head coach Doug Marrone crazy about Manuel was his inability to read past his first target. The Bills were 30th in the NFL in third down conversion percentage with 35.1, only above the Tennessee Titans and the Oakland Raiders.
Bills say line deserves some of the blame for Manuel's struggles http://t.co/QaYX6waWf9
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 5, 2014
To see how Manuel little Manual goes downfield, no quarterback has thrown more passes to running backs than E.J. Manuel. He has completed 32 of 36 for 269 yards, which all lead the league.
Also, this was a bit expected. No one pays a backup QB $11 million for two years unless management is uncertain of their starter and with the AFC East wide open, this might save the teams season.
Over the last two seasons, Orton was the backup quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys and in 2013 he started only one game against the Philadelphia Eagles where he completed 30 of 46 passes for 358 yards, 2 touchdowns and two interceptions, posting an 85.2 passer rating.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) October 4, 2014
The problem for Orton is their next rival is on the right path as the Detroit Lions leads the NFC North with three wins and one loss, and enter this week having won two games in a row. Detroit is 2-2 against the spread, but both times they covered the spread they played at home.
Keep an eye on the health of WR stud Calvin Johnson, who’s nursing an ankle injury. ‘Megatron’ caught two balls for six yards in the 24-17 victory against the NY Jets, but he expects to be closer to 100% for Sunday.
With Kyle Orton or EJ Manuel under center, I don’t like matchup for the Bills offense as they will have to face the Lions D ranked 5th in total defense and that can put lots of pressure on the quarterback.
The Lions are nine-point favorites in the NFL betting odds, and they are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games in October, but 2-5 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win. The Bills are 0-6 ATS in their last six road games vs. a team with a winning home record and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games on field turf.